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Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 / Francesca da Rimini Live
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Top Customer Reviews
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!!!
The recording of Francesca da Rimini on this CD is very good but I prefer Pletnev's version on the DG label.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this after hearing on the radio, so it met my expectations. Very pleased.Published 4 months ago by Reno
The old saw about Leonard Bernstein is that, from the energetic dynamo that he was during his official term from 1958 to 1971 as music director of the New York Philharmonic, as he... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Erik North
I am a non-technical amateur, but to my ears, the sound on this CD is amazing. DG seems to have gotten it just right. I feel I can hear every horn, string and swish of the baton. Read morePublished on June 7, 2008 by Oscar Levant
The metronome, they say, is a bad critic, but it can't escape notice that the first movement of this live Tchaikovsky Fourth from 1989 is 21 min. Read morePublished on February 21, 2006 by Santa Fe Listener
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. Read morePublished on June 16, 2004 by Darin Tysdal
I truly love Lenny performing with the New York Phil on the last three symphonies by Tchaikovsky on Grammophon. The 4th symphony is the least of the three I like. Read morePublished on February 18, 2001 by Shota
I must say that this is one of the first Bernstein recordings I like! The New York Phil is flawless in the 4th! Good balance and sound. Read morePublished on June 20, 2000 by T. McKay