What Does Music Mean?

Awarded four Emmys and hailed by Variety as "a rare moment in the symbiosis
of the arts and broadcasting," Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts
left their mark on television history. Aired on CBS from 1958 to 1972,
these 53 one-hour programs were written and hosted by Leonard Bernstein.
With the New York Philharmonic and guest artists providing the live music,
these programs brought musical concepts and music history to life for
generations of viewers. "Lectures accompanying music might not sound like
the formula of a hit kids' TV program, but Bernstein was the secret
ingredient who made it work" (Variety). Balancing scholarship and
showmanship, Maestro Bernstein brings the full range of his magnetic
personality to play in these programs. And he succeeds in infecting viewers
young and old, connoisseurs and the uninitiated, with his overwhelming love
of music.
At the start of the first Young People's Concert, Leonard Bernstein told
the TV audience: "No matter what stories people tell you about what music
means, forget them. Stories are not what music means. Music is never about
things. Music just is. It's a lot of beautiful notes and sounds put
together so well that we get pleasure out of hearing them. So when we ask:
'What does it mean, what does this piece of music mean?' we're asking a
hard question. Let's do our best to answer it." During the course of the
first program, the New York Philharmonic performs portions of Rossini's
"William Tell" overture, Beethoven's Sixth Symphony and Ravel's "La Valse."

Title: What Does Music Mean?
Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra: New York Philharmonic
Video Director: Charles S. Dubin
Genre: Special
Length: 59 minutes
Cat.No.: A035051240001