Author Topic: Bernstein M5 VPO 1987 Proms  (Read 1474 times)

Offline Prospero

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Bernstein M5 VPO 1987 Proms
« on: September 12, 2020, 06:44:41 PM »
For those interested, a very famous Bernstein M5 with the Vienna PO from the BBC Proms 1987 is on line on BBC Radio 3 now. This was a few days after the Frankfurt performance issued on DGG. Many think this one is superior. The responsiveness of the VPO is remarkable.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p08kvnrv

I found it a very engaging performance with the VPO at about the best I've ever heard it. Reactions will always vary, but worth a listen if you don't know this specific performance.

By the way, is there a source for the often praised Bernstein M9, I believe at Tanglewood, with the BSO by many on this site. I did hear a Bernstein M2 live at Tanglewood in about 1972.

Best in difficult times.

Tom in Vermont

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: Bernstein M5 VPO 1987 Proms
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2020, 06:50:49 PM »
The performance I saw them do in S.F. on the same tour was MUCH MORE like this London Proms one. I've always suspected that Bernstein held back and took less chances for the Frankfurt performance, knowing that it was being recorded for his DG cycle. 

The Vienna Phil. has been involved in three of the greatest live performances I've ever seen: M5 in S.F. with Bernstein (as mentioned); Bruckner 5 in Vienna with Karajan (1981), and Mahler 6 in Berkeley, Ca with Bychkov (about 10 years ago, or less). I also saw Bernstein do M6 with the V.P.O. in Carnegie Hall. It was great, of course, but I actually liked the Bychkov one even more.

Offline John Kim

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Re: Bernstein M5 VPO 1987 Proms
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2020, 06:18:26 PM »
Man, this is really a great Mahler 5th, superior to Lenny's DG recording. Perhaps the greatest M5th I've ever heard and I've been dreaming of hearing such a performance all along!

John

Offline Prospero

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Re: Bernstein M5 VPO 1987 Proms
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2020, 03:43:05 PM »
Just a note to those interested in the Bernstein M5 from the 1987 Proms.

As you would probably deduce from the posts of Barry and John Kim, two of our most knowledgeable members, this important performance has not been generally available. If it is for John perhaps the best M5 he knows, it might be advisable to access the performance from the BBC soon. Once they take it down, I don't know of any other source.

Best to all in complex times.

Tom in Vermont

Offline John Kim

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Re: Bernstein M5 VPO 1987 Proms
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2020, 07:53:07 PM »
Tom,

My colleague tried to download the sound but it didn't work. So, we're at the mercy of BBC for its availability. Just enjoy it as much and long as you can while it lasts and pester them to release it officially!

John

Offline erikwilson7

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Re: Bernstein M5 VPO 1987 Proms
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2020, 03:33:22 AM »
Hi all,

I extracted the audio from the source and have the movements split up into separate .wav and .mp3 files for download. Send me a private message if you are interested.

Erik
« Last Edit: September 20, 2020, 03:16:20 PM by erikwilson7 »

Offline akiralx

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Re: Bernstein M5 VPO 1987 Proms
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2020, 07:16:47 AM »
It is now on YouTube in what sounds rather better sonics:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwOrg9doT6Q

Offline erikwilson7

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Re: Bernstein M5 VPO 1987 Proms
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2021, 05:50:33 PM »
I just revisited Bernstein's NYPO Mahler 5 from the 60s. Am I the only person on the planet who likes this recording better than his Vienna DG account? It seems like this older recording is universally condemned as being mediocre. There are a couple of splotches in playing and sound here and there, but this music was still pretty darn difficult back then!

The differences to me are that with the NYPO he was going for good balance of accuracy and emotion, whereas in Vienna he was just going for overblown emotional impact at the expense of some of the details in the score. Maybe I'm wrong though. Thoughts?

(I don't think the DG account is bad by any means, just not my preferred approach)

Offline John Kim

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Re: Bernstein M5 VPO 1987 Proms
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2021, 07:20:36 PM »
Erik,

I don't care for Lenny's DG M5th just as I don't his M6th with the same orchestra. I much prefer the old NYPO recording of M6th. As for the Fifth I need to revisit the NYPO CD to see your points more clearly.

John

Offline erikwilson7

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Re: Bernstein M5 VPO 1987 Proms
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2021, 07:47:34 PM »
I sort of just 'discovered' his NYPO M6, and I'm blown away. I'm loving the quicker, manic pacing and amazing attention to detail. If I want an "end of the world" intense M6 I can turn to his DG M6, but even before that I still prefer Simone Young's. Terrifying and awesome recording. And along the same lines I actually like the Tilson Thomas M6 a lot, even if his scherzo sounds rhythmically incorrect.

Offline John Kim

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Re: Bernstein M5 VPO 1987 Proms
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2021, 10:56:20 PM »
My problem with the DG M6th is that its 1st movt. is way too fast and feels lightweight compared to what follows in II.-IV. Even the playing here by VPO is somewhat uneasy and unstable. It sounds as though it was recorded in another world and was pasted to the rest. The old NYPO M6th OTOH is remarkably consistent from start to finish.

John
« Last Edit: January 19, 2021, 11:32:31 PM by John Kim »

Offline erikwilson7

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Re: Bernstein M5 VPO 1987 Proms
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2021, 11:10:36 PM »
Absolutely agree. Great observation that I hadn’t noticed before.

Offline John Kim

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Re: Bernstein M5 VPO 1987 Proms
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2021, 11:34:35 PM »
I must add that Bernstein's VPO M6th from the 70s (available on DVD) is also superior to the 80's version. The 60's NYPO and 70's VPO recordings are the best M6ths Bernstein delivered.

John

Offline erikwilson7

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Re: Bernstein M5 VPO 1987 Proms
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2021, 01:30:02 AM »
Of the live DVD recordings, I’ve only seen the lieder with Thomas Hampson on YouTube. I’ll have to check them out, though I hear the M2 and M8 were performed in a cathedral (correct?), which probably amounts to poor acoustics.

Offline James Meckley

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Re: Bernstein M5 VPO 1987 Proms
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2021, 02:55:24 AM »
The Bernstein M2 was filmed with the London Symphony Orchestra in Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire, England, and the M8 was filmed with the Vienna Philharmonic in the Vienna Konzerthaus.
"We cannot see how any of his music can long survive him."
Henry Krehbiel, New York Tribune obituary of Gustav Mahler

 

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