Thursday, November 13, 2008

Leonard Bernstein, on 2 bottles of Scotch

1986, Harvard University, 2 AM. After completing a trip around the world with both the Israeli and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras, Leonard Bernstein agreed to speak to students given several conditions, including that there be at least 15, and that there be 2 bottles of scotch. The rest is very relevant history.

Bernstein, jet-lagged but unflagging spoke about the differences between touring with the two groups.

With the Israeli Philharmonic, previously the Palestine Philharmonic, Bernstein remarks on the constant security which accompanied him, creating an environment filled with fear.

On the second half of his tour, with the Vienna Philharmonic, the security was absent, and so was the sense of looming disaster.

He brings up interesting points about the relationships between the two, that seem particularly relevant in today's world.

If you have a few minutes, check out the full copy of the speech, complete with Jewy Rosh Hashanah and Hatikvah references.

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