Just misses the top rank--too relaxed and lingering
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 10/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have written reviews of two Karajan recordings, one live, one in the studio, that surpass this excelent Bernstein recording by having better solists and crisper conducting. Here Bernstein is in his late mode, fairly relaxed throughout but never slack. The singing of both chorus and soloists is considerably more emotional and warmer than on either of Karajan's readings. That may be a telling point for some listeners.
Chiefly I kept off the fifth star because of Bernstein's dynamic and joyous NY Philharmonic performance on Sony, which dates back to 1966. It uses only three soloists for all the parts, which is unusual. More importaantly, it is exciting to a degree not heard in this later set, which is basically a saunter through Genesis."
Terrific live recording of superb music
Gontroppo | Bathurst, NSW Australia | 05/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I used to have a low-fi gramophone record of this work in English. Despite the poor sound, the music still came through. But Bernstein's live performance with the Bavarian Radio Chorus and Symphony Orchestra is wonderfully recorded and performed.Lucia Popp sounds beautiful (as she did the night I turned pages for her husband accompanist when she sang in Newcastle, Australia in the late 1960s), and you can't beat Kurt Moll's wonderfully resonant and deep bass.The booklet is informative and helps us non-German speakers to follow the story.Highly recommended."