The recordings reissued here have long been among the top recommendations for some of Felix Mendelssohn's most popular works, and they still sound remarkably fresh decades after their first release. Credit for this must go not only to Sony's engineers but also, of course, to Leonard Bernstein for the lively and well-shaped performances he drew out of the New York Philharmonic. The Violin Concerto, recorded in 1969, features a young Pinchas Zukerman as soloist. Zukerman provides everything one could want in this work, from tenderness in the Andante to joyful exuberance in the finale. The 'Italian' Symphony was recorded in 1958, and while some may prefer more recent historically informed approaches to this repertoire, Bernstein makes aRead more case for an old-fashioned, "big band" reading that is really too effective-and downright fun-to be argued against, especially as he drives the final Saltarello home to a thrilling conclusion. Generously filling out the disc as encores is the "War March of the Priests," which was once something of a concert favorite and a nicely nuanced performance of the 'Hebrides' overture. Read less
Works on This Recording
Concerto for Violin in E minor, Op. 64by Felix Mendelssohn Performer:
Pinchas Zukerman (Violin)
New York Philharmonic
Period: Romantic Written: 1844; Germany Date of Recording: 02/06/1969 Venue: Philharmonic Hall, New York City Length: 28 Minutes 46 Secs.
Symphony no 4 in A major, Op. 90 "Italian"by Felix Mendelssohn Conductor:
New York Philharmonic
Period: Romantic Written: 1833; Germany Date of Recording: 01/13/1958 Venue: St. George Hotel, Brooklyn, New York Length: 29 Minutes 46 Secs.
Average Customer Review: ( 2 Customer Reviews )
Love this!March 28, 2016By gwen t. (Culver City, CA)See All My Reviews"Love the violin concerto - Zukerman plays with youthful (I think he was 20 or so) angst, exuberance, and tenderness - just amazing! And the Italian is great, too! Lenny - we miss you!"Report Abuse
A sunny, lively, beautiful symphonySeptember 8, 2013By Ralph Miller (Vallejo, CA)See All My Reviews"Love the Italian symphony, especially the throwback 3rd movement with its sinuous melody and the interweaving of voices and the little horn anthem that recurs throughout, a sort of Haydnesque echo from the past. One of the most beautiful moments in music ever created, I think. In fact, Haydnesque describes this disk well, so its no wonder that Bernstein, the quintessential Haydn conductor, serves it up to a tee. I have a recording by Sinopoli that is languid and lethargic and dispiriting, so I went for Bernstein, my favorite, to revive my love for this music. Sound is great, sharp and delineated. All around a terrific bargain. Also a good version of the Violin Concerto, for good measure. You cant go wrong."Report Abuse