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Leonard Bernstein: Omnibus - The Historic TV Broadcasts


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Frequently Bought Together

Leonard Bernstein: Omnibus - The Historic TV Broadcasts + Leonard Bernstein - Young People's Concerts / New York Philharmonic + The Unanswered Question - Six Talks at Harvard by Leonard Bernstein
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Product Details

  • Actors: Leonard Bernstein, Carol Burnett, Benny Goodman, Hans Conried, Alistair Cooke
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English (PCM Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: E1 Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 26, 2010
  • Run Time: 449 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002OVB9Z8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,778 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Leonard Bernstein: Omnibus - The Historic TV Broadcasts" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Hosted by Alastair Cooke, Omnibus was a monumental series, featuring diverse live broadcasts on science, the arts and the humanities. This historic collection includes seven episodes featuring lectures, performances and master classes from the legendary conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein. Includes: Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony (1954), The World of Jazz (1955), The Art of Conducting (1955), American Musical Comedy (1956), Introduction to Modern Music (1957), The Music of Johann Sebastian Bach (1957) and What Makes Opera Grand? (1958).

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 72 people found the following review helpful By The Movie Man VINE VOICE on January 28, 2010
"Omnibus" ran on ABC, CBS, and NBC at various times from 1952 to 1961. The program showcased both established stars and rising talent from the worlds of music, dance, theater, and opera. Long a staple of Sunday afternoon programming, "Omnibus" eventually moved to other time slots and networks when the value of Sunday real estate rose with the broadcasting of professional football.
"Omnibus: Leonard Bernstein" is a four-disc set containing seven shows aired between 1954 and 1958 that feature Mr. Bernstein's enthusiastic lecture/performances about classical and other forms of music. Bernstein was equally at home with classical music and musical theater. He wrote the scores for "West Side Story" and "On the Town" and was the longtime conductor of the New York Philharmonic.
His "Omnibus" debut was "Beethoven's Fifth Symphony" (broadcast live on CBS, November 14, 1954). Other shows include "The World of Jazz," "American Musical Comedy," "Introduction to Modern Music," "The Music of J.S. Bach," "The Art of Conducting," and "What Makes Opera Grand?" The shows are the kind of fare that today can only be seen on PBS. The TV audience of millions were both entertained and educated by Bernstein's spirited programs. Clearly, he loved his subjects and his energy and passion come through, even in black and white on the small screen. Extras include a bonus performance of Handel's "Messiah" and a 24-page booklet with contributions written by music critic John Rockwell.
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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By takingadayoff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 16, 2010
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Omnibus was a TV series that debuted in 1952, was hosted by Alistair Cooke, and was mostly about the arts. You might see an original play or a dance performance, a discussion of architecture, or some comedy. Conductor Leonard Bernstein appeared many times over the years. This collection features six of his talks about music and a performance of Handel's Messiah.

Bernstein's first appearance on the show was in 1954 with a fascinating half hour on Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. In it, Bernstein explores Beethoven's notebooks to discover what changes Beethoven made to his most famous composition before he decided it was ready for prime time. It's really quite interesting to hear an orchestra play what were early drafts of the Fifth.

It's just as interesting to see this young, dark-haired Bernstein, already a star, athletically urging the orchestra on, singing (a good singing voice was one of the few musical gifts the Maestro did not possess), playing the piano and organ, conducting, even sneaking a cigarette now and then. His manner is professorial and enthusiastic, an engaging combination. He seems to genuinely want to share what he loves about music, and although he indulges in a bit of showing off now and then, it never comes off as condescending.

As someone who knows next to nothing about the study of music, I found this set educational, but not always in the way Bernstein intended. I learned a lot from the Beethoven episode, and the shows about Bach and jazz. Sometimes we end up learning more about Bernstein's preferences than anything else. In the show about opera, he contrasts operatic scenes from La Boheme with the same scenes, but done as theater, without music.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Wolfram Helfigurd on February 17, 2011
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i stumbled on this issue of programs by chance last xmas--some of us of-a-certain-age will remember watching these broadcasts (often to the pleased wonder of our parents) and will rejoice to watch them (with or without grandkids) 50 years later--AND the issue is on sale!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Goffredo Gonzales on January 30, 2011
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Whoever is interested in Leonard Bernstein as music director, or just as human being, will find this DVD set extremely enjoyable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daniel B. Forer on August 13, 2013
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I was away at school when these programs originally aired so it's an extraordinary gift to be able to see them for the first time in their entirety. I'd always heard mention of the famous Bernstein line, "three Gs and an E flat" when discussing Beethoven's Fifth. Now I can finally hear those words myself. And his discussion of the history of American Musical Theatre - astounding, brilliant! Through these wonderful discs he lives on and teaches on, forever.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James Ziessler on August 12, 2013
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I bought these for my college music appreciation class. While dated, the information and energy cannot be missed. Bernstein is one of a kind and lives on in his passion to teach and guide young people in understanding music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. Cool on August 1, 2013
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Leonard Bernstein Omnibus was a gift for my husband. He has enjoyed it immensely. It arrived on time and in good condition.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Yo on June 28, 2013
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I learned so much from watching this. Leads me to wonder, how come no one told me to watch them much earlier.
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American Musical Comedy
She sings a song from Cole Porter's "DuBarry Was a Lady", a song that was omitted from the movie version. There are also partial renditions of "Someone To Watch Over Me" and "Some Enchanted Evening", as well as tiny bits from other musicals. He talks a lot about... Read More
Mar 6, 2010 by albertatamazon |  See all 2 posts
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