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7.1.19

On ClassicsToday: References Revisited - Bernstein’s Vienna Beethoven Cycle

References Revisited: Bernstein’s Vienna Beethoven Cycle

Review by: Jens F. Laurson
BEETHOVEN_Symphonies_Vienna-Philharmonic_Bernstein_DG_ClassicsToday_jens-f-laurson_classical-critic

Artistic Quality: ?

Sound Quality: ?

Some performances age like 80s fashion. Case in point: Leonard Bernstein’s second cycle of the Beethoven Symphonies, recorded live with the Vienna Philharmonic in the late 70s and released to great fanfare and overwhelmingly positive responses in 1980, and which I loved on first exposure. Lavishly re-issued as a CD/Blu-ray (and LP) set, it now looks like an asymmetrical sweater exposing one shoulder with the sleeves hanging down all the way to the leg-warmers: a strangely sexy kind of hideous, outlandish to the point of admirable. It’s the musical equivalent of a Cecil B. DeMille film. Epic, with showmanship left, right and center: Entertaining; exacerbating. Read full review on ClassicsToday [Insider Content] / Six audio samples below



Beethoven: Bernstein / VPO Symphony No. 1 in C-Dur, 4. Adagio - Allegro molto e vivace (excerpt)





Beethoven: Haselboeck / Wiener Akademie Symphony No. 1 in C-Dur, 4. Adagio - Allegro molto e vivace (excerpt)




Beethoven: Bernstein / VPO Symphony No. 5 in C minor ("Fate"), Op. 67: 1. Allegro con brio (excerpt)




Beethoven: Pletnev / RNO Symphony No. 5 in C minor ("Fate"), Op. 67: 1. Allegro con brio (excerpt)





Beethoven: Bernstein / VPO Symphony No. 9 in D minor ("Choral"), Op. 125: Presto - "O Freunde, Nicht Diese Töne!" - Allegro Assai (excerpt)






Beethoven: Schmidt-Isserstedt / VPO Symphony No. 9 in D minor ("Choral"), Op. 125: Presto - "O Freunde, Nicht Diese Töne!" - Allegro Assai (excerpt)


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