No one touches Bernstein, whether for excitement in the brief, heroic first movement, or in the elegiac intensity of the second-movement funeral march. If you don't know this symphony, this is the version to get.
Among his many musical occupations, Leonard Bernstein was a lifelong champion of Hindemith, a composer who sorely could use another one. In Bernstein's hands the Symphony in E-flat becomes one of the 20th century masterpieces in the form. There never was much competition--a foursquare, flatulent approximation from Boult and the LPO, a couple of equally stiff and characterless German performances, and more recently a very good version from Tortelier and Chandos. Still, no one touches Bernstein, whether forRead more excitement in the brief, heroic first movement, or in the elegiac intensity of the second-movement funeral march. If you don't know this symphony, this is the version to get.
Competition in the Symphonic Metamorphosis is a bit tougher (Szell, also on Sony, is magnificent), but this is still about as good as it gets. That's certainly true of the Concert Music, another classic version seriously challenged only by Steinberg/Boston (DG). Bernstein's later version (also for DG) is still very good, but not as spontaneous and wild as this impulsive romp through another piece that can sound unfortunately blatty and unwieldy in less supple hands. The jazzy music in the second movement really swings in this performance. Originally released on Sony's unfortunately themed "Royal Edition", complete with one of Prince Charles' nondescript watercolors on the cover, this essential recording is now available, cover art and all, on demand from Arkivmusic.com.
Symphony in E flat majorby Paul Hindemith Conductor:
New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century Written: 1940; USA Date of Recording: 03/07/1967 Venue: Avery Fisher Hall, New York City Length: 32 Minutes 12 Secs.
Konzertmusik for Brass and Strings, Op. 50by Paul Hindemith Conductor:
New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century Written: 1930; Germany Date of Recording: 03/13/1961 Venue: Manhattan Center, New York City Length: 17 Minutes 12 Secs.
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
...I NEVER KNEW...January 25, 2015By Zita Carno (Tampa, FL)See All My Reviews"...that Bernstein had such an affinity for Hindemith! I've been organizing my ever-burgeoning collection of CDs and I realized that I have this one, and it's a beaut! The first I ever heard this symphony was an old recording on LP with an aggregation called the Janssen Symphony Orchestra, with Werner Janssen conducting, and I fell in love with the piece and have thought about it for decades---now I've found it, and an exciting masterpiece it is indeed. The other two works on this disc are no less thrilling, and it makes for as fine a Hindemith sampler as anything extant. I've said it once before and I'll say it again---ah, Hindemith! You never cease to amaze and delight this forever music lover...I was listening to the symphony on the CD player in my car as I was driving to the dentist this afternoon, and I suddenly started chuckling at a particular passage in the first movement. I kept imagining a rhubarb at a ball game, with both benches clearing and the argument (brass and percussion vs. everyone else) getting more and more heated, until all the umpires broke it up! And in the scherzo movement, there was this lovely pastoral trio, a sort of dance episode, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Every time I hear this piece I find myself imagining different things, which add to my enjoyment. And let me say that Bernstein really gets into the spirit of the music---I wish he had also recorded the Symphonic Dances, another great favorite of mine. :)"Report Abuse
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