Bernstein’s Mahler

Bernstein’s Mahler

Think about this: In Mahler’s day, the Vienna Philharmonic players mostly hated Mahler’s music. They insulted the music in every which way. Even during Bernstein’s many rehearsals and performances with this group, he occasionally became frustrated with the players. “This is *your* music”, he would say. This is music written about Nature in *your* country. Yet you are totally missing the performance character required by this music. In the end, they learned, and we have a glorious record of Mr. Bernstein’s successes.

Track listing:

1   Symphony No.1: 1. Langsam. Schleppend 15’33
2   Symphony No.2: 4. Urlicht (Baker/LSO) 7’18
3   Symphony No.3: 5. Lustig im Tempo 4’12
4   Symphony No.4: 2. In gemächlicher Bewegung 10’14
5   Symphony No.5: 4. Adagietto 12’10
6   Symphony No.6: 2. Scherzo. Wuchtig 13’06
7   Symphony No.7: 4. Nachtmusik II 14’44
8   Symphony No.8: 1. Hymnus “Veni, creator spiritus” 24’18
9   Symphony No.9: 4. Adagio 26’09

Performed by Leonard Bernstein, conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

As part of the 2010 Mahler anniversary celebrations, rather than produce a simple CD compilation of Mahler extracts, Deutsche Grammophon thought: why not offer a 120-minute single DVD that includes SINGLE movements from each of Symphonies nos. 1 to 9. The DVD starts with the first movement of no. 1 and ends with the last movement of the Mahler Symphony #9.

While the purists may object to this seeming musical “sin”, the recording allows us to study these movements in great detail, and to be awed by Bernstein’s capabilities and love of this music.

Here is Bernstein in all his glory, coaxing performances of rare passion and sensibility from the Wiener Philharmoniker (there is one track with the London Symphony Orchestra, with Janet Baker as the soloist in Urlicht).

Here is the Mahler first symphony:



And here is a section of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor: second movement, “Stürmisch bewegt. Mit größter Vehemenz”



Tags: Gustav Mahler, Bernstein, Vienna Philharmonic

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