Leonard Bernstein/Wiener Philharmoniker: Sibelius - Symphonies Nos. 1, 2, 5 & 7

( 1 )

Overview

Eminent maestro Leonard Bernstein conducts the Wiener Philharmoniker in this classical concert film, performed and shot just two short years before Bernstein's passing in 1990. The set at hand arrived at the tail end of Unitel's recording of the complete cycle of symphonies by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. It includes Wiener Philharmoniker recordings of Sibelius's "Symphony No. 1 in E minor, op. 39," "Symphony No. 2 in D Major, op. 43," "Symphony No. 5 in E Flat Major, op. 82" and "Symphony No. 7 in C major, ...
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DVD (Stereo)
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Overview

Eminent maestro Leonard Bernstein conducts the Wiener Philharmoniker in this classical concert film, performed and shot just two short years before Bernstein's passing in 1990. The set at hand arrived at the tail end of Unitel's recording of the complete cycle of symphonies by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. It includes Wiener Philharmoniker recordings of Sibelius's "Symphony No. 1 in E minor, op. 39," "Symphony No. 2 in D Major, op. 43," "Symphony No. 5 in E Flat Major, op. 82" and "Symphony No. 7 in C major, op. 105."
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/25/2010
  • UPC: 814337010225
  • Original Release: 1988
  • Source: C Major
  • Region Code: 0
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Stereo
  • Sound: stereo, Digital Theater Systems
  • Language: English
  • Time: 2:46:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 41,639

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Leonard Bernstein , Conductor
Technical Credits
Humphrey Burton Director
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Leonard Bernstein: Wiener Philharmoniker - Sibelius
1. Opening [:40]
2. Andante, ma non troppo - Allegro Energico [12:08]
3. ll Andante (ma non troppo lento) [11:19]
4. lll Scherzo [5:43]
5. IV Finale (quasi una fantasia) [12:43]
6. Applause & Credits [2:33]
1. Opening [:45]
2. l Tempo Molto Moderato - Largamente - Allegro Moderato [15:15]
3. ll Andante Mosso, Quasi Allegretto [10:23]
4. lll Allegro Molto [10:17]
5. Applause & Credits [1:53]
1. Opening [:47]
2. Adagio - [8:25]
3. Un pochettino meno adagio - [5:41]
4. Allegro molto moderato - [4:35]
5. Vivace - Presto - Tempo l [6:20]
6. Applause & Credits [1:45]
Disc #2 -- Leonard Bernstein Wiener Philharmoniker - Sibelius
1. Opening [:42]
2. l Allegretto [11:10]
3. ll Tempo Andante, ma rubato [18:13]
4. lll Vivacissimo [6:31]
5. lV Finale. Allegro Moderato [16:01]
6. Applause & Credits [1:53]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Leonard Bernstein: Wiener Philharmoniker - Sibelius
   Play All
   Symphony No. 1
   Symphony No. 5
   Symphony No. 7 (In One Movement)
   Audio
      PCM Stereo
      DTS 5.1
   Resume
Disc #2 -- Leonard Bernstein Wiener Philharmoniker - Sibelius
   Play
   Symphony No. 2
   Audio
      PCM Stereo
      DTS 5.1
   Trailers
      Der Ring des Nibelungen
      Turandot
   Resume
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Bernstein's Sibelius

    When these majestic, elemental performances were issued on CD two decades ago by Deutsche Grammophone, the critics had a field day. "Self-indulgent" they cried. Not up to the standard set by Bernstein's earlier New York Philharmonic recordings of the Sibelius Symphonies, and clear evidence of the old man's failing powers.

    Listening to them again now--while seeing the maestro in action--is an exhilarating experience. Lenny's interpretations are of course larger than life and totally subjective. Slows are exceptionally slow, but never ponderous or static. The allegros fly like the wind--so brisk that even the legendary Vienna Philharmonic has a difficult time keeping up with their leader.

    Also much in evidence is Bernstein's uncanny ability to carry a musical line across vast silences, especially in Symphony 2, where Sibelius adds fermatas to the longest rests. How Bernstein manages such wizardry is still beyond me, even after watching these videos with the utmost care. But that's hardly the only magic on display here. From the hushed mystery of the opening bars of First to the searing dissonance of the winds in the middle movement of the Fifth to the ecstatic, nearly overwhelming climax at the end of the Seventh, Bernstein consistently rivets our attention.

    Just as mesmerizing is the opportunity to watch Bernstein at work. He conducts with his eyes nearly as much as with his hands, and his facial expressions further help convey the meaning of the music to the players. Here he gently reminds the violins to use more bow; there he slashes the air violently with his baton--and is visibly moved by the ensemble's hair-trigger response. He cajoles, coaxes, and in the climactic moments leaps nimbly into the air. Some critics still abhor Bernstein's podium antics, but I find that they invariably enhance and intensify his interpretation of the music.

    The playing of the Vienna Philharmonic under Bernstein is as close to perfection as we are ever likely to hear on this earth. The sound on these Unitel DVDs is exceptionally vivid and richly detailed. The video editing is occasionally distracting as we jump across the stage from one solo instrument to another, sometimes during a single bar of music. For the most part, however, producer Humphrey Burton draws our attention to the most interesting musical effects and allows the camera to linger lovingly on his photogenic maestro.

    If you love the Sibelius symphonies, by all means seek out the more sedate and orderly complete CD sets by John Barbirolli or Colin Davis. But don't miss these highly personal, life-affirming, and life-changing DVDs. After listening to Bernstein, you'll never quite hear this music the same way again.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews