Author Topic: Bernstein/IPO M9th CD review?  (Read 249 times)

Offline John Kim

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2097
Bernstein/IPO M9th CD review?
« on: June 13, 2018, 09:04:56 AM »
Can anyone read this classicstoday.com insider review? I can't cause I don't have the membership.

https://www.classicstoday.com/review/bernsteins-better-posthumous-mahler-ninth/

Offline barryguerrero

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 330
Re: Bernstein/IPO M9th CD review?
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2018, 08:56:45 AM »
John, Dave Hurwitz gave it a 9/7.

"Only the release is posthumous; the performance, obviously, took place while Bernstein was very much alive, in this case in 1985. Bernstein took the Israel Philharmonic on tour with the Ninth Symphony; I caught one of the performances at Carnegie Hall. This version was recorded in Israel, which is a pity, because the Mann Auditorium audience is less than silent (though not too bad), and the acoustic of the fully occupied space quite dry and unflattering to the strings. 1985 was also the year that Bernstein made his excellent live DG recording of the work with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, a very similar interpretation, so this could hardly be called an essential release.

That said, and unlike Bernstein’s disastrous Berlin Mahler 9th on DG, this performance is worth hearing for a couple of reasons. It is the most highly contrasted of all Bernstein’s readings. Quick tempos are very quick, slow ones very slow. In the second movement the three dances are very individually characterized, while the Rondo: Burleske is possibly the wildest on disc, and amazingly well played. Compare this to the Berlin recording (sound clips), and although I would never claim that the Israel Philharmonic is the better orchestra in general, they were when it mattered here. As for the finale, this is Bernstein’s slowest, lasting just over half an hour, but it’s remarkably well sustained, even in those spooky soft interludes.

Only the first movement takes some time to warm up, tipping the balance in favor of the concluding Adagio in a way that seems actually to comport with Bernstein’s intentions. I’m still not entirely comfortable with unauthorized (by the conductor) posthumous releases of works that exist in excellent, authorized versions, but at least this one doesn’t disgrace the participants, and the differences between the earlier issues and this one, though slight, are telling in a mostly positive way."

Offline ctcdaggett

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Re: Bernstein/IPO M9th CD review?
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2018, 07:07:49 PM »
I would like to know how this compares with Bernstein on Esoteric (which I had at one time).

bob berkman

Offline barryguerrero

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 330
Re: Bernstein/IPO M9th CD review?
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2018, 10:42:01 PM »
Bob, is that the Tanglewood/BSO one? If so, that's the best of the lot, IMHO.

Barry

Offline John Kim

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2097
Re: Bernstein/IPO M9th CD review?
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2018, 12:02:21 AM »
Thanks.

I like the Lenny/IPO version very much. Like DH said the sonics aren't of the first class, but the sound is warm and has no digital shrill that nearly mars the RCO recording. The playing too is excellent and in some ways is preferable to the RCO.

That being said, Bernstein's best M9th remains with the BSO Tanglewood concert. BSO is clearly more tuned to the sound world of Mahler than IPO and Lenny's reading here greatly benefits from it.