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Tennstedt M5 Concertgebouw 1990


I heard Tennstedt conduct five times in London. A devastating M6 in 1983 was unforgettable. As is fairly widely acknowledged Tennstedt live was more gripping than in the studio. Often the case. He is both emotional and quite varied in phrasing and tempo. Most will have their views. He was a sensation in London from about 1977 to 1992. Health issues made his later appearances infrequent and unpredictable. But many placed his concerts above the Abbado LSO performances of the same era (I did hear Abbado’s M7 that year as well as a Solti M3 and a Haitink M5.)

On Wednesday night BBC Radio 3 broadcast a December 1990 Tennstedt M5 with the Concertgebouw. For me a major performance combining Tennstedt’s passionate and varied conception with stellar orchestral playing. The central scherzo is deeply shadowed and varied, linking it in many ways to mvts 1 and 2 and providing a subterranean interlinking unity that some, including Derek Cooke, have questioned. The orchestra playing has remarkable beauty, individuality, variety, commitment, and bite.

There is an obscure “Memories Excellence” box that I don’t know and seems unavailable at the moment. The cover seems to list this M5 but also an amazing NY Phil M6 that I have and a Cleveland M7 that I don’t know. But the BBC source seems quite good on computer. I will sample it through my rebuilt Quad 57s later.

If interested, you can find the performance on BBC Radio 3 by searching for “Tennstedt” which brings up Wednesday, December 18 “Music through the Night” subtitled “Dream Rags.” The M5 begins at around hour 2:05 on the six hour selection bar. BBC 3 programs are streamed for 30 from the first broadcast.

Quad 57's - NICE!  :D

There is always more to add.


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