Leonard Bernstein, The Gift of Music

An intimate portrait

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Lauren Bacall — Narrator

Program notes

Leonard Bernstein narrated by legendary screen star Lauren Bacall.

The movie also relies extensively on Bernstein's own words to provide the counterpoint to the abundant visual material.

Highlights include excerpts of Bernstein conducting masterworks by Beethoven and Mahler, as well as of the maestro with the New York Philharmonic in Moscow in 1959 before an audience which included composer Dmitri Shostakovich and the dissident poet Boris Pasternak. It also contains never-before-seen footage, such as outtakes from televised concerts and interviews. Among these special treats: the dashing 28-year-old maestro representing the U.S. at the 1947 Prague Spring Festival – possibly the earliest extant film of Leonard Bernstein.

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