Bernstein is bernstein
palJacky | california | 08/10/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It seems that bernstein is finally getting recorded by other conductors, (slatkin, Alsop) Nonetheless, if you want to hear his music this is the way to go.
The sound is coarser than his later DG recordings, but the performances are much more vital.
'fancy free' has much more swagger and 'facsimile' sounds like a minor masterpiece in these recordings.
There are two versions of his greatest work 'serenade' for violin and orchestra. A later stereo with Francisette and an uber romantic one with Isaac stern in mono. The stern recording has never been surpassed. The piece seems to lost ground when it is done too analytically, like Kremer on DG.
'Trouble in tahiti' is a fun little cross between Menotti and broadway and is much better in its original short form here than the inflated 'a quiet place' as recorded for DG. Oddly(or not) ' a quiet place' didn't make it to DG's 'bernstein conducts bernstein'
The biggest problem I have is with some of the music. 'Mass' is a complete Mess, as is the narration of symphony #3. The DG version of this symphony has a shortened text, but the music making is so much better on this set, cringing a little less doesn't make up for it. Neither versions can take repeated listening.
'on the town' is the only full length musical. Bernstein didn't conduct the originals of 'west side story' or 'candide' However, those were his two most successful recordings on DG and those should be picked up even with the bizarre casting of Tony and Maria on WSS."
Loves The Truth | New York,USA | 04/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We went to the Philarmonic for a tribute to Leonard Bernstein. This compilation was listed in the program. Bought it at Amazon for about 50% less than list. This set is soooooo great. It includes all of Bernstein"s greatest works on cd and each one is in a miniature of the origianl LP album. (We own most if not all of the origianl albums and to see them in mini cd form is just great). This is a great bang for the buck and a must for ANYONE who is interested in music of the 20th century! Makes us consider retiring our stereo/lp..."