Leonard Bernstein's relationships with the orchestras he conducted were
always intense. At their best, he felt that they were somewhere between a
love affair and a family in which he played the role of the father. In more
than 40 years on the podium, he enjoyed this special kind of relationship
with a number of orchestras in the Old World and the New. "The Love of
Three Orchestras" is an account of that experience, but concentrates on the
three great orchestral families closest to his heart: the New York
Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic, and the Vienna Philharmonic
Bernstein begins by looking back to that moment in 1943 when he made his
triumphant debut with the New York Philharmonic at age 25. Among the
landmarks he recalls are the Young People's Concerts and his twelve years
as musical director. Bernstein's association with the Israel Philharmonic
Orchestra began in 1947. His reminiscences include stories of performances
during the early battle-torn days of the foundation of the State of Israel.
Bernstein's relationship with the Vienna Philharmonic began in 1966.
He tells how the relationship got off to a disastrous start and recounts
some of the difficulties he found in playing the music of Gustav Mahler
with them. The music sequences and examples which illustrate Bernstein's
reminiscences are taken from Unitel films and videotapes directed
by Humphrey Burton.