James Levine’s Schumann!
I first heard a live performance of James Levine at a concert of chamber music in New York a few years ago. Then at Aspen, Colorado, I heard him perform Mahler’s Symphony #3, and more… I also love to hear and watch him conduct Mozart operas. I watch his face to see his expressions of joy as the music emerges!
What makes the performances of these 2 symphonies so striking is their inner life. Levine has a natural feeling for the flow of Schumann’s musical expression, using wonderful phrasing, accent, and balance to achieve marvelous effects I’ve never heard even from noted Schumann conductors like Bernstein and Karajan. The Berlin Phil. plays with beautiful depth of emotion and flexibility, surpassing even their work under other fine conductors
Bottom line? James Levine is one of our treasures! A musician’s musician!
The selections on this CD show Mr. Levine’s excellence as an orchestral conductor
Symphony No.2 in C, Op.61
Symphony No.3 in E Flat, Op.97 – ”Rhenish”
To remind you of this great music, here is the Berlin Philharmonic under Michael Boder, playing a section of the Schumann’s “Rhenish” Symphony
Now watch and hear James Levine do Mozart’s overture to the Marriage of Figaro, to see and hear that joy I mentioned above:
And here he is in a fascinating rehearsal:
Tags: James Levine, Robert Schumann, Mozart, Rhenish