Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Shostakovich Symphonies 6 9 / Bernstein Wiener Philharmoniker|
Actors: Leonard Bernstein, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
This DVD is a fascinating document of a great conductor and orchestra playing two of the most underrated of Shostakovich's symphonies in 1985 and 1986 concerts in Vienna's Musikverein. In his spoken preface to the Sixth Sy... more »
Ian C. Punter | Thailand | 07/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having owned much of Bernstein's work on VHS and Laserdisc, I was delighted and surprised to see this issue announced, and promptly bought it. Sound and picture are exemplary, and each symphony is preceded by fascinating insights from Bernstein. No histrionics in performance, no Volkov debates in the commentary, just context and some sensible conjecture.
The lighting for the 6th is standard concert lighting, the 9th seems to have a bit more, erm, 'chiarascuro', and looks a bit more 'moody', which would possibly have suited the symphonies 'the other way round'. No matter, the playing is superb, and the strings in the 1st (largo) movement of the 6th, exposed as they are, have rarely sounded so secure in my experience. Close-ups are judicious, the cutting fast only in the lighter more capricious passages, and the audience are seen but not heard.
Is there a 'Leningrad' languishing somewhere?
Memorable tribute in Bernstein' s memory!
Hiram Gomez Pardo | Valencia, Venezuela | 05/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
Written in 1945, the Ninth Symphony had to have meant for Shostakovch a true crossroad, not only because the explicit historical moment, but because the weight of the tradition around what the number nine signified for most of composers. The ruling classes, as well as musical factions were expecting a sublime symphony hovered by a patriotic breath to commemorate the end of the war. But Shostakovich, smartly, decided to write a Haydnesque Opus, with some burlesque inflexions and passages loaded with bitter cynicism, trying to depict the landscape after the battle, with elaborated modulations, loaded of a profound nostalgia. Of course, Shostakovich was accustomed to delight the regime with his initial openings in which the marches and martial accents were very known formula to evade any possible observation for any conspicuous functionary of the regime. as well as musical factions were expecting a sublime symphony hovered by a patriotic breath to commemorate the end of the War.
Although there are visible resemblances with the Sixth Symphony, this is even more acidic than the Sixth, so well built that basically left no any single hole. The formal construction was employed by Prokoviev in his Classical Symphony, although without that demoniac vision, in which the wings of death simply flies round about the countless human beings who gave their lives. Nevertheless, bellow these images there is horror too and a certain sense of fatalism and hopeless, dissimulated by that clever last movement in which the composer retakes the apparent perception of jubilee and popular joy, so desired by the Regime.
I should not hesitate just for a second to include this superb performance among the ten best recordings of this conductor along his successful artistic trajectory.
In what concerns to the Sixth, it's good, but there 's a supreme version in the market, hard to surmount: Fritz Reiner and The Pittsburgh Symphony of 1946."
Erez Katz | CA, USA | 07/13/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I own quite a few recordings of these pieces (haitink, mravinsky and others).
This is my favorite by far. it is original lyrical without compromising on the sarcastic punch.
The 2 movement of the 6th is taken at a slightly slower tempo which opens up the detail. The 9th is just fantastic.
Don't take my word for it: if you would like to see an orchestra in love of it's conductor then check out the Vienna philharmonic here: they jump out of their skin and give they very best. Bernstein made believers out of them, and so out of me.