Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

As many of you are no doubt aware, this weekend marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein.

In tribute, the local classickal station devoted a great deal of air time to Lennie’s, airing massive quantities of both his own compositions and recordings of his conducting of other composers’ works.


Ol’ Robbo is a great fan of classickal musick, but I have to admit I have absolutely no use whatever for Ol’ Lennie.

On a personal level, he was the very model of a Limousine Leftist, a particular type for whom I have nothing but contempt.

On a professional one, he was pretty typical of the mid-20th Century Wagnerian School, the sort of fellah who believed everyone should get the same heavy-handed Romantic treatment (and also that the artiste – that is, the composer and performer – are somehow more important to the “experience” than the art itself).**  Ol’ Robbo has been an acolyte of the historically informed performance movement since he came across it in the mid-80’s and has listened to very little else.  To spend the past couple days listening to Lennie butchering Bach, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven has been, well, grueling.

Oh, and his own compositions? “Pretentious? Moi?” ***

Anyhoo, I refuse to participate in the adulation.

And on that front (sorry for the choppy YouTube – it was the best compilation I could find):


** This is why I am deeply suspicious of Romanticism, even more skeptical of post-Romanticism, and absolutely cynical about Abstractionism in all its manifestations.  You want to wank off and call it art? Fine, but get a room and leave me out of it.

*** Spot the quote.