BRAHMS: Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68. Symphony No. 3 in F, Op. 90.
Israel Philharmonic Orch/Leonard Bernstein, cond.
EUROARTS DVD VIDEO 2072048 TT: 94 min.
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MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 17 in G, K. 453. Symphony No. 39 in E flat, K. 543.
Vienna Philharmonic Orch/Leonard Bernstein, pianist-conductor
EUROARTS DVD VIDEO 2072098 TT: 72 min.
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MOZART: Clarinet Concerto in A, K. 622. Symphony No. 25 in G minor, K. 183.
Peter Schmidt, clarinet/Vienna Philharmonic Orch/Leonard Bernstein, cond.
EUROARTS DVD VIDEO 2072088 TT: 60 min.
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Leonard Bernstein fans should rejoice in these releases. Earliest are the two Brahms symphonies recorded in August 1973 in Jerusalem's Great Concert Hall. The Mozart items are much later: Concerto No. 17 and Symphony No. 39 from concerts October 3-11, 1981, the Clarinet Concerto from a concert September 1-2, 1987, and the Symphony No. 25 from a concert October 1-4, 1988. Humphrey Burton directed all of these and most of the time has his cameras on the conductor, which perhaps many viewers will enjoy (I am not among them--enough is enough!). Both the Israel Philharmonic and Vienna Philharmonic respond lovingly to Bernstein's direction. Peter Schmidt, principal clarinet of the VPO (his father and grandfather also held the position), gives an outstanding performance of the Clarinet Concerto, and Bernstein himself is both conductor and soloist in Piano Concerto No. 17, which here receives possibly its most lengthy performance. It is to Bernstein's credit that he maintained his pianistic technique throughout almost all of his career. Both of the Mozart DVDs are rather short; why didn't Euroarts combine both of them on one disk? Excellent sound on all.

R.E.B. (December 2006)

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