I am late, late, late to the amazing story of Venezuela's El Sistema, the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra and Gustavo Dudamel, but if you're interested in an amazing rush of inspiring musical energy they are well worth checking out if you haven't [thanks as ever to CMT for the headsup]. There is something about seeing the life energy of all these young people poured into the orchestra, as a group, that (I don't really know how to say this) makes sense--musically and in every other way--on the biggest possible scale. They do each other justice, it all feeds each other.
Anyhow, it's amazing music. The clips from the 2007 BBC Proms concert (released on the Fiesta album) are incredibly exciting: the Danzon No. 2 by Arturo Marquez, Shostakovich 10th Symphony (the clips are in a bizillion parts), the Ginastera Dances from Estancia. The encore of the Bernstein mambo (classical music is so fun like that--you actually get to Play Two) is like a rock concert--I'm gonna guess it's been said many times before but it's really easy to picture Lenny with his hands clasped and tears in his eyes hearing it. Amazing thing to listen to to get yourself pumped up for a job interview. Or mainline a thrill from a roaring standing ovation. Or watch an orchestra do The Wave.