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Leonard Bernstein: Reflections (2009)

Leonard Bernstein , Peter Rosen  |  NR |  DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Leonard Bernstein: Reflections + Leonard Bernstein: The Gift of Music + Leonard Bernstein: Omnibus - The Historic TV Broadcasts
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Product Details

  • Actors: Leonard Bernstein
  • Directors: Peter Rosen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: German, English, French, Mandarin Chinese
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: EUROARTS
  • DVD Release Date: October 27, 2009
  • Run Time: 70 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B002C8BQOM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #296,134 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews


A video salute to Bernstein on his 60th birthday. Mixed talk with family album stills, newsclips, TV shows,
performances . . . rich in interest. --Variety Magazine

Product Description

A rare personal portrait of Leonard Bernstein, who triumphed as composer, conductor, writer and teacher.

The spontaneous joy of his Broadway hits, the bold, spiritual quest of his orchestral works, his intensity and vitality as conductor, made Bernstein one of the central figures in twentieth century music. Released for the first time since its production 30 years ago, this film is a rare personal portrait of Leonard Bernstein, who triumphed as composer, conductor, writer and teacher. In Leonard Bernstein Reflections, he discusses his Boston childhood, his musical growth at Harvard and the Curtis Institute, and the influence of great masters like Reiner, Mitropoulos, and Koussevitzky. He shares his feelings on the primacy of tonal music, and speculates on the nature of the creative process.
Never before has there been such a personal portrait of Bernstein told through his own words. It brings a renewed appreciation of this gifted man and his far-reaching influence.
Including a complete performance of Bernstein conducting Milhaud: Le boeuf sur le toît with the Orchestre National de France.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars He thinks a lot of himself December 15, 2009
By jonsax
Verified Purchase
For the uninitiated, this is not a bad introduction to Bernstein, ego and all. The film alternates between close-up interviews with him and excepts from performances. Included also is a full performance of Milhaud's La Boeuf sur le toit -- Ballet, op. 58, conducted by Bernstein. The film is divided into sections featuring perspective on his teaching, mentors, and his impact and work abroad -- as well as thoughts on composing, tonality and American music. Due credit is given to his truly inspired Children's Concerts, which were and remain wonderfully engaging introductions to classical music.

The problem is that this is a very one-dimensional portrait. It is Bernstein on Bernstein. For whatever reason (perhaps project budget or by design, or both) the filmmaker misses many opportunities to bring perspective to (and sometimes relief from!) his subject. Bernstein had an unfortunately pompous and pedantic affectation in his manner; and this trait in him is on major display here as he describes his work and thoughts about music.

Still, the film does capture the real Bernstein and gives the viewer a taste of his sometimes great work and influence.
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