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Notes and Editorial Reviews
A year after this recording was made, the principal violist of the Philharmonic – a distinguished, silver-haired gentleman from Burgenland named Streng – confided to a music critic that “When we play Beethoven with Lenny we do it Lenny’s way, but when we play Beethoven with Böhm, we do it Beethoven’s way.” Perhaps, but then Viennese string players have been saying that about every conductor since Otto Nicolai.
In any case, the VPO strings give their all in this performance; their playing, and that of their colleagues in the wind and brass, is pure guts and glory. Bernstein’s affinity for the music is beyond challenge, and the vivid recording brings it all home.
– Ted Libbey, author of
The NPR Guide to
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Works on This Recording
Fidelio, Op. 72: Overture in E major by Ludwig van Beethoven
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1814; Vienna, Austria
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Bernstein hits the heights of Beethoven's Eroica March 5, 2015
By R. Luciano (Green Bay, WI) See All My Reviews
"In my over forty years of listening to Beethoven's Eroica, starting with an LP by Wilhelm Furtwangler, my heart was grabbed by the second and fourth movements -- the one, plumbing the depths and the other scaling the heights. Leonard Bernstein, in this recording with the Vienna Phil, brings us into the depths of the Funeral March -- and so sets us up for a finale that certainly scales the heights!!! This CD is not for those who want thin ("period instruments") sound -- after all, Beethoven's musical language in the Eroica is lush, romantic, and passionate -- or for those who think that classical music is a race to see who can get done the quickest: it is for those who appreciate the deep expression that Beethoven envisioned by lush sound and spacious tempi, allowing Beethoven's musical language it's full "space" instead of "clipping" the sound into small, rapid-fire bursts of sound. I recommend this CD of the Eroica in the same category of my other favorite recordings of this work: those done by Barenboim, Giulini, and Furtwangler."