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Bernstein M5 VPO 1987 Proms

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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.

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

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.

John Kim:
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!


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

John Kim:

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!



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