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  • Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 7
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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 7


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Audio CD, September 14, 1999
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100 Great Symphonies

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A musician of unparalleled versatility, Leonard Bernstein achieved worldwide renown in a career spanning nearly five decades - as an inspiring conductor and teacher, as a wide-ranging composer and author, as a gifted pianist.

As composer, he created a body of works extraordinarily diverse in form and style: for example, three symphonies (Jeremiah, The Age of Anxiety and Kaddish) the ... Read more in Amazon's Leonard Bernstein Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 7 + Beethoven: Symphony No. 3- Eroica / How a Great Symphony was Written lecture (Bernstein Century) + Symphony 6 in F Major / Symphony 8 in F Major
Price for all three: $27.40

Buy the selected items together

Product Details

  • Conductor: L. Bernstein
  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (September 14, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00000K4J2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,393 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36: 1. Adagio molto; Allegro con brio
2. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36: 2. Larghetto
3. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36: 3. Scherzo: Allegro
4. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36: 4. Allegro molto
5. Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92: 1. Poco Sostenuto - Vivace
6. Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92: 2. Allegretto
7. Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92: 3. Presto - Presto meno assai
8. Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92: 4. Allegro con brio

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

It proved an excellent decision.
Neil Cotiaux
Bernstein was a genuine music lover and any lover of music will understand his interpretations and feelings toward these pieces.
ColtSharon89
Audience just need to listen to the marvelous music.
Silvio Kosutic

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 64 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 29, 1999
Format: Audio CD
It has been said that "Other symphonies exist as works of art; the Seventh simply Is." Of the great symphonies, the Seventh is the most abstract and hence the most universal; its lyricism, rhythmic magnificence and deep humanity are unsurpassed. And no other recorded performance so perfectly realizes Beethoven's inspiration as this. The NYPO-Bernstein-CBS cycle from the early Sixties remains, as a whole, the finest cycle of Beethoven symphonies on record: Bernstein's crowning achievement. The recorded sound is excellent. And the performance is -- as my reviewing colleague has so perfectly noted -- magisterial! The energy, the beauty is at times staggering. The coda of the first movement is brimming with power (that is the part of the symphony Weber was referring to when he pronounced Beethoven as "Ripe for the Madhouse"). The hypnotic and riveting Allegretto sweeps one along in its solemn panoply (note how Bernstein points up the beautifl countermelodies). The rollicking scherzo is a delight. And the finale! An overwhelming flood of libidinous energy -- a tidal wave of the Life Force. Nowhere in the whole corpus of Western art music is there a more compelling vision of power, power as a positive, constructive force rather than dark or negative -- and Bernstein and the NYPO realize this better than anyone else, even Kleiber's famous version. (A friend, listening to this movement, said "The original audience must have wet their satin britches!") The tension and raging power are truly exciting. A word of advice -- listen to this symphony LOUD! With no other distractions! Give it your full attention and it will repay you with a remarkable artistic experience. Whoever called Classical music "boring" never really LISTENED to it-- and this piece is proof!

PS: the performance of the Second Symphony, paired on this disc, is fully worthy to stand beside this monumental Seventh. Enjoy, all!
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 6, 1999
Format: Audio CD
There are now two versions of the Seventh with Bernstein and the NYPO, one recorded in 1958 and this later version from 1964. This one is far and away the better of the two, and I would go further and say this is one of the best, if not the best, version on the market. Bernstein seems to have a special relationship with this work, and the results are positively exciting. It is a magesterial reading, with bright brass, lovely strings, and rhythmic authority. Beethoven doesn't get any better than this. This version, along with the Sixth with the NYPO and his performance of the Ninth shortly before he died ("Bernstein in Berlin") are Bernstein's best efforts with Beethoven.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Neil Cotiaux on October 22, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After toying several times with purchasing a recording of Maestro Bernstein's final performance of the Seventh at Tanglewood for sentimental reasons, I opted for the purity of a studio recording. It proved an excellent decision. The sound is crystal clear (I am nearly deaf in one ear), and happily, unlike a previous reviewer, I have detected no technical flaws in this outstanding remastering. This is Bernstein and the NYP at its zenith.

As someone who gravitates to classical works of the last 150 years or so and who does not count Beethoven among his favorite composers, the Seventh proved absolutely spellbinding to me on both initial and subsequent hearings. The first movement is the longest in terms of both time elapsed -14- and interest sustained that I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying. The allegretto moves, for my taste, at just the right pace, not plodding, with Bernstein deftly weaving the countermelody and the composer doing a superb job of shining some light into the somewhat hypnotic, introspective movement via key change and instrumentation. The presto adds still more brightness, setting the stage for the galloping allegro, where Bernstein has the NYP stab the notes and celebrate being alive. (It's been reported that Beethoven consumed huge quantities of coffee; if so, it appears to have kicked in when he was working on this final movement.) After 40 minutes, the Seventh comes to a crisp, jubilant ending, not with a drawn-out formulaic close, but with a brisk run to the finish line and a clean, final note. And throughout, Beethoven gives us not one, but several beautiful melodies to be explored and savored, never overstaying his welcome.

This is a wonderful way to remember the genius of Bernstein - not frail under a gloomy sky at Tanglewood but at the height of his powers, conducting his very own philharmonic in the city he called home.

Five-plus stars.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 1, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is certainly an example of just how fine Bernstein could get his orchestra to play. The Second symphony of Beethoven is a real treat. The Slow movement solo by Stanley Drucker on clarinet is absolutely flawless and every nuance is superb. In fact, this Beethoven 2 is really on of the very best ever done. There are few orchestras in the world who can play the Beethoven D Major this well, and I doubt you could find any recent recordings that are on par with this level of excitement and committment.
The Seventh has always been a tricky piece, and my only criticism is the sound is certainly not better than Kleiber's on DG with the Vienna. What is so enjoyable is the obvious ease with which the NYP can produce such wide dynamics without any intonation flaws. Incredible playing...also check out the Mahler reissues in this series...they are played beyond reproach!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


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Topic From this Discussion
Looking for Best Beethoven Symphony No. 7
Hi Pat,

I can't understand why no one has responded to you regarding your question.
Critically, Carlos Klieber with the VPO is viewed as the very best and it is a great recording. If you can find Sir. Colin Davis conducting an orchestra in the early 60's, the double CD I think is on EMI with... Read More
Sep 19, 2009 by Padma Dongyur |  See all 3 posts
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