"'Unlike almost any other classical performer of recent times, Leonard Bernstein adamantly, and sometimes controversially, refused to compartmentalize and separate his emotional, intellectual, political, erotic and spiritual longings from the musical experience,' Jonathan Cott writes in Dinner With Lenny: The Last Long Interview with Leonard Bernstein. Mr. Cott, a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, then delivers exactly what his title promises, though dinner turns out to be an understatement. It is like referring to a chef's tasting menu as fast food."--Sam Roberts, The New York Times
"Perhaps the most memorable tale in this altogether readable book is offered by Cott. After hearing Bernstein conduct Beethoven's Ninth at Carnegie Hall with the Vienna Philharmonic in 1979, the author and a friend walked down to Studio 54, the late-night place to be in those days. Out on the packed dance floor, Cott was bumped from behind. When he turned to see who had crashed into him, it was, yes, Bernstein, 'wildly dancing--bare-chested under a black leather jacket.' No question about it, Lenny was determined to live large. And if you want to know what happened with Alma at the Hotel Pierre, you'll have to read the book."
--Jonathan Rosenberg, The Christian Science Monitor
"If Leonard Bernstein tested the limits of pressing the conductor's own personality into the score, he was, as a musician with a world conscience, Toscanini's successor. The political, free-associating liberated spirit comes through lyrically in Jonathan Cott's Dinner With Lenny: The Last Long Interview With Leonard Bernstein
." --Peter Dobrin, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Dinner with Lenny
is surprisingly captivating...there is something charming about the dialogue between the two men that makes the reader want to keep reading."
--Amanda Mark, New York Journal of Books
"Jonathan Cott has an extraordinary gift for getting interesting people, especially musicians, to energetically, informatively and entertainingly speak about their personal insights into music and many other matters, near and far. Read this book and see for yourself."
--Steve Reich, composer
"Jonathan Cott captures the ebullience; the enormous brilliance; and the life affirming joy that exuded from Leonard Bernstein. I could feel myself once again at the table with Bernstein, where topics, puns and postulates blazed!"--Marin Alsop, Music Director, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Chief Conductor, São Paolo Symphony Orchestra
About the Author
Jonathan Cott is the author of sixteen previous books, including Conversations with Glenn Gould; Stockhausen: Conversations with the Composer; Dylan (A Biography); and Back To A Shadow In The Night: Music Writings and Interviews - 1968-2001. A contributing editor at Rolling Stone since the magazine's inception, Cott has also written for The New York Times and The New Yorker. He lives in New York City.