You would not expect Leonard Bernstein and the Vienna Philharmonic to produce Haydn of the transparency and lithe imaginativeness of a group like the English Concert. But this generously filled disc of three of Haydn’s most brilliant late symphonies, while it shamelessly shows off the lovely thick, Romantic sound of this orchestra, also benefits from much careful thought about articulation and dynamic contrast.
Bernstein responds to Haydn’s boldness, humour and drama with typical intensity. Haydn would surely have loved his brashly swinging minuets, even his lavishly slow slow movements. The recordings, made in the Musikverein in [the early eighties], sound warm and immediate, providing an aural image from the conductor’sRead more position rather than from the middle of row twenty. Only the most severe dogmatist need hesitate.
Exquisite Live PerformanceJanuary 2, 2016By Henry S. (Springfield, VA)See All My Reviews"You won't find any new trails carved out by Leonard Bernstein and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra here. What you will find are ravishing live performances of two of Haydn's late and best symphonies. This Deutsche Grammophon recording is now 30 years old, but his matters not at all. The enthusiasm and insistence on excellence, so characteristic of Bernstein, is immediately apparent upon first listening to collaboration with the VPO. Both symphonies are solid staples in the mainstream concert repertoire, and I assume most Arkivmusic patrons are familiar with these works, so any comments on the merits of Symphonies 88 and 92 would be redundant. As for the performance itself, all you need to know is that Haydn himself would undoubtedly approve of the results. Bernstein opts for a measured, moderate tempo throughout the first three movements of both symphonies, but then switches gears in the finales to an accelerated, even explosive, approach. The result can only be described as electric. Thus, I highly recommend this 'big orchestra' interpretation of Papa Haydn to one and all, and especially to anyone preferring to sample Haydn's symphonies piecemeal, instead of investing in large, multi-disk sets."Report Abuse