Rudolf Serkin's 1964 recording of Beethoven's Piano Concerto in C minor is surely among the greatest recordings of the work ever made, and certainly his finest performance of the work. The energy and enthusiasm and even passion he brings to Concerto in C minor is overwhelming, and indeed, it overwhelms Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, who accompany Serkin with the sort of commitment that only a conductor and orchestra give to soloists when they are deeply inspired. But while Serkin's 1962 recording of Beethoven's Piano Concerto in E flat major is also surely among the greatest recordings of the work ever made, it is not quite Serkin's finest recording of the work.
The definitive look at the outstanding life and career of Leonard Bernstein, world-renowned composer, conductor, pianist and educator. This film and moving celebration conveys a fully rounded portrait of Bernstein's complex life–from his debut conducting performance for the New York Philharmonic in 1943 to his historic and electrifying performance at the fall of the Berlin Wall; from his Broadway experiences to his finale at Tanglewood. Filled with archival footage including concert films, home movies and clips from Broadway hits West Side Story and On the Town, the film showcases the many talents of Bernstein.
Younger collectors are most familiar with the final phase of Bernstein's conducting career - live concerts that seethed with deep personal emotion, released by Deutsche Grammophon since the mid-'seventies. Over the previous quarter-century, though, he had cut hundreds of works for Columbia, mostly as the permanent conductor of the New York Philharmonic. These are perhaps the most vital part of Bernstein's artistic legacy, as they preserve a fine balance between youthful exploration and mature understanding.
It was his middle years as conductor of the New York Philharmonic that are remembered as his most exciting of all.(Peter Gutmann)
This 1963 Symphonie fantastique is actually the same as Bernstein's Royal Edition performance (though in significantly finer sound), which claims to be his marginally tamer 1968 remake. In fact, this is the most drugged-out performance of the work that you will ever hear, and it's accompanied by a delightful spoken essay (essentially word for word the same as appears in the "Young People's Concerts") that explores the highlights of the composer's opium-induced vision. It's easy to see why Bernstein, in a more reflective moment, might have found some of this performance's rougher edges a bit alarming (Just listen to those tubas in the finale. Incredible!). On the other hand, in these days of authentic instruments, a little edge to the sound isn't considered such a bad thing, and all of the squeaks, grunts, and thuds that Bernstein elicits from his players have ample justification in Berlioz's revolutionary score. This truly is a great performance, one that goes straight to the top of the list alongside Charles Munch's classic Boston version (RCA).
The Second Volume of Leonard Bernsteins complete recorded legacy on Deutsche Grammophon: an original jackets collection in an LP-size box with deluxe book, taking in some of his most famous and celebrated recordings. The set comprises Bernsteins complete recordings of composers from Mahler (19 CDs) to Wagner. Includes all of Bernsteins recordings of Mendelssohn, Mozart, Puccini, Schubert, Schumann, Shostakovich, Sibelius, Strauss, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky.
Leonard Bernstein bestrode the musical scene in the second half of the 20th century like few others. For the last decade of his life he recorded exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon, having also made several recordings for the label in the 1970s, starting with his celebrated Carmen in 1973.
VOLUME ONE comprises Bernstein's complete recordings of composers from Beethoven to Liszt, and includes all of Bernstein's recordings of his own works, those of Brahms and Haydn, and individual CDs of Bruckner, Debussy, Dvorak, Elgar, Franck, Hindemith and many American composers.
“A performance simply crackling with excitement from the Wiener Staatsoper in 1978, conducted by Leonard Bernstein and featuring sublime performances from Gundula Janowitz as Leonore, René Kollo as Florestan, and Lucia Popp as Marzelline. The celebrated quartet, Mir ist so wunderbar, is nothing short of exquisite.” (James Longstaffe, Presto Classical)