Like so many, the first person who gave me an insight into the world of classical music was Leonard Bernstein. In the 1980’s Bernstein performed and recorded all of the orchestral pieces of Johannes Brahms with the Vienna Philharmonic. He also taped short introductions that, while only lasting a couple of minutes, were as important to me as the performances that followed. It was Bernstein’s allocution, delivery and message that allowed the music to begin being imprinted on my brain likes laws unto a stone tablet.
Here are these performances with their indispensible introductions.