The Modern Age

twentieth century

(Classical Music Map)


I. History of Classical Music  (by John Stanley)
The great composers and their masterworks in MP3 format
Albeniz Borodin Donizetti Hindemith Prokofiev Schutz
Albinoni Brahms Dowland Janacek Puccini Scriabin
Allegri Britten Dvorak Kodaly Purcell Sibelius
Arne Bruckner Falla Leoncavallo Rachmaninov Smetana
Auber Busoni Field Liszt Rameau Strauss J.S.
Bach Byrd Gabrieli Lully Ravel Strauss R.
Barber Carissimi Gershwin Mahler Respighi Stravinsky
Bartok Charpentier Gesualdo Mendelssohn Rimsky-Korsakov Tallis
Beethoven Cherubini Glinka Meyerbeer Rossini Tchaikovsky
Bellini Chopin Gluck Monteverdi Saint-Saens Telemann
Bernstein Clementi Gounod Mozart Scarlatti Verdi
Berwald Corelli Grieg Mussorgsky Schoenberg Victoria
Berlioz Couperin Handel Pachelbel Shostakovich Villa-Lobos
Bizet Debussy Haydn Paganini Schubert Vivaldi
Boccherini Delibes Hildegard Palestrina Schumann Wagner
Orff  "Carmina Burana"
II. History of Jazz


Leonard Bernstein



Renowned as a composer, conductor, pianist, and academic. Bernstein was one of the century's greatest musical all-rounders. Born m Lawrence, Massachusetts, he learnt the piano from the age often. He studied theory at Harvard University and conducting with Fritz Reiner at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. After three summers under Serge Koussevitzky at Tanglewood, from 1940 to 1942. Bernstein became assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. His career was launched in 1943 with a sensational debut as an eleventh-hour replacement for Bruno Walter.

Bernstein was principal conductor of the New York Philharmonic from 1958 until 1969, when he was appointed conductor laureate for life. During his career he conducted the major orchestras of the world, enjoying particularly close relationships with the Israel Philharmonic, and the Vienna Philharmonic, which collaborated m his series of live releases of the 1980s, issued as part of his protest against over-engineered recordings.

Bernstein the composer developed an eclectic style that drew on anything from big-band jazz in the Prelude, fugue and riffs (1949) to 12-notc techniques in the later Symphony No. 3 (Kaddish) of 1963. His Symphony So. 1 (Jeremiah) of 1944 was named "Best New American Orchestral Work" by the New York Music Critics Circle. However, he soon made an even greater impact on the music-theatre world with his musicals. His first, On the town (1944), was based on the exploits of three sailors with a day's shore leave in New York, and ran for 463 performances.

In the 1950s he composed mainly for stage and screen, including West Side story (1957), regarded by many as the best musical ever. It was typical of Bernstein's consistent defiance of musical categories that this extrovertly popular work, with its Latin American dances, "cool jive", and melting ballads, should also include music of the highest quality and compositional skill, just as his more "serious" works frequently used "popular" idioms.

Compositional activity slackened m the 1960s as he toured the world with the New York Philharmonic, but resumed with the theatre piece Mass in 1971. Two years later he delivered the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard, published in 1976 as The Inanswered Question, which confirmed his position as an outstanding communicator and ambassador for the cause of music. He also received a number of Emmy awards for his educational broadcasts for children.

But "Lenny" the consummate popularist was also a complicated and controversial figure. He admitted homosexual promiscuity, while remaining devoted to his wife. Felicia, until her death in 1978. His candour in later life, and campaigns on behalf of those suffering from HIV and AIDS, may have been his own kind of penance for concealing his libertarian impulses and bisexuality during the McCarthy era.

Bernstein continued to conduct and compose throughout the 1980s, until his lifetime of chain-smoking eventually caught up with him. After suffering for years with emphysema and eventually lung cancer, he died from cardiac arrest following lung failure, just five days after announcing his retirement. He was mourned the world over like few others in the history of music.


Leonard Bernstein



Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)



Fountain Valley High School
Gloria Tibi

On The Town
Washington Symphonic Brass

Times Square


Pablo Picasso


















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