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Liszt: A Faust Symphony / Bernstein, Riegel

Liszt / Riegel / Tfc / Bso / Berstein
Release Date: 11/21/2006 
Label:  Euroarts   Catalog #: 2072078  
Composer:  Franz Liszt
Performer:  Kenneth Riegel
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony OrchestraTanglewood Festival Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

LISZT A Faust Symphony Leonard Bernstein, cond; Boston SO, Tanglewood Festival O; Kenneth Riegel (ten) EUROARTS 2072078 (DVD: 80:59) Live: Boston 7/26/1976

Since its first appearance on DG nearly 30 years ago, Bernstein’s 1976 Boston Faust Symphony (21:2)—slower and less athletic than his earlier New York Phil recording—has remained the touchstone for those wanting to experience the work at maximum intensity. Now we get a slight complication: a Euroarts Read more DVD documenting a live concert given around the same time that the familiar studio account was recorded. Although it was a summer performance, it was not taped at Tanglewood (where Bernstein performed the work on July 24), but rather at a Symphony Hall repeat two days later—the same venue used for the DG sessions.

Interpretively, there’s no significant difference between the two Boston recordings; indeed, the “studio” version may well include material taken from the concert. So choosing one over the other depends on how important it is to watch while you listen. Personally, I’d go for the CD, which is vastly less expensive. But those who opt for the DVD alternative will be well served too, with a solid, if fairly conventional, concert video interleaving shots of Bernstein (neither as hyperkinetic as he was in his prime nor as self-absorbed as he could be in his later years) with shots of his players in a way that generally makes musical sense and only rarely seems obtrusive in its close-ups. As for sound: Euroarts’ PCM stereo is comparable to that on the CD; the 5.1 remixes (Dolby Digital and DTS) are more atmospheric but less focused and sometimes oddly balanced. In either format, it’s a classic.

FANFARE: Peter J. Rabinowitz
Picture format: NTSC 4:3 fullscreen
Sound format: PCM Stereo / Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Region code: 0 (all)
Booklet notes: English, German, French
Subtitles: English, German, French
Running time: 83 mins
No. of DVDs: 1

( Also available on CD.)
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Works on This Recording

Faust Symphony, S 108 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Kenneth Riegel (Tenor)
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Tanglewood Festival Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1854-1857; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 7/1976 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Boston 

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