Leonard Bernstein recorded this music a second time for DG with the superlative Concertgebouw Orchestra--discs which are now out of print, big surprise. That's not to say that these earlier versions aren't just fine. Bernstein seems to have had a real feeling for this music, and his interpretations are more balanced and less mannered than many a famous echt-Viennese maestro. A good deal at mid-price. --David Hurwitz
NR (Not Rated)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What I love about Bernstein's earliest recording of these symphonies, apart from the excellence of the remastered 60's analogue sound, is the way he was able to blend lyricism with tragic weight, maintaining impetus without rushing. It seems that some do not hear the "Unfinished" as a deeply dark and tragic work but that's my take on this most original and innovative of early Romantic symphonies and Bernstein fulfils my expectations in a way that he does not in his Schumann cycle from around the same time. The weight and sonority of the lower strings are especially impressive. Other conductors, particularly Szell and Maazel, whose recordings I prize, are brisker and more incisive where Bernstein is magisterial without ever becoming ponderous.
For some, by contrast, Bernstein's D944 is taken too fast, especially in the last movement, but I would have thought the influence of period practice would have partially vindicated his speeds, even if the lushness of the New...
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