8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Bernstein in Japan: Schumann Symphony No. 1/Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 (DVD)
Back in the 1970s I owned Bernstein's New York Phil Shostakovich 5 on a disc I wore to pieces, along with a family that probably swore against all things Russian. So it was with enormous anticipation that I awaited this new dvd on my wish list -- and quite amazing my wife bought it for me!
I'm no formal classical music critic so I'm not going to pick this 1979 performance (or the accompanying Schumann #1)in Japan apart to prove my point.
The music is as I remember it on that old disc. Marvelous tempo, nuance and power. An absolutely first rate bit of audio. But it is the video that puts the hair on my neck up perfectly straight. Brilliant color and coverage of the orchestra by a team that doubtless studied rehearsals very well indeed. And, if you want to see Lenny in full glory, here he is. Multiple angles, grimaces, smiles, and, ultimately, his own kind of euphoria.
I've enjoyed Shostakovich most of my life. Have read several biographies and marveled at his bravery and breadth. I had the privilege of seeing Rostraprovich do the cello concerto (at a San Francisco Symphony concert back in the 60s where they threw high school kids out for cheering after the first movement), and, recently a stunner of a Leningrad symphony by Gergiev and his Bolshoi Orch. But this dvd is something to savor over and over.
Put this one in your collection. Brilliant and satisfying. If you've never appreciated classical music or Leonard Bernstein, be ready for an eye opener.