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Schubert: Symphonien nos 5 & 8 "Unfinished" / Bernstein


Release Date: 09/08/1989 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 427645   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 57 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Bernstein would often simply sit back and listen to the orchestra make music, giving a small cue now and then, but otherwise letting the musicians take center stage. That is exactly what happens in these beautiful, flowing performances whose outstanding quality is their utter naturalness.

Although Leonard Bernstein had a reputation as a heavy-duty interventionist in music of the late romantic period, even in his late phase he never lost his touch in the Viennese classics. When working with an orchestra well-schooled in the "tradition" (such as Vienna or, as here, the Concertgebouw) he would often simply sit back and listen to the orchestra make music, giving a small cue now and then, but otherwise letting the
Read more musicians take center stage. That is exactly what happens in these beautiful, flowing performances whose outstanding quality is their utter naturalness.

In the "Unfinished" the first movement expresses all of its implicit terror and fragile lyricism but never indulges in distortions of phrasing or mannered tempos. The Andante shows the Concertgebouw winds at their most exquisite. In the Fifth Symphony the shades of Mozart (first and third movements) and Haydn (second and fourth movements) are lovingly evoked, but with an affection that always remains graceful and never turns sticky. The live sonics are very good too. There's also a Schubert Ninth from these forces that's equally fine, and we can only be grateful that Arkivmusic.com is offering this title as part of its "on demand" production agreement with Universal.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 5 in B flat major, D 485 by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  Live  Concertgebouw, Amsterdam 
2.
Symphony no 8 in B minor, D 759 "Unfinished" by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/1987 
Venue:  Live  Concertgebouw, Amsterdam 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Wonderful June 29, 2015 By Ralph Miller (Vallejo, CA) See All My Reviews "The Andante of the B flat symphony is among the loveliest things Schubert ever wrote. The more I listen to this disc, the more I love it. Most of my life I have bought the canard that “Schubert only wrote two symphonies: one is unfinished and the other goes on forever.” (I probably confirmed this by half-listening to public radio broadcasts of ‘endless’ Schubert symphonies.) Imagine my surprise to discover this taut, lean little Haydnesque piece. And who better to conduct it than the pre-eminent Haydn conductor of the 20th century. As for the true ‘Unfinished,’ Bernstein again scores a hit. I have a lugubrious version of this conducted by Sinopoli that runs three plus minutes longer than this one and is dull and unlistenable. This disc is a winner. You won’t be sorry." Report Abuse
 Excellent April 5, 2012 By Andrew H. (Portola Valley, CA) See All My Reviews "Great performance and a great recording. Highly recommended." Report Abuse
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