Good lord, so many wonderful observations in there. Clearly I’m going to have to get my hands on the Bernstein “Young People’s Concert” series, about which I’ve heard a little bit before, just for my own kids’ sake.
And this is a great illustration of how solidly Neely seems to have found his niche, too. He seems to have started primarily as a “bass guy”, but has grown his work gradually into the advance-vanguard observationist role that nobody else does quite the same–nor as well. Others of course have their moments of great observation, but Neely has grown essentially to live in that space, and at this point I understand implicitly that this is why I go to him in the first place. “New Horizons In Music”, indeed!
And what’s further interesting is that I realized , with this video, that this sort of content is what modern, Internet-age television can be. I mean duh, that sort of seems obvious in hindsight, but still, a fair epiphany for someone who has seen a world go from “thirteen channels of shit on the TV to choose from (choose from…choose from…)”–to “fifty-seven channels and nothin’ on”–to the truly geometric explosion of the open Internet, in a remarkably short time. I think this makes it both all the more notable, and all the more inevitable: in a way, as the signal-to-noise ratio goes down further and further over time, the dreckening seems actually to leave more room for this sort of excellence; the trick of course is often simply finding it. (And that obtuse notion really warms this nonarchist peacenik’s heart. 🙂 )
One other point of seeing happened as well, watching this: I think I would now feel comfortable making the case that Adam Neely is now a fully formed heir apparent to Leonard Bernstein. Somehow, just watching each one, in the same video, the idea just jumped off the screen at me, and the more I think about it the more convinced I am. Not only are their presentation styles remarkably similar (adjusted slightly of course for their respective moments in historical time), but they both radiate the wonderfully childlike (and humble) instructor-joy that the best instructors in any discipline do. The irony there of course is that trying to describe and deconstruct that comparison–beyond simply observing, “just watch–you can see it if you look”–would require the same sort of skill that Neely himself has in that regard.
And I’ll not even attempt that. 🙂