Phaidon Press, 1998, Softcover, Book Condition: As New, Dust Jacket Condition: No Dust Jacket, Reprint
Despite international fame and success, Leonard Bernstein (1918-90) was a man constantly struggling with inner conflicts. The best loved and most successful conductor of his generation, he was adored by an international public, but suffered years of hostile criticism from the New York press. He inspired fellow American musicians, being the first native American to direct a major American orchestra, and the first to conquer Europe. His conducting style was famously flamboyant, and he possessed a rare ability to communicate the music to the listener. But Bernstein often dismissed conducting for its 'temporary' character, and declared himself to be primarily a composer. Among other musicals, he composed the world-famous West Side Story (1957), and the score to the film On the Waterfront, but never enjoyed unanimous critical acclaim for his 'serious' classical works, such as his three symphonies. In later years he feared that he would be remembered solely for his musicals. His private life was equally ambivalent; he was a bisexual who adored his wife and children but who engaged almost constantly in homosexual liaisons. Brilliant, articulate, witty and charming, he could equally be vain, egocentric and demanding, sometimes distressing his loyal supporters with his drunken and wilful behaviour. In spite of these paradoxes, Bernstein is still one of the most important musical figures of the second half of the twentieth century, and a major influence on musical life in Europe and America. This book chronicles his extraordinary rise to fame, and presents a fair but ultimately moving account - from first-hand experience - of Bernsrein's triumphs and his disappointments. Second impression of the First Edition. Size: Octavo (standard book size). 240 pages. Black titles spine. illustrated by b/w. photo's.. Includes appendices & index. Quantity Available: 1. Shipped Weight: Under 1 kilogram. Category: Music; Composers; Conductors; Musicians; United States; Biography & Autobiography. ISBN: 0714837016. ISBN/EAN: 9780714837017. Pictures of this item not already displayed here available upon request. Inventory No: 2848.