“Maestro” premiered on Netflix. I couldn’t wait to see it. It’s Bradley Cooper’s take on the life of composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein. It’s magnificent.

Somehow, some way, Cooper becomes Leonard Bernstein. It’s incredible. The face. (Yes, the much talked about prosthetic nose.) The voice. The movements. The attitude. All of it.

While in college, I was conducted by Leonard Bernstein. Sang his “Chichester Psalms.” Being conducted by Bernstein was like nothing I had ever experienced before and nothing since. Ecstatic. I lived, I died, right there.

When he walked into the rehearsal hall, the air left the room. Leonard Bernstein was the focus. I’ve been around celebrities many times. Nothing like that has ever happened to me since. Maybe once. Bill Clinton.

Leonard Bernstein was a complicated man. In “Maestro,” his bisexuality is clearly on display. Blatant. Carrie Mulligan plays his wife, Felicia. She’s amazing. Long suffering. Some say, it killed her.

Leonard Bernstein was a true American genius. For just a minute, I experienced that in person. Bradley Cooper captured it in “Maestro.” I got to remember the thrill of it all over again.

In a way, Leonard Bernstein was all over my youth. His “Young People’s Concerts” where he taught America about music. “West Side Story.” “On The Town.” “Candide.” “Chichester Psalms.” All of it made me appreciate music more.

For a minute, in college, I majored in music. Voice. I quickly realized singing was not my gift. Speaking was. To this day though, I love an opera, a symphony, a musical and a great choir. I dream of doing it again. Leonard Bernstein gave me that.

Watching Bradley Cooper conduct Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony as Bernstein is riveting. Cooper says he worked years to get this right. He did it. The music engulfs him. Just like it did Leonard Bernstein when he conducted it. Look it up. It’s on YouTube. Almost identical.

Leonard Bernstein loved New York City. In “On the Town” he and Betty Comden and Adolph Green wrote: “New York, New York, it’s a helluva town.

“Maestro” is a helluva movie. I’ve been waiting for this one. It didn’t disappoint.

4 thoughts on ““Maestro.” It’s a helluva movie.”
  1. Its like you read my mind You appear to know so much about this like you wrote the book in it or something I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit but other than that this is fantastic blog A great read Ill certainly be back

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