The American pianist Lara Downes is well known for her interesting portraits of composers. Her latest album “For Lenny” celebrates Leonard Bernstein in his centennial year. Like most of Downes’s other albums, “For Lenny” features a number of piano miniatures that revolve around a central theme. The theme of this album is, of course, Leonard Bernstein.
The album includes several Anniversaries, short character pieces that Leonard Bernstein composed for his friends and family. Downes also commissioned new Anniversaries for Bernstein from a variety of composers. Downes also includes arrangements of several of Bernstein's songs.
Lara Downes recently spoke with Classical IPR's Amanda Sewell about the new album. Listen to the entire conversation and some excerpts from the album below.
Music heard in this interview
Leonard Bernstein, "Anniversary for Stephen Sondheim"
John Corigliano, "Anniversary for Lenny"
Leonard Bernstein, "Something's Coming" (performed with Kevin "K. O." Olusola)