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Carl St.Clair leads Pacific Symphony in Leonard Bernstein ode
Carl St.Clair leads Pacific Symphony in Leonard Bernstein ode

On a gloomy damp and cold Sunday afternoon in August 1990, Leonard Bernstein conducted his last concert. Suffering from the late stages of emphysema, he gasped for air while leading an incomparably urgent performance of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony at Tanglewood, the Boston Symphony's outdoor summer home in the Berkshires. Bernstein did not, though, have the strength to conduct the premiere of his newly orchestrated final work, "Arias and Barcarolles," so he turned that over to the Boston Symphony's 38-year-old assistant conductor, Carl St.Clair. A song cycle for two singers, it contains Bernstein's last thoughts. But if the concert proved a deeply affecting...

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