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Reiterating Bernstein and the Shostakovitch 5th.


Yes, this is a partial repeat of a recent post. But I find that I am still so inspired by this piece, I thought it worth re-stating. Shostakovitch 5th Symphony conducted by Maestro Leonard Bernstein.

The energy in this is amazing.  Bernstein is the conductor to emulate. Watch his energy and his movements. not just the large movements but the nuances of the hands and fingers as well. Even in the larger movements, the hands and fingers are busy too.
His smooth flowing arms during the slower sections are like a sea bird rising and falling on the currents of air over the ocean. The driving energy of his whole body during the the more tumultuous sections says he is into the music full force at all times. His joy in leading is infectious to the orchestra and brings them to a higher level than they, even all those professional guys, would achieve otherwise.
I am never disappointed when I listen to this, but watching Bernstein conduct always and without fail brings it to a higher level. I can almost forget the lack of passion in my life for a few minutes while listening (and watching) to this. What a wonderful thing it must be to conduct an orchestra. I love playing in the midst of the orchestra but when a conductor can communicate  the way Bernstein can, the orchestra can rise to another level of being -like it is a separate entity with the musicians all integral parts of the living body.

This is the recording I wrote my poem (https://carolyndonnell.wordpress.com/writing/poetry/ )
to.

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14 Responses

  1. First, of all, Carolyndonnell. thank you for the poem. You definitely ‘heard’ the symphony. This is organization beyond what I am capable of analyzing; that it contains diverse themes, and tempos, all coordinated within a single movement I believe. Am I write in hearing a rather dissonant climax, before the last triumphant ending. Noticed that Mr. Bernstein, had sweat on his brow at the close; he certainly ‘lived’ through his conducting. Noticed the violin looking up to him when possible for his direction. Altogether an ‘engaging’ (is this word adequate) performance. Thank you so much for this. It is perhaps about the 3rd
    Shostakovitch that I have heard. I guess that if composers can produce a 5th Symphony that orchestration is not as ‘dead’ as I surmised in a previous opinion. Thank you again. (Will not check out google for dates, etc. One of my favorite Russian compositions is the Firebird by Stravinsky. I generally like him, even into his Classical period.

  2. Don’t analyze. Just experience.

    • Sorry: deepercolors. I studied for almost a decade: harmony, counterpoint, analysis, and even one year of composition at the Faculty. I am trained to analyse. Actually, it makes the listening clearer for me – when I can do it.

  3. And I have 65 hours of music at the University of Texas – as a viola and theory major (under Janet McGaughey). Analyzing is interesting, for sure, especially if you want to compose, but sometimes I just need to listen and absorb. That’s just me I guess, but it’s like an editor. How do you relax and enjoy the story if you can’t ever turn that editor off.

    • I’m learning. It’s having a split personality. Or two voices.
      I need them both.

  4. Really good and interesting post, I enjoyed listening.

    ps: one of my friends from my old blog site is feeling a little isolated on WordPress, he is also a music fundi. Please would you be so kind and pay him a visit?
    http://colonialist.wordpress.com/

  5. Not normally ‘my’ composer – but I love the energy of this version and am taking a new view of Mr S!. How I wish a conductor and orchestra like that would try my stuff – I’m sure they’d even make something really pedestrian sound great.

    Are none of your own pieces on player?

    • I only have a couple of little things on an old version of Finale. They are piano only right now. The attempts at orchestration are still pending. To say the least. :-]

      • Well, you could convert the piano piece to MP3 and put that on a player? You will see that I have a full sonata on mine – in fact, more piano music than orchestral.

  6. Good grief, Charlie Brown – You’re a composer, DeeperColors. More power to you. That is just so good.
    I’d love to hear you play one of your compositions. You’re doing really, really, well. And your blog is excellent too.

    • Only managed to finish a couple of things – little stuff. Music to the 23rd Psalm (Still can’t get the orchestration right. it’s been shelved for a long time now) , A lullaby for my granddaughter (couldn’t get her to go to sleep when she was a baby. Ran out of lullabies and had to make up one.)
      I also have a short story I was trying to tun into a play and then into a musical, but as usual, I never finished that either.

      • Don’t be discouraged. A work not finished is a work to be finished. You’ve written more than I have if that is helpful to you. I have a friend who does get his work played by Symphony Orchestras etc. but mainly the small group that he organizes with other composers. They are very short pieces, because he says with the compression in his writing, he has difficulty keeping the unity for a long period of time. But just that you can compose, is a marvel, and in the ‘male’ dominated culture of classical music, a REAL accomplishment for a woman. Bravo sister!!!!!

  7. Leonard Bernstein is a terrific conductor.

    I love immersing myself in classical music. Turning off my thoughts, and letting the notes flow through and around me.

    Great way to wash away the daily toxins.

  8. That cleansing is even better, for me at least, when I am in the middle of the orchestra and not just listening. Which is why I miss it so very much.

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