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Ives: Symphony No.2 Live

3 customer reviews

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A musician of unparalleled versatility, Leonard Bernstein achieved worldwide renown in a career spanning nearly five decades - as an inspiring conductor and teacher, as a wide-ranging composer and author, as a gifted pianist.

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Product details

  • Composer: Charles E Ives
  • Audio CD (10 Aug. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001GC4
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 133,316 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By xxsfgsvs TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 July 2013
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Leonard Bernstein's final recording of the Ives Second, despite being more expansive overall gains more than it loses. Famed as it is for its final chord and the popular American themes it is, for the most part, a very well behaved Germanic symphony that owed much to Ives' teacher. Ives was on best behaviour, using academic fugues and counterpoint rooted in the nineteenth century. The way the symphony ends shows the composer desperate to break free of this.

Bernstein brings out more the connections with Mahler as much as the more obviously links to Brahms and Dvorak. An overall more expansive approach also allowed Bernstein to attack and accelerate most effectively when needed. Kenneth Schermerhorn's faithfulness to the score on Naxos sounds stiff and lifeless in comparison. The closing pages here are breathtaking - not just the famed final chord.

What follows immediately is "The Gong on the Hook" whose modernism mixes with the vernacular just as the symphony mixes the Germanic tradition with vernacular. This time though, the shackles are off. The same goes for the following pieces though I must admit I've heard more atmospheric versions of "The Unanswered Question" and "Central Park In the Dark".

Reservations aside these live performances are recorded very well and the main event; the symphony; is a great success.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Peter Biddlecombe VINE VOICE on 8 April 2010
Format: Audio CD
This collection of Ive's pieces is, for me, one of Bernstein's best recordings. Symphony No. 2 starts seeming like Brahms or Schumann with an American accent, but gradually adds the twists that make Ives different. The other pieces are an interesting collection of shorter works, with Central Park in the Dark and The Unanswered Question the best known of these. All are performed with plenty of life, but as far as I can tell without the extremes of interpretation for which Bernstein is sometimes criticised.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Enric on 30 Oct. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Great American Music Conducted By Great American Conductor 18 Jan. 2002
By A. Michaelson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Nobody could conduct American music quite like Leonard Bernstein, and it really shows on this fabulous disc devoted to Ives's Second Symphony and a few of his miniature masterpieces. Bernstein, in both the included essay as well has his conducting, shows that he truly understands Ives's music and what makes it absolutely American. Ives is a rather interesting musical figure because he was not a composer by profession, but rather a businessman who wrote music at any free moment he could get. He tinkered with atonality before Schoenberg and new rythmic structures before Stravinsky, yet his music sounds like neither of aforementioned composers. Ives has a very original, unique musical style. One can't help but visualize turn of the century america when listening to Ives. This music always makes me think of the novels of the great Theodore Dreiser. This is a great place to start or add to an Ives discography. This disc includes one of his most listener friendly compositions, Symphony no. 2 along with some very experimental and fascinating miniatures, including the famous Unanswered Question and the visually stimulating Central Park in the Dark. You cannot go wrong with Ives's original music or Bernstein's amazing performances. Plus the music is in crystal clear digital sound. Though the music was recorded live, it has studio sound and performance all the while keeping the emotion and tension found only in live recordings. This is an exceptional intro to Ives and is highly recommended. (hmm...seeing as how it's 3 am, i wonder if this makes any sense to people reading it.)
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
brilliant idiosyncrasies 19 May 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Ives was an uncommon, refined distillate. Much like Wallace Stevens, another Connecticut Yankee insurance specialist thoroughly out of step with his environment, Ives's structural and thematic advances foretold radical new worlds. Many liner notes to recent Ives releases talk about his work as if it were like most other orchestral offerings--in reality, few touch upon how cataclysmic and inventive his realizations were.
Bernstein, conversely, grasps Ives in totality and advances the cause of this frighteningly bold new music, both in practice and in writing at length about these scores and the Protean imagination that engendered them. Bravo, Lenny.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Uniquely American Ives Recordings 8 Aug. 2002
By gobirds2 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is great American music in the truest sense. I was nurtured on movie soundtracks and scores from the likes of Bernard Herrmann, Dimitri Tiomkin, Alex North and others. As we have lost many of these composers and music that they may have left us through the years, I have been methodically looking at American "Twentieth Century" composers from the "classical" arena to fill that void from that great era. I discovered Charles Ives after reading up on Aaron Copland and his foray into many diverse areas of musical composition. One thing leads to another. Ives' Symphony No. 2 seems to have come up very frequently. It certainly doesn't have the melodic quality of Copland yet it does seem to have roots resulting in American musical motifs very strangely orchestrated resulting in some twisted profoundness. What attracts me is how the music almost seems as if it were composed for film. The technical qualities of this recording are marvelous. Leonard Bernstein's intuitive and vibrant interpretation of this music is effectively felt.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The perfect introduction to Ives. 3 Aug. 2006
By Howard Grady Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
In brief, this may be the best single album to jump start the novice on Ives -- and a great ride for the already converted among us. The comprehensive reviews in this thread say it all; I won't repeat. Let me add this, though: the earlier, excellent recording on Columbia (SONY) coupled with the 3rd Symphony, has a cut in the 4th movement, which Lenny opens up in this more recent recording. So, if you have the earlier recording this one is still something of a 'must have.' Buy it for that 'alternate' library of special recordings, like the Tatrai set of Bartok Quartets, Furtwangler's Beethoven Symphonies from the war years, Toscanini's recordings of OTELLO and FALSTAFF -- and Benny Goodman live at Carnegie Hall, 1938.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Great Performances Of Ives From Bernstein And the NYPO 2 Sept. 2003
By John Kwok - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Towards the end of Leonard Bernstein's career he made several distinguished recordings of 20th Century American classical music for Deutsche Grammophon featuring the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. This splendid recording of Ives's 2nd Symphony, several other orchestra works and chamber pieces is yet another remarkable testament to Leonard Bernstein's empathy and understanding of 20th Century American classical music composed by such distinguished composers as Charles Ives, and, of course, Aaron Copland. No other conducter truly understood 20th Century American music as well as Bernstein. Here he leads the New York Philharmonic in one thrilling performance after another, starting with Ives's 2nd Symphony in a swaggering, convincing interpretation. He follows with a hauntingly beautiful "Central Park in the Dark" and ends with an appropriately brooding "The Unanswered Question"; between the symphony and these orchestral works are sandwiched some fine chamber pieces too. Although these were recorded at live performances, the sound quality is that from a studio. Absolutely a necessary CD for admirers of Charles Ives, Leonard Bernstein, the New York Philharmonic and anyone interested in 20th Century American classical music.
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