The One and Only...Lenny

You could say that Leonard Bernstein was largely responsible for my first all time musical love affair, and that with the music of Maurice Ravel.   My parents bought me a cassette of Ravel's Bolero (after much nagging) together with a brand new Walkman for my 13 birthday and my heart was set.

I've always enjoyed Lenny's highly individual way of looking at music, be it of his own making or his interpretations of others. His operatic recordings of Carmen, Tristan und Isolde and Der Rosenkavalier have long been in my collection and his recording of Holst's The Planets is my favourite in the back catalogue.  

But it will always be Bernstein's Bolero for me, be it the one he recorded with the Orchestre Nationale de France (my first one) or the earlier and somewhat more savage sounding venture with the New York Philharmonic from 1958.  

The latter is in glorious early stereo which adds to the atmosphere and you can hear a vinyl recording of it courtesy of the Spotify link below, giving all of the atmosphere of the original.

I have the original pressing in my collection complete with cover art, I found it in a thrift shop a number of years ago for a dollar.  Best buck I ever spent.

Happy birthday my dearest Lenny and thank you for everything.

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