2 classical stars, one after the other: Leonard Bernstein introduces Igor Stravinsky

  • May 17, 2017

As “21st century artists” we tend to underestimate the fact that in 5 seconds we can find on youtube a video of Igor Stravinsky conducting his own pieces. Here is Bernstein, remembering us how lucky we are (without the youtube part).

We 20th-century artists are constantly in the position of having to put ourselves back in time, on trying to recapture those past epochs.
Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein introduces Igor Stravinsky.
Igor Stravinsky conducts the last three scenes of “The Firebird”

New York Philharmonic.

Originally aired on January 31, 1960 on CBS Television as part of its Ford Presents series, this program was entitled “The Creative Performer.” The entire show is actually three performances — by Gould, the soprano Eileen Farrell (singing the “Suicidio!” aria from *La Gioconda*), & Igor Stravinsky (conducting the last three scenes of his ballet *The Firebird*) — punctuated with scintillating musicological lectures by Maestro-Professor Bernstein, who is arguably the star of the show.

No matter how much we study, how much tradition we heard of, no matter how much insight we might have, it is always to some extent: Guess work
Leonard Bernstein

What we would give for a stereophonic record of Mozart playing one of his own piano concertos…