All conductors have highly personal characteristics, but has there ever been one as theatrical, as showy, as hammy as Leonard Bernstein was? Or as exciting, as persuasive, as dedicated? There’s the Lenny problem: Is he for real or is he an act? Do we love him or do we want to kick him in the ass? Is his heart only on his sleeve, or is there another one inside him? And do those of us who grew up with him in all his avatars respond to him the same way as those coming to him for the first time, with no history and perhaps no expectations?
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Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off February 20, 2014