Bernstein’s Beethoven

Leonard Bernstein conducts Beethoven & Haydn

This recording is quite unusual because we get to hear music that is rarely performed. This includes a transcription for string orchestra of Beethoven’s string quartet Op. 135, and also a performance of the “Paukenmesse” by Haydn.

Leonard Bernstein’s interpretations of Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 16 and Haydn’s “Missa in tempore belli” are really quite amazing. Only the strings of the Vienna Philharmonic could carry off the orchestral rendition of Beethoven’s opus 135 with a special style, since each player is a true soloist.

Bernstein and the orchestra wanted to play a difficult Beethoven Quartet in a special setting, achieving a truly exciting performance unlike anything one ever hears.


  • String Quartet No. 16 in F major, Op. 135

version for String Orchestra
Performed by the Wiener Philharmoniker, conducted by Leonard Bernstein


  • Mass, Hob. XXII: 9 in C major ‘Paukenmesse’

Performed by Judith Blegen (soprano), Brigitte Fassbaender (mezzo), Claes H. Ahnsjö (tenor), Hans Sotin (bass), as accompanied by the Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks.

We get to experience Bernstein’s powerful and now legendary live performance of Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 135 – transcribed for String Orchestra and performed by the Vienna Philharmonic.

And the second Bernstein performance on this DVD is the maestro’s reading of Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli, filmed live in concert at Ottobeuren in 1984, using to maximum effect the deeply impressive setting of the monastery’s magnificent Baroque basilica.

Running Time Total is: 93 minutes

Here is the Haydn Missa in Tempore Belli, in German ‘Paukenmesse’: Agnus Dei, conducted by Leonard Bernstein:


And next here is the BEETHOVEN (orch. Bernstein) String Quartet Op.135 – as performed by Leonard Bernstein, 1989


Tags: Leonard Bernstein, Beethoven, quartet Op. 135, Haydn, Paukenmesse

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