Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Mahler, Leonard Bernstein, Berliner Philharmoniker|
Mahler: Symphony No.9
REISSUED SPECIALLY IN THE RUN-UP TO MAHLER YEAR 2010, THIS LEGENDARY, NOT TO SAY CULT RECORDING - OF THE SINGLE OCCASION WHEN LEONARD BERNSTEIN CONDUCTED (OR WAS PERMITTED TO CONDUCT) HERBERT VON KARAJAN'S BERLIN PHILHARMO... more »
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REISSUED SPECIALLY IN THE RUN-UP TO MAHLER YEAR 2010, THIS LEGENDARY, NOT TO SAY CULT RECORDING - OF THE SINGLE OCCASION WHEN LEONARD BERNSTEIN CONDUCTED (OR WAS PERMITTED TO CONDUCT) HERBERT VON KARAJAN'S BERLIN PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA - IS NOW AVAILABLE ON ONLY 1 CD AT MID-PRICE INSTEAD OF 2 CDS AT HIGH PRICE, IN WHICH CATEGORY IT HAS BEEN A STEADY SELLER FOR ALMOST 20 YEARS.
Sensational live Bernstein Mahler 9 from Berlin
Ivor E. Zetler | Sydney Australia | 01/25/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This disc was previously a 2CD set issued at full price; it now reappears on a single mid priced release. While before it was overpriced, this sensational performance is a bargain not to be missed. This was Bernstein's single association with the Berlin Philharmonic and it is fascinating to compare the results with Karajan's interpretation of the same work. It is written that Bernstein challenged this orchestra to play in a radically different style to their long standing training under Karajan.
Bernstein's 1979 version has a palpably live feeling to it and the listener has the impression that this was a special occasion. It has a tremendous energy and earthiness, particularly in the middle 2 movements. The third movement in particular is taken at a tremendous lick. One can imagine him cajoling the orchestra into letting themselves let rip in the wilder passages of the music. Karajan's rendition, in a live concert given a few years later, is also a superb and moving performance but is much more controlled and less extrovert. The serious Mahler enthusiast should possess both. It is worth noting that the Bernstein version has clear open and well defined sound while Karajan is lumbered with dry sonics and a poor bass response.
Mahler's Ninth is not lacking worthwhile performances; Walter/Vienna, Klemperer and Bernstein NYPO are some of the finest. Given the competitive pricing of the Bernstein reissue I feel it belongs at the top of the list."
This is a DG Original?!?!?
David Scott Phipps | Dallas-Fort Worth, TX USA | 02/10/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
"OK, I understand the historic importance of this being Bernstein's only appearance ever during his life with the Berlin Philharmonic (presumably owing to Karajan's jealousy), but I cannot believe this recording qualifies to be issued in the (mostly) excellent "Originals" series.
There are numerous technical goofs during this recording, but I only need mention one that would still kill this recording in my book, even if the rest of the recording was flawless: In the fourth movement, at the climax of the entire symphony, the trombones are playing a previous theme from earlier in the symphony, fortissimo (maximum volume), which is supposed to be a counterpoint to what the rest of the orchestra is doing. But guess what? For some inexplicable reason, the Berlin trombones simply don't play on this recording! It is THE worst error I have ever heard on a recording of a professional orchestra in my entire life, and I've heard some doozies, but this one trumps them all. It's doubly shocking coming from the mighty Berliner Philharmoniker.
Considering that Karajan recorded this same symphony not once, but twice, shortly after Bernstein left town, and both of those recordings are generally considered to be among the finest ever made of this piece, it makes no sense whatsoever for DG to choose this one for the "Originals" series.
If you want the Berlin Philharmonic doing Mahler 9, get either of the Karajan versions. (The DDD version from the 1982 Berlin Festival Gustav Mahler: Symphonie No. 9 is my favorite.) If you want Bernstein doing Mahler 9, get either his older, analogue version with the New York Philharmonic Mahler: Symphony No. 9 (considered by many to be his best Mahler 9), or his DDD version with Amsterdam's Concertgeboux Orchestra. Mahler: Symphony No.9 Forget this one unless you just have to have the historic moment of Bernstein conducting Berlin documented in your collection."