Chapter

American Biedermeier

Barry Seldes

in Leonard Bernstein

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780520257641
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943070 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520257641.003.0004
American Biedermeier

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This chapter examines the dark period in Bernstein's career. It first tries to determine the real reason/s behind Bernstein's decision to take a hiatus from conducting (one of which may be his blacklisting by the CBS and the State Department). It looks at the marginalization and isolation of the American Progressives from the mainstream of American liberalism. The next section examines the repression of several works during the 1950s, before it shifts to an account of Bernstein's experience of confessing to political sin and signing an affidavit that stated that he was not a communist and had never followed the communist line. From there, it follows Bernstein's rise back to the New York Philharmonic and identifies the ways used to recreate him as a mythic culture hero.

Keywords: blacklisting; marginalization; isolation; American Progressives; American liberalism; repression; communist; New York Philharmonic

Chapter.  12291 words. 

Subjects: American Music

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