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The Royal Edition - Franck: Symphony In D, Etc / Bernstein


Release Date: 11/05/2009 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 57548   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  César FranckGabriel FauréErnest ChaussonMaurice Ravel
Performer:  Robert CasadesusZino Francescatti
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The very first bars of Bernstein's performance impinge on the senses; this is going to be an occasion. The lower strings start slower than ever before, and perhaps quieter too. There is tension from the first note, and, my goodness, you certainly do listen—even when later on doubts begin to assail you. The quick bits tend to go quicker, the slow bits slower, the tempo changes more often, every phrase, every counter-subject is pointed. It is immensely exciting; at times, excitable. Bernstein is, as they say, "doing something with it" in every bar, and the orchestra responds with both warmth and praiseworthy precision. A lot of thought has gone into this interpretation, and great expertise into its realisation, for it is not easy Read more for an orchestra to embrace this degree of rubato and emerge with its ensemble intact. I must say that I very much enjoyed it all. There were moments when I thought Bernstein went right over the edge; most strikingly during the Gargantuan rallentando in the finale leading up to the second subject in five sharps. For no less than eleven bars the tempo gets slower and slower and slower till you could scream. But I think one must forgive a lapse or two in this type of interpretation, which is taking risks all the time. It is a much more difficult kind of performance to bring off than the conventional one, and though one or two things go awry a great many come off splendidly. The second movement is a joy. The tempo is faster than we are used to, and it is in fact a true Allegretto, which is Franck's marking for it; in Britain conductors usually seem to play it Andante. Bernstein almost dances along, as indeed does Munch who, on the rival stereo disc, adopts exactly the same tempo, and that is how I shall always hope to hear this movement in future. Bernstein is content to leave the tempo alone much of the time, though he manages the transitions delightfully.

-- Gramophone [10/1960, reviewing the original LP release of the Franck Symphony]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony in D minor, M 48 by César Franck
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886-1888; France 
Date of Recording: 02/02/1959 
Venue:  St George Hotel, Brooklyn, New York 
Length: 38 Minutes 51 Secs. 
2.
Ballade for Piano and Orchestra in F sharp major, Op. 19 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Robert Casadesus (Piano)
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; France 
Date of Recording: 10/30/1961 
Venue:  Manhattan Center, New York City 
Length: 12 Minutes 30 Secs. 
3.
Počme for Violin and Orchestra in E flat major, Op. 25 by Ernest Chausson
Performer:  Zino Francescatti (Violin)
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; France 
Date of Recording: 01/06/1964 
Venue:  Manhattan Center, New York City 
Length: 16 Minutes 3 Secs. 
4.
Tzigane for Violin and Orchestra by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Zino Francescatti (Violin)
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; France 
Date of Recording: 01/06/1964 
Venue:  Manhattan Center, New York City 
Length: 9 Minutes 14 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 An Old Friend April 6, 2016 By Andrew F. (Brockton, MA) See All My Reviews "If Bernstein's 1959 recording of the Franck Symphony is only second to Monteux' then that is high praise. The goal of any conductor has always been to make this music noble and important, but especially fiery and passionate. Bernstein does this in scads. Of course, despite the remastering, the sonic picture is not up to date, but eminently pleasing. I think is was a mistake to include Faure's Ballade, because the Zino Franchescatti recordings came from a memorable LP that included the Saint-Saens warhorses that most renowned violinists cover some time in their recording careers. I am grateful that, at least, we have the Chausson and the Ravel. While the Perlman recording (with Martinon) is worthwhile, Francescatti's Tzigane is in a different class altogether; it is flaming with gypsy ardor that is unsurpassed. The listener should be grateful that one does not need to purchase a 50-CD set to get these wonderful performances." Report Abuse
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