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Bernstein Century - Brahms: Symphonies No 2 & 3 / Nypo

Release Date: 07/27/1999 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 61829   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Johannes Brahms
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

Sony's series of reissues entitled the 'Bernstein Century' is restoring to circulation many of the composer/conductor's earlier performances in dramatically improved sound. The Brahms Second Symphony is a live recording from the opening of what was Avery Fisher Hall--then known as Philharmonic Hall--in 1962, while the Third is a studio recording from a few years later. Bernstein's Brahms was always marked by a certain expressive flexibility with tempos adjusted freely to make rhetorical points. Here both symphonies are performed with considerable expressive freedom but the results are both lighter and fresher than the conductor's remakes with the Vienna Philharmonic. Those Vienna performances have the weight associated with Toscanini's Read more performances of Brahms and also include the long exposition repeats omitted here.
The most noticeable difference in terms of presentation is the greatly improved sound. It remains a touch opaque but is infinitely smoother and richer than the congested, shrill sound that emerged from the Columbia LP's. These are fully representative examples of both Brahms and Bernstein's art at highly affordable prices.
Fanfare (1-2/00, pp.217-218) - "These are superb performances, well remastered, showing excellent playing by the New York Philharmonic....these fine performances deserve to be heard, showing the healthy vitality and often surprisingly excellent results that Bernstein could achieve in music of Brahms." Read less

Works on This Recording

Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 73 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877; Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/17/1962 
Venue:  Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, NYC 
Length: 40 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Symphony no 3 in F major, Op. 90 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; Austria 
Date of Recording: 04/17/1964 
Venue:  Manhattan Center, New York City 
Length: 36 Minutes 7 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Sensational! August 4, 2013 By Ralph Miller (Vallejo, CA) See All My Reviews "I've just finished listening, in sequence, to the G. Solti/Chicago Symphony Brahms 2nd and this one. Apologies to the late Solti, but Lenny puts him in the shade. Along with the crisp, non-lagging tempos I love, Bernstein always seems to manage to articulate the various interweaving voices of the music so that none get lost. Moments can be tender or glorious or sinuously seductive, but they are all out there audibly. I should warn that I am hard of hearing and that the early pre-CD recording technology makes it far easier for me to hear this, and I have replaced many of my later CDs with earlier, especially Bernstein, renditions since their clarity is unrivaled. I thoroughly recommend this wonderful disk. The Brahms 3rd is even better than his VPO version because livelier and less grand but more tender. Wonderful stuff. Get it." Report Abuse
 Excellent remastered Bernstein January 28, 2013 By Gail M. (Goleta, CA) See All My Reviews "Leonard Bernstein's performances of Brahms' symphonies were full of enthsiasm and deep understanding, expertly played with few eccentricities. Sony's remastering has made these recordings very acceptable for modern listening. The brightness of Symphony No.2 contrasts nicely with the autumnal feel of No. 3 in these performances." Report Abuse
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