PART ONE: EMI STUDIO RECORDINGS Five LPs (4½ CDs) were recorded in Paris by EMI in 1976-79. Overlapping the tail end of Bernstein’s Columbia contract and the start of his Deutsche Grammophon contract. Newly remastered by Art & Son Studio, Annecy in 24bit/96kHZ from original tapes. I have no complaints about the sound which strikes me as minimally better than previous masterings. Packaged in modified “original jacket” format with original LP artwork on the front and track listings on the back. 24 page booklet. --- Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique (1976) --- Berlioz: Harold en Italie with Donald McInnes viola (1976) --- Bloch: Schelomo with Mstislav Rostropovich cello (1976) * --- Milhaud: Le Boeuf sur le toit (1976) ** --- Milhaud: La Creation du monde (1976) *** --- Milhaud: Saudades do Brasil (1976) ** --- Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto 3 with Alexis Weissenberg (1979) ** --- Schumann: Cello Concerto with Mstislav Rostropovich (1976) * * The Bloch and Schumann with Rostropovich were recorded in concert, and are also available on a Deutsche Grammophon DVD: Rostropovich: Life & Art [DVD Video (photo 1) ** Bernstein’s only recording of these works by Milhaud and Rachmaninov. *** Bernstein’s only stereo recording of ‘La Creation du monde’ (there were two previous recordings, for RCA and Columbia, both mono).
Recorded with the Orchestre National de France, previously known as the French National Radio Orchestra (Orchestre national de l'Office de radiodiffusion-télévision française - ORTF). It was France’s best orchestra in the 1970s (despite the newly created Orchestre de Paris).
PART TWO: ORTF BROADCAST RECORDINGS The major attraction of this box is the first CD release of French radio broadcasts (2½ CDs), newly remastered by INA (France’s national sound archive). Unfortunately, unlike the studio recordings, the broadcasts contain nothing new to Bernstein’s recorded repertoire, except 33 minutes of interesting rehearsal segments (in French). --- Bernstein: On the Waterfront: Symphonic Suite (1979) --- Bernstein: West Side Story: Symphonic Dances (1979) --- Ravel: Alborada del gracioso (1975) + rehearsal --- Ravel: Bolero (1975) --- Ravel: La Valse (1975) + rehearsal --- Ravel: Sheherazade with Marilyn Horne mezzo-soprano (1975) + rehearsal --- Ravel: Piano Concerto with Bernstein conducting from the keyboard (1975) + rehearsal --- Ravel: Tzigane with Boris Belkin violin (1975) Warner’s publicity claims that the 1975 Ravel Centenary Concert is previously unreleased. That may be true on CD, but in 2006 it was released on a Kultur DVD: Bernstein in Paris: The Ravel Concerts (photo 2) Following the concert, most of the Ravel works were recorded in the studio by CBS and issued on CD by Sony.
The 1975-76 Berlioz and Ravel recordings in this box are Bernstein’s final thoughts on these two composers. Bernstein programmed a lot of Berlioz and Ravel during his New York years, but avoided them during his final fifteen years (DG issued Ravel’s Piano Concerto with the Vienna Philharmonic, but that was recorded in 1971).