Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Refreshing urgency and exhilaration
Edwin R. Stafford | Logan, Utah USA | 01/30/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bernstein live in the late 1950s is very different from the Bernstein recorded live by DG in the late 1970s and 1980s. Bernstein conducts here with a refreshing urgency and exhilaration that stands in stark contrast to the broader tempos that we're used to hearing from Bernstein's commercially released recordings. The Tchaikovsky here is particularly fascinating when compared with Bernstein's studio recording from the same year (1958) on Sony. Bernstein manages to shave over 2 ½ minutes off the first movement compared to his studio rendition. Indeed, the insistent and dramatic tempos throughout this live Tchaikovsky recording remind me of George Szell's gripping account with the London Symphony on Decca (definitely worth hearing!). The Egmont Overture and La Valse, taken from Bernstein's New York Philharmonic tour of the Soviet Union in 1959, also have the same vitality and excitement to match!
The sound quality is typical of recordings of good live radio broadcasts of the era (presumably the origin of these recordings); the Beethoven is especially good, though comparatively, the Tchaikovsky suffers slightly from a boxier sound quality and the Ravel isn't given the bloom it needs. But these are minor caveats, and I mention them only to advise those seeking studio-quality sound. Clearly, a lot of care went into the digital re-mastering of these recordings (done in Milan, Italy, in 2009). Bernstein fans will relish this release!