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Symphonies Nos. 1 - 6 (Bernstein) Box set

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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 May 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • ASIN: B00008PW4A
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 384,305 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 9 people found the following review helpful By PRogers on 29 Aug. 2011
Format: Audio CD
I was influenced by reviewers to the point I bought this collection. The reviews were so upbeat I failed to notice the emphasis on the melancholia and slow speeds. Tchaikovsky is an enigma a free spirit subject to depressions but also joyful exuberance. To look at his music as a sort of classical leonard Cohen is a mistake.
I was looking for a lightness of touch, stimulating, joyful mood changes and adrenalin. This collection is broody, heavy, self indulgent, relentless. Unfortunatly the pathos in the depressive passages are no contrast just more of the same. I looked to the 1812 as a light relief and found the reading destroys the structure or anything grand. A bass drum replaces the cannon. I hope I dont come across Bernstein conducting the ballets.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 21 reviews
76 of 81 people found the following review helpful
Bernstein is strongest is Symphonies 1,4,5,and 6 8 Oct. 2005
By Alan Majeska - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) recorded all 6 Tchaikovsky Symphonies with the New York Philharmonic for Columbia records-now Sony Classical - in the 1960s and early 1970s. Bernstein later re-recorded Symphonies 4,5,and 6 with the New York Philharmonic for Deutsche Grammophon. In this box then are Bernstein's only recordings of Tchaikovsky's first 3 symphonies.

Symphony 1 in G Minor, "Winter Dreams" fares the best of the early symphonies. Bernstein isn't afraid the play around with tempos to make a point, but he does very well and is quite convincing throughout. In short, his tempo fluctuations do not impede the flow of the music or hamper Tchaikovsky's message. Symphony 2 in C minor, "Little Russian", which uses a Ukrainian folk song as the central motif around which movement IV is built, is less successful. Bernstein is too fast through I and IV, pushing the music too hard, and making it seem all slam-bang with little of Tchaikovsky's soul. Perhaps he was having an off day when this was recorded. Symphony 3 in D Major, "Polish", and the least recorded of Tchaikovsky's 6 symphonies, is better than Symphony 2, but not as successful as Symphony 1 in Bernstein's hands. He does exaggerate slowness in the introduction to I, and the New York violins are a little scratchy in fast moving passages in the allegro of I. But there is incredible spirit throughout. The Elegy movement is very tender and yearning; the final Polacca (mt. V) very energetic and stirring in the closing hymn like coda.

Symphony 4 is the 1975 recording, considered by many to be superior to an earlier 1960 recording by Bernstein/New York (available in a separate Sony "Bernstein Century" release). The 1975 recording is less driven, and was popular on LP when I was in college in the late 1970s: one of my dorm roommates had this LP in 1978. Symphonies 5 and 6, both recorded in the early 1960s, are excellent and top notch in every way. Symphony 6 "Pathetique" is more objective, less overwrought with emotion and pathos than Bernstein's 1986 DG recording of this piece, but still filled with emotion and drama, as is Bernstein's style.

There are also the discmates: excellent "Marche Slave" "1812 Overture", "Hamlet", and "Romeo and Juliet"; and a well played but poorly recorded "Francesca da Rimini." (Bernstein's 1986 DG Francesca, disc-mate to Symphony 4, is much better recorded than the one here). So, this is a great bargain if you like Bernstein's emotional, heart on sleeve style in Tchaikovsky. It works well, and buying all these recordings in a box is a bargain, rather than separate Bernstein Royal and other CBS or Sony editions. You might consider supplementing this with the Naxos recordings of Tchaikovsky's Symphony 2 by Adrian Leaper/Polish National Radio Orchestra, and Symphony 3 by Antoni Wit/Polish National Radio Orchestra, both well balanced performances in excellent digital sound.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
One Of The Most Important Tchaikovsky Symphony Cycles Ever Recorded 2 Jun. 2007
By John Kwok - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Fans of Bernstein, Tchaikovsky and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra will find much to admire in this box set containing recordings made for CBS Masterworks during the 1960s and 1970s. Historically these are important recordings since they were among the first ever recorded in stereo of the entire Tchaikovsky symphony cycle, and were regarded as definitive accounts by many fans and critics for years. I concur with a previous reviewer who noted that Bernstein's best recorded accounts are those of the 1st, 4th, 5th and 6th symphonies. I especially admire his interpretations of the last three symphonies, noting that he does a fine job in taking a more middle of the road approach by faithfully adhering to Tchaikovsky's scores without injecting an excessive amount of emotional intensity (Sadly this wasn't the case for his later Deutsche Grammophon recordings of the last three symphonies in the mid to late 1980s, recorded during live performances with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall.). Without question, this set of symphony recordings demonstrate that Bernstein was a fine interpreter of Tchaikovsy's music, offering contemporary listeners yet another excellent opportunity to hear Bernstein at his peak as a great orchestral conductor.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
AGREEMENT! This is one of the best Tchaikovsky cycles out there and it can't be beat for the price! 9 Aug. 2009
By Gengler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Currently this set is selling for under $20 in the used listings - at that price it's a steal and should be grabbed.

