Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990): 4/5. Bad Times. Donald Macleod examines a turbulent period in Bernstein's life, when his seemingly idyllic existence was threatened.
Bernstein's seemingly perfect life as a loving husband and father, an exceptional musical talent and an electric personality are in jeopardy in this fourth programme. Donald Macleod maps a category of bad events in Bernstein's life. He blamed his wife Felicia for his Broadway flop 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue; she'd apparently encouraged him to work with its librettist. But Bernstein's affair with his assistant Thomas Cothran, for whom he momentarily left his wife, was a harsher blow. Bernstein's relationship with Cothran resulted in their collaboration on 'Songfest - A Cycle of American Poems', played here in its entirety.