Notes & Reviews:
Lovingly restored, using the finest state-of-the-art technology, classic archive features legendary artist, Leonard Bernstein, offering a unique historical glimpse into our classical heritage. Bernstein's innate musicality and commanding presence is complemented by his unbounded energy, embracing the majestic properties of this great work. As a bonus, this DVD offers an enthralling glimpse of Bernstein in rehearsal with the orchestra.
This is a record of December 1966 in London. Although Bernstein already had a clear command of the language of the composer, at this time was still far from achieving the very high registration results in Tokyo in 1979, leading the New York Philharmonic (Sony). Despite the interest of these images is very large, it shows how the director was maturing the composition, standing as a link between his almost juvenile record and cited the 1955 decision of Tokyo. As always he played Shostakovich, gave priority to the purely musical element of anyone outside that both have abounded some other directors. His death prevented a new recording of the work he had planned with officials from DG. Surely, with the particular state of grace that was then addressed by this and other codes, the new version would lead to another twist in his way of conveying the work.
The finale is suitably volcanic, the rage and spit of this music superbly rendered. In the tuttis the LSO play with controlled frenzy, the timps and brass as lacerating as you'll ever hear. But it's those rare moments of repose that really stand out, Bernstein building the climaxes in a way that's entirely his own. Remarkably, the recording shows no hint of stress or strain, the cymbals and bass drum powerfully present. As for that pounding peroration, it burns with the whitest, hottest heat, the audience - commendably quiet for December - roaring their approval at the close.
This live recording is very close in spirit and execution to Bernstein's famous 1959 Shostakovich 5th with the New York Philharmonic, a performance that has been, at least for me and many others from older generations, a benchmark recording in this sometimes problematic symphony.
Run Time: 54 min.
Picture Format: NTSC, 4:3, B&W
Sound Format(s): LPCM Mono,
Subtitles: English, German, French
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Works DetailsShostakovich, Dmitri : Symphony no 5 in D minor, Op. 47
- Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
- Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra
- Period Time: Modern
- Form: Orchestral
- Written: 1937