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Bernstein box

I will start this review with a bold statement: of all the oft-recorded
conductors that have ever lived, no-one has had such a high
proportion of great musicianship, great playing and great sonics in
their discography than Leonard Bernstein on Deutsche
Grammophon. This is particularly remarkable given the length of
time that Bernstein was signed to the Yellow Label (more than 10
years) and the remarkably wide range of orchestras and halls that
Bernstein recorded with and inin Vienna, Britain, USA, Germany,
France, Italy and Israel, among others, and yet I challenge you to list
out more than ten Bernstein/DG recordings that didnt contain all
three of those elements. Of the great conductors with a large
discography certainly Karajan, Abbado, Solti, Haitink, Chailly,
Ozawa, Boulez, Previn, Davis, Maazel, Rattle--the list goes on and
on--can't take this claim. In terms of proportion of great
performances and sonics to size of discography you might say
Carlos Kleiber tops Bernstein, but Kleiber's discography is
minuscule. Another conductor that came to mind is Celibidache on
EMI but a) his recordings aren't exactly "official" and b) Celi did
produce quite a few not-so-great recordings, and yet another is
Blomstedt on Decca--he basically never made a bad recording at all
and Deccas team of engineers were very supportive--but the
majority of his recordings are just merely very good, not what I
consider "great".
To me, greatness requires a spark of inspiration and spirit in addition
to genuine musicality, and that is exactly what Bernstein possess
that made him stand head and shoulders above the crowd. Of
course, Bernstein as a conductor had this unique quality to inspire
and galvanise both orchestra and audience even in his earliest
recordings on Sony, but more often than not the Sony engineers
weren't very cooperative, to say the least. (Some of the very worst
recordings (I mean sonically) ever made came from Bernstein/Sony.)
The vast majority of Bernstein's recordings on DG, on the other
hand, are absolutely audiophile, but more importantly, Bernstein's
late remakes (and they were mostly remakes of repertoire already
done on Sony) intensified this already blazing inspiration to
unbelievable extents. His ultra-romantic interpretations of heart-onsleeve intensity were completely at odds with the cool-headed
clarity of a Boulez, the honest and understated musicality of a
Haitink (or Blomstedt), and the sinewy sound-world and cerebral
scholarship of the historically-informed performance movement that
started around Bernstein's late period (the early 80s). (Bernstein
said about performing Beethoven rather prophetically (or not,
depending on when he said so): "When I conduct Beethoven, I dont
care whether I conduct the way Beethoven would have conducted.
Whats important is that Im convinced that what Ive done is in the
spirit of Beethoven, even if I know that Beethoven would have done
it differently.) For this reason, Bernstein has attracted criticism for
over-inflating some of the works, but his fans love him for exactly

the same reason: the daring and emotionality that places him in a
pantheon that few other conductors have been able to reach
(occasionally Tennstedt was an example especially in his live
recordings, but his studio recordings were often uninspiring).
Onto the product packaging: in a massive LP-sized box, DG has
compiled what is the first of two volumes dedicated to the complete
recordings of this genius conductor on the label. This first volume,
sorted alphabetically, contains the recordings from Beethoven to
Liszt, by way of Bernstein, Brahms, Copland, Elgar, Haydn and Ives.
The discs--59 of them plus one DVD--are bound together in stacks
of four, and the cardboard sleeves bear the original album art. A
large booklet, containing a touching foreword by daughter Jamie
Bernstein and informative essays by Nigel Simeone and Humphrey
Burton (but no sung texts), completes the limited edition set. The
price (about $1300-1700 HKD, depending on your retailer) is quite
reasonable for such a deluxe gargantuan.
Beethoven (CDs 1-16)
Bernstein undoubtedly was a major Beethovenian and recorded
most of his major orchestral works. Thats a lot of music, so lets
start with the justly famous cycle with the Vienna Philharmonic
dating from the late 1970s. Here are generally standard and highly
energetic interpretations, nothing especially provoking or
idiosyncratic going on here, which has led some reviewers to feel
that Bernstein was tame in Beethoven. Quite the opposite: despite
the lack of neurotics, Bernstein invests the music with lots of spirit
and gusto, revealing Beethovens sunnier and kinetic side rather
than the tormented and conflicted facet that performers as diverse
as Kleiber, Klemperer, Barenboim and Furtwangler bring out. The
Vienna Philharmonic plays splendidly (as it always does in
Beethoven), and though some performances may lack ideal
lightness, bounce or charm (the early two symphonies and 8th), the
rest blaze with plenty of heroic and spiritual intensity. I consider the
9th to be the best of the set: not only is it impeccably sung (with the
exception of the always strange-sounding Hanna Schwarz) and
enormously thrilling (the race to the finish has never been executed
so speedily and joyously), it also bears all the momentousness and
sense of occasion of his later Berlin wall performance with none of
the idiosyncrasies. Sonically it is also better than the Berlin
performance, and even the rest of the Vienna cycle.
Bernstein also recorded quite a number of one-off Beethoven
symphonies. The 5th with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
(an Amnesty International charity concert) was recorded only a year
before the Vienna performance, yet it bears an extra ounce of
intensity and struggle that I prefer. The Berlin 9th, a concert
celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall, is a controversial affair, with
many complaining that it is simply too bloated and slow (and I
concurthat is why I mentioned that the Vienna performance is
preferable). The 7th with the Boston Symphony (Bernsteins last
recording), a protracted, texturally clogged and murkily recorded

