Bernstein would often simply sit back and listen to the orchestra make music, giving a small cue now and then, but otherwise letting the musicians take center stage. That is exactly what happens in these beautiful, flowing performances whose outstanding quality is their utter naturalness.
Although Leonard Bernstein had a reputation as a heavy-duty interventionist in music of the late romantic period, even in his late phase he never lost his touch in the Viennese classics. When working with an orchestra well-schooled in the "tradition" (such as Vienna or, as here, the Concertgebouw) he would often simply sit back and listen to the orchestra make music, giving a small cue now and then, but otherwise letting theRead more musicians take center stage. That is exactly what happens in these beautiful, flowing performances whose outstanding quality is their utter naturalness.
In the "Unfinished" the first movement expresses all of its implicit terror and fragile lyricism but never indulges in distortions of phrasing or mannered tempos. The Andante shows the Concertgebouw winds at their most exquisite. In the Fifth Symphony the shades of Mozart (first and third movements) and Haydn (second and fourth movements) are lovingly evoked, but with an affection that always remains graceful and never turns sticky. The live sonics are very good too. There's also a Schubert Ninth from these forces that's equally fine, and we can only be grateful that Arkivmusic.com is offering this title as part of its "on demand" production agreement with Universal.
Symphony no 5 in B flat major, D 485by Franz Schubert Conductor:
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: Romantic Written: 1816; Vienna, Austria Date of Recording: 06/1987 Venue: Live Concertgebouw, Amsterdam
Symphony no 8 in B minor, D 759 "Unfinished"by Franz Schubert Conductor:
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: Romantic Written: 1822; Vienna, Austria Date of Recording: 10/1987 Venue: Live Concertgebouw, Amsterdam
Average Customer Review: ( 2 Customer Reviews )
WonderfulJune 29, 2015By Ralph Miller (Vallejo, CA)See All My Reviews"The Andante of the B flat symphony is among the loveliest things Schubert ever wrote. The more I listen to this disc, the more I love it. Most of my life I have bought the canard that Schubert only wrote two symphonies: one is unfinished and the other goes on forever. (I probably confirmed this by half-listening to public radio broadcasts of endless Schubert symphonies.) Imagine my surprise to discover this taut, lean little Haydnesque piece. And who better to conduct it than the pre-eminent Haydn conductor of the 20th century. As for the true Unfinished, Bernstein again scores a hit. I have a lugubrious version of this conducted by Sinopoli that runs three plus minutes longer than this one and is dull and unlistenable. This disc is a winner. You wont be sorry."Report Abuse
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