The following are quotes by Leonard Bernstein regarding love and communication…

“I wish there were a better word for communication; I mean by it the tenderness we feel when we recognize and share with another human being a deep, unnameable, elusive emotional shape or shade. That is really what a composer is saying in his music: has this ever happened to you? Haven’t you experienced this same tone, insight, shock, anxiety, release? And when you react to (“like”) a piece of music, you are simply replying to the composer, yes.”  (The Infinite Variety of Music, pg 11)

Communication is, I guess, the most written-about, the most discussed word of the twentieth century… everybody wants to get close to somebody else. Erich Fromm keeps writing books about how incapable we are of love, and how love is the only way we can obtain any warmth of communication in the world; and I suppose this is the truth. The only thing is that love isn’t the only way. Art is also a way. Communication via art. So I suppose you could say that when you listen to a warm phrase of Mozart coming at you, something akin to love is reaching you. Could one go along with a paraphrase of Mary Baker Eddy and say, “Art is love?”  (The Infinite Variety of Music, pg 273)

“When one hundred men share his feelings, exactly, simultaneously, responding as one to each rise and fall of the music, to each point of arrival and departure, to each little inner pulse – then there is a human identity of feeling that has no equal elsewhere. It is the closest thing I know to love itself. On this current of love the conductor can communicate at the deepest level with his players, and ultimately with his audience.” (The Joy of Music pg. 162)

“I believe in man’s unconscious, the deep spring from which comes his power to communicate and to love. For me, all art is a combination of these powers; art is nothing to me if it does not make contact between the creator and the perceiver on an unconscious level. Let us say that love is the way we have of communicating personally in the deepest way. What art can do is extend this communication, magnify it, and carry it to vastly greater numbers of people.” (Findings pg. 138)

A Poem for Yom Kippur (translated from Hebrew)

From left and right I hear the words
“We have sinned” (ashamnu)
We have dealt treacherously (bagadnu)
We have slandered (dibarnu dofi).”
But in my heart I hear another song.
I believe in the truth of art.
In energy, in emotion, in vitality.
This day I believe in the person who comes
And will water the barren places,
But first and foremost, I believe in love,

And lest I be impatient,
I live as in a dream –
Waiting for a day of love
Of understanding, this day.

(Working with Bernstein pg. 117)