Friday, July 13, 2012

Leonard Bernstein in Jerusalem Three Weeks After Reunification


I've come out my blogging hiatus to share something wonderful for Shabbat. Last weekend I was surfing music documentaries on Netflix and happened by The Journey to Jerusalem, the Maysles Brothers' film about Leonard Bernstein's tour of Israel and celebration concert on Mt. Scopus upon the reunification of Jerusalem after the Six Day War. The film is rough and ready and thrilling. Try to see it. You can also read a contemporary review in the New York Times and a synopsis on the Bernstein website.

The film breathes life into what may be, for some of us, abstract notions of those heady yet solemn days after the war. This YouTube intro may move you. So should seeing Bernstein conducting Isaac Stern and the Israel (formerly Palestine) Philharmonic while Ben-Gurion watches from the steps of the newly liberated Mt. Scopus amphitheatre.

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