July 27, 2019


Program Notes

  • Tonight’s program, jointly created by Marin Alsop (Bernstein’s final protégé) and Jamie Bernstein (his eldest child and author of the bestselling memoir Famous Father Girl), depicts the many facets of Leonard Bernstein’s cultural reach both in the United States and internationally through musical moments from the span of his career, personal stories, and film clips.
  • Leonard Bernstein’s reverence for literature both classic and contemporary is evidenced throughout tonight’s program. (His longtime friend and fellow multihyphenate Lukas Foss once called him “the most well-read composer I have ever met.”) Borrowed philosophies on love and care for the human condition are found in each of Candide (Voltaire), the Serenade (Plato), the symphonies Jeremiah (scripture) and Age of Anxiety (Auden), and, of course, West Side Story(Shakespeare).
  • Candide, in addition to featuring one of the best instrumental overtures in all music, is a comedic romp through the philosophy of Voltaire, from the naively idealistic “Best of All Possible Worlds” to the realization that humans must support themselves and “Make Our Garden Grow.”

Ravinia Festival


All-Bernstein Program

Overture to Candide
Times Square: 1944 from On the Town
“A Simple Song” from Mass
Meditation No. 3 from Three Meditations from ‘Mass’
Lamentation from Symphony No. 1 (Jeremiah)
“The Best of All Possible Worlds” from Candide
The Masque and Epilogue from Symphony No. 2 (Age of Anxiety)
Socrates: Alcibiades from Serenade (after Plato’s ‘Symposium’)
Danzon and Galop from Fancy Free
“100 Easy Ways to Lose a Man” from Wonderful Town
Selections from West Side Story
Something’s Coming
Tonight (Balcony Scene)
A Boy Like That / I Have a Love
“So Pretty”
“Make Our Garden Grow” from Candide


Marin Alsop, conductor
Jamie Bernstein, host

Isabel Leonard, soprano
Michelle DeYoung, mezzo-soprano
Nils Nilsen, tenor
Ed Parks, baritone
Paulo Szot, baritone
Charles Yang violin
Ifetayo Ali-Landing, cello
Harmony Zhu, piano
Windy City Performing Arts

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