"Bernstein stamps his outsize personality on every bar and regularly has you convinced it is Mahler's own" (Gramophone). Beginning with the First Symphony, Bernstein reveals Mahler's position at the hinge of modernism, while emphasizing his emotional extremism. The uplifting Second "Resurrection" Symphony, with which Bernstein had an especially long and close association, is recorded here in a historic performance from 1973, set in the Romanesque splendour of Ely Cathedral. In the Third, Bernstein encompasses the symphony's spiritual panorama like no other conductor - with the Vienna Philharmonic players alive to every nuance.
Leonard Bernstein conducts three works by Tchaikovsky: Symphony in F Minor, op 36 (performed by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra), Symphony in E Minor, op 64 (performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra) and Violin Concerto in D Major, op 35 (featuring Russian violin virtuoso Boris Belkin).
In the mid 1980s, Unitel began recording a complete cycle of Sibelius symphonies with Leonard Bernstein and the Vienna Philharmonic. Bernstein’s death in 1990 unfortunately cut short this project after the release of Symphonies Nos. 1, 2, 5 and 7. Recorded live at Vienna’s Musikverein, these ecstatic performances were the object of stellar reviews.
"There is no single body of work in the universe of orchestral music that is in any way comparable to this one" (Leonard Bernstein on the Beethoven Symphonies). "He has a way of reminding you what the music can do: no one else today can make the great C major eruption in the Marcia funebre of No.3 blaze like this." - Gramophone
"Symphony No.2 gets a performance of tremendous power and energy … The Vienna Seventh never lets us forget the Bacchanalian symbolism of a work its creator claimed would make mankind spiritually drunken! Bernstein makes it so." - ClassicsToday.com
"The poised polished execution of the Vienna Philharmonic, and … the controlled, tasteful vigour of Bernstein's conducting sets standards of Beethoven playing that recall Toscanini's heyday with the New York Philharmonic." - Fanfare