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  • Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 / Francesca da Rimini
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Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 / Francesca da Rimini Live


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Audio CD, Live, May 10, 1991
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Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 / Francesca da Rimini + Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.6 (Pathétique)
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: New York Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Composer: Pyotr I. Tchaikovsky
  • Audio CD (May 10, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001GD7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,066 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Symphony No. 4 In F Minor, Op. 36: Andante Sostenuto - Moderato Con Anima - Moderato Assai, Quasi Andante - Allegro Vivo
2. Symphony No. 4 In F Minor, Op. 36: Andantino In Modo Di Canzone
3. Symphony No. 4 In F Minor, Op. 36: Scherzo. Pizzicato Ostinato - Allegro
4. Symphony No. 4 In F Minor, Op. 36: Finale. Allegro Con Fuoco
5. Francesco da Rimini, op.32: Andante Lugubre - Allegro Vivo - Andante Cantabile Non Troppo - Allegro Vivo

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
This live recorded version of Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic is a wonderful journey.
Brian F Hudon
Overall, this is a very powerful interpretation that is helped by adding weight in the form of slower tempi, as this gives the recording an epic feel.
The Retrovirus
This is probably the slowest performance of this work ever and the one that could be the most controversial.
Darin Tysdal

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Brian F Hudon on February 4, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Don't let the long timings on this recording scare you. This is recording is from Bernsteins later and more experirimental late era, the same that gave us a 58 minute version of the Tchaikovsky 6th and a 53 minute version of the Sibelius 2nd. While ones first thought is that this is going to be a long performance, forget about that. This live recorded version of Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic is a wonderful journey. Some of the outbursts in the first movement alone are earth shattering contrasted by moments of tenderness and reflection. The tempo also gives the New York principals a chance to do some very good playing. The more I listen to this version of this first movement (about 21 minutes) the more I find in it. This is in part to the exceptional recorded sound which is true of the entire disc. The second movement is filled with longing and nostalgia. I think of all the movements that can benefit from going at a much reduced tempo it is this second movement. It just seems to make more sense this way. It's pure Tchaikovsky. The third movement is a total change in direction, but not a startling one. For those of you unfamiliar this movement is the shortest and written nearly entirely for strings in pizzicato (plucked strings) with a middle section (and again at the end) for woodwinds and horn. Its a fascinating movement and great lead in to the opening crash of the finale. Again at the reduced tempo reveals much of the finale that would otherwise might go unheard. But fear not. Bernstein brings it all together at the end when the tempo picks up speed for a last charge at the end of the finale leaving the listener very satified. If you have never heard the Tchaikovsky 4th this would be a great introduction to it.Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Daniel L. Ayala on April 14, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Really, I don't know where to begin when it comes to singing my prasies of this particular cd. Having well over a dozen recordings of its just so hard to find the right balance in tempo during the finale of the first movement. Here, Bernstein achieves the pain, drama, and flair perfectly. The low brass and bass really make it sound like you've been taken out for an emotional gutting. Its powerful.

The symphony as a whole it tremendous - the tempos, while slow, really seem to just FIT this symphony altogether. The opening movement majestic and tragic without dragging. The second movement andante peaceful even hopeful. The third movement pizzicato is playful. The finale is clean, crisp, and wonderful colors explode from an engaged percussion section.

Francesca Da Rimini - this was my first exposure to such a powerful piece of music and have since bought versions by Barenboim and Muti. Also, i have Mravinsky performing this on DVD as well. And my assessment is i enjoy Bernstein's more dramatic effect toward the end as well. If this piece is based upon Dante's Inferno or a part of it, If I am not mistaken - then by god - play it as if it is the end of the world and we're being whisked away to the fiery pits of hell. He achieves that effect in the end - just listen to it and you will know what i mean. The other performances are too fast and too hard to listen to tempo wise during the dramatic climax at the end. I had no idea where any of the other conductors were going with the piece. With Bernstein, it just worked!!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Darin Tysdal on June 16, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is probably the slowest performance of this work ever and the one that could be the most controversial. This is in relation to what performances you are used to. Mravinsky and Svetlanov are very fast, especially in the finale. I used to think that if the finale was slower than 8 minutes 20 seconds, it just wouldn't work. Then came Barenboim's recording with the NYP (on a long deleted LP from Columbia) which was one of the longer versions, but it made sense! Now Bernstein further stretches it out to about 9 minutes 20 seconds. Rumor has it that the audience started applauding before the last note ended, so they went back in the studio and redid the ending. This to me is very controversial, because I think that a live performance should be an accurate representation of that event. I would have no problem hearing applause sneak through at all. It just adds to the excitement. I will cite Ashkenazy again as my all-around recommendation for this work, but this one is lots of fun and exciting. Even better is Francesca da Rimini, also stretched out to unimaginable lenghts. But this is my favorite performance, even better than Stokowski and Giulini.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Retrovirus on March 31, 2006
Format: Audio CD
The general consensus is that Bernstein's later DG recordings are always controversial because the performances became slower and display more self-indulgence from the great conductor. However, this is what makes old familiar warhorses sound like new, and Bernstein's interpretations always work in my opinion.

Here is Tchaikovsky's Fourth, a recording that will always have its proponents and detractors. This must be one of the longest, if not THE longest, performance of this great symphony ever. However, it never feels as though it drags, and Bernstein always keeps the blood running by providing exciting climaxes replete with strong brass and timpani. If you are a fan of percussion, this is a recording that is not to be missed. The first movement provides thumping timpani, and the Finale contains the best cymbal recording in my entire collection of over 500 classical CD's! The cymbals come crashing in very loud and clear, and you can hear the bass drum that accompanies it prominently, with demonstration quality sound!

Overall, this is a very powerful interpretation that is helped by adding weight in the form of slower tempi, as this gives the recording an epic feel. The string tone is absolutely gorgeous, and the climaxes are true climaxes, unlike many other recordings of this work I have heard. Fortissimos are always true fortissimos under Bernstein's direction, which is a must for someone like me who enjoys extreme dynamic ranges. Just listen to the way the tension builds in the second movement, and one instantly realizes that Bernstein always gave everything he had to a piece. The third movement is appropriately light and playful, contrasted beautifully by the cymbal crash that opens the Finale. As an added bonus is another tremendous performance of the Francesca da Rimini.
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