performance, is a sad misfire by an ill-stricken man on his last legs.


(More on the coupling in a later section.)
He also accompanied Krystian Zimerman in the 3rd to 5th piano
concertos and Arrau in the 4th (the latter derives from the same
Amnesty concert as the 5th symphony). Bernstein rides shotgun in
both instances; it seems that he is more than happy to let the
pianists vision of the music dominate more than his own, which
shows how supportive and sympathetic Bernstein was as an
accompanist (unlike, many report, Karajan). Zimerman plays with
spectacular clarity and evenness, offering a solid, luminous tone and
straightforward yet deeply convincing interpretations, while Arrau
offers quite a lot more rhetorical weight aided by his trademark
upholstered, bass-oriented tone (the bass Ds about 1:10 into the
finale resonate like deep bells)in this respect the two pianists
could not be more different. It seems that Bernstein has also
noticed this and suited the orchestral sonority to that of the
pianists, for he conjures crisp and clear sonorities from the Vienna
Philharmonic, while drawing a darker, more solid and imposing tone
from the Bavarian RSO. In both cases DGs sonics are impeccable.
Besides these, theres a disc of overtures, whose merits are similar
to that of the Vienna cycle (unsurprising since they were recorded
almost contemporaneously) and the entire Fidelio, both with Vienna,
an intense and dramatic Missa Solemnis with the Concertgebouw
Orchestra, and quite famously Bernsteins own arrangements of
string quartets 14 and 16 for string orchestra, performed here by
the Vienna strings. Bernstein has referred to this particular record
as his favorite of all his recordings; the alluring Vienna string sound
and Bernsteins warmly expressive direction wont make you
struggle to understand why.
Bernstein (CDs 17-32)
Theres been quite a lot of debate to whether the performances by a
composer of his/her own works are necessarily the best. Of
course, for any conductor to deliver a good performance, he has to
have a certain vision of the music and proficient conducting skills
(amongst other things), and if such a good conductor happens to be
the composer as well, theres an added authority to the
interpretation that will make it stand out as one of the most
convincing, if not the most convincing, interpretation there is.
Richard Strauss, for example, was no doubt a great composer, but
his recordings of his own works were mostly indifferently played and
interpreted, while Igor Stravinsky was one of the most persuasive
exponents of his own music. As to whether Bernstein was a great
composer, some may have a few reservations, but as to whether he
was a great conductor, for most I suppose there is no shadow of
doubt. Thus it follows that, yes, Bernsteins performances of his
own works were often the best available (more on this later)not
that there has been much competition so far.
Which brings us to the matter of Bernstein as composer. Some of
his works have been widely considered classics: his score for West

Side Story, for example (and the resultant Symphonic Dances), and
his operetta Candide, particularly the overture which has become an
orchestral showpiece and staple for youth orchestras. Yet other
works, particularly his concert works, have rarely been performed.
For me some of his works are unjustly neglected, such as the lovely
Divertimento for orchestra, or the fantastically jazzy Prelude, Fugue
and Riffs, both of which are immediately accