Sunday, January 23, 2011

Remember when, way back when...

...gang members and thugs were 'choreographed' to the music of Leonard Bernstein?

I had a five-or-so-minute conversation with the Maestro, when he was accompanied by my local Maestro, Lukas Foss, who was then conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

Maestro Bernstein was resplendent: European blazer, white silk scarf, glass of Scotch and cigarette--in the main studio of the Milwaukee Ballet Company, at S. 5th and National Avenue, where they still reside.

I was not speechless.

I told him I had known his works from a point when I was quite young...and here I was, almost forty. Thankfully, he took my conversation as a compliment.

He went on to finance and produce an 'unproducable work', as it was then known, by calling a few friends (and perhaps Oliver Smith?) in New York.

In my estimation, Leonard Bernstein, for all his shortfalls, was the 20th century equivalent to the 15th's Leonardo.

I thank you, Maestro Bernstein, for all you contributed to the United States of America--of which the Obamas have not a scintilla of an idea!

Oh, don't you wish the Obamas would just break into some sort of 'song and dance'--for REAL?