Like Brahms, Bernstein lived his life in the shadows of masters who came before him. Yet both men, despite their tendency toward self-criticism, created their own legends. Bernstein's extraordinary talent as a conductor made him so much more--he became an ambassador of music, bringing vitality and excitement to audiences young and old, from all walks of life. Though his Symphony no. 1 is one of his most well-known compositions, Brahms was not always comfortable with the idea of writing symphonies. His deep respect for Beethoven's work is evident, and even Brahms admitted the composer's profound influence on his first symphony. This did not prevent Brahms from creating a piece that is distinctively his own, however. His sense of melodyRead more and humor infuse the composition with a lighter tone without sacrificing decorum. Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic provide a delightful performance, as they always did. Remastered from recordings made in 1960 and 1968, the album is rich and clear while preserving the warmth of the analog originals. Read less
Works on This Recording
Symphony no 1 in C minor, Op. 68by Johannes Brahms Conductor:
New York Philharmonic
Period: Romantic Written: 1855-1876; Austria Date of Recording: 05/02/1960 Venue: Manhattan Center, New York City Length: 44 Minutes 6 Secs.
Serenade no 2 in A major, Op. 16by Johannes Brahms Conductor:
New York Philharmonic
Period: Romantic Written: 1858-1859; Germany Date of Recording: 02/1966 Venue: Avery Fisher Hall, New York City Length: 31 Minutes 51 Secs.
Average Customer Review: ( 2 Customer Reviews )
Good remasterd Bernstein; Great SerenadeJanuary 28, 2013By Gail M. (Goleta, CA)See All My Reviews"Bernstein's New York performances of Brahms' symphonies were full of enthusiasm and deep understanding, expertly played with few eccentricities. Sony's remasterings have made them entirely acceptable for modern listening. The First Symphony here is a fine performance, and the Serenade Number 2 is a great one, as fine or finer than any other I've heard."Report Abuse
Crisp tempos, delineated voices.March 3, 2012By Ralph Miller (Vallejo, CA)See All My Reviews"I have tried many versions of this symphony, but for my tastes at least Lenny nails it. These early recordings of his from the 60s with the NYP are unbeatable, in my book. (Try also the Haydn!) Brahms' orchestrations can be muddy and dense in some hands, but Bernstein makes them sparkle with clarity, and he finds a drive and energy in them that many (most?) conductors search for in vain. This performance, at least, is not lugubrious and stately. It is brisk and energetic, full of passion and vigor. I should warn the reader that at my age (71) I am hard of hearing, and for some reason the recording technologies of the late 50s and 60s seem to delineate the separate voices of such compositions much better for me than later recordings. And of course Bernstein etches them more clearly too. All in all, I recommend this recording above all others; and the price is good too."Report Abuse