Music: Lonely Music

The moment bright young (30) Leonard Bernstein finished reading Poet W. H. Auden's The Age of Anxiety, "a baroque eclogue" in a Third Avenue bar (TIME, July 21, 1947), he felt a "compulsion" to compose a symphony based on it. For two years, on his busy rounds of baton waving and piano playing, he scribbled away from Taos to Tel Aviv, "in planes, in hotel lobbies." Last week Lennie's Symphony No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra was ready.

As Boston's matinee audience filed into Symphony Hall for a first hearing, Lennie was worried. His...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!