Anniversary Edition for his 100th Birthday
… That which comes closest to love
“Leonard Bernstein was certainly not surrounded by an aura of aloofness. He enjoyed his immense popularity, although he never consciously attempted to be “everybody’s darling” and to be hailed as “Lenny” by everyone on the street.
His parents had officially named him Louis, but tended to call him Leonard. Serge Koussevitzky, his teacher and elder friend – with whom he not only shared an outstanding musical talent but also an East European Jewish family background – called him “Lenyusha”.
Bernstein himself preferred “Lenny” and thought up a pseudonym under which he wrote popular music during his youth to stay afloat: “Lenny Amber”, since “amber” is the English translation of the German word “Bernstein”. He founded a publishing house to bring out his own works and called it “Amberson Enterprises”.
Games with codes, cyphers, codenames and identities run through Bernstein’s entire output: references to himself, to people in his private circle, or to works by other composers from all periods and almost all genres from Baroque to jazz…...” (Excerpt from the Booklet Notes by Johannes Jansen)