Bernstein is a vastly under rated conductor these days. Perhaps his later eccentricities with tempi in performance and on recordings has colored most memories. Pity - as Bernstein's emotional flamboyance and his way with rubato revivified many warhorse scores - including the symphonies of Peter Ilyich.

I am in general agreement with the previous reviewers that Bernstein fares best in numbers 1,4,5,6. But then again, it can be persuasively argued that Tchaikovsky himself fared best in numbers 1, 4,5,6. It should be noted that this recording of #4 was made with the NYP in 1974 - its only CD release as far as I know. (The Royal Edition went for the 60s recording) This '74 recording brims with fire and passion and belongs in every library. The 5th and 6th are fiery interpretations that are most enjoyable. Sound throughout is average Columbia quality for this era.

Much has been written about Bernstein's final DG recording of the 6th symphony for DG Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.6 (Pathétique). It deserves to be heard at least once. Bernstein wrings every single drop of sweat and angst out of the first movement, the third movement blazes away in brass glory, and the finale movement takes the listener to the edge of an emotional abyss. There really is nothing like it. While it is certainly not the only version of the 6th symphony one should have, it should certainly be heard - just to show how a conductor can make a work his own. I was fortunate enough to have heard Bernstein conduct this live, and I can honestly say I have never heard a more formidable silence in a concert hall as I did that night when the symphony drew to a close. There were some patrons in tears - it is that powerful.

That said - these FIVE (!) discs will provide many hours of enjoyment and are the cornerstone of a basic classical library. For less than the price of two regular discs.

Put on the 1812 Overture and have a party!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A Great Cycle 18 Feb. 2009
By Transfigured Knight - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Leonard Bernstein was one of the best Tchaikovsky conductors in the world. He knew how to get the best performances out of his orchestra. If you've been looking around for other symphony cycles in a budget box set, then look no further than this release from Sony.

As the title of this box set says, it collects all of Tchaikovsky's symphonies. There are also 5 other orchestral works in this box: "1812 Overture," "Romeo And Juliet," "Francesca Da Ramini," "Hamlet," and "Slavonic March." Given that these recordings were recorded in the late '50s they have been remastered and sound great.

Anyone interested in Tchaikovsky pick this box set up. You won't be sorry. His performances here with the New York Philharmonic are beyond words.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Leonard Bernstein's Tchaikovsky 4 July 2011
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
While there are numerable recordings from the past and present of the six symphonies of Tchaikovsky few work together as well as this generous five CD box set. Leonard Bernstein was one of those conductors that many critics and audiences alike feel that when he was good he was extraordinary and when he was on an off night he was still satisfyingly important. And here on these discs we have the same situation. The recordings were made over a number of years and by different technicians and different first desk orchestra players and it shows. If his performances of symphonies 2 and 3 (the 'Little Russian' and the 'Polish') are not up to his spectacular interpretations of the symphonies 1, 4, 5, 6, we at least are offered compensation by the inclusion of the fantasy overtures 'Romeo and Juliet' and 'Hamlet' and gut thumping renderings of the 'Slavonic March' and that tired old wonderful July 4th staple, the '1812 Festival Overture'.

In these recordings Bernstein seems more tame that he was at other times. His passion is intact and his commitment to the interweaving of orchestral themes is precise and balanced: his at times over the edge indulgence in emotional impact of the sake of emotional impact is absent here. That is not to say that when the, say, soaring love theme of the 6th happens it is not caressed with heart throbbing intensity, but he doesn't let those moments of unutterable beauty sound isolated: the thunder and the angst is balanced throughout all of these readings.

In all, for those who desire a set of all the Tchaikovsky symphonies together, this box set is as solid as they come. The CBS Masterworks recordings were not always as full bodied as those of other recording companies, but they were sensitive to so many other technical details, not the least of which was assuring that artists recorded their important contributions at the peak of their powers. And that is the way these five CDs come across. A fine bargain for so much magnificence. Grady Harp, July 11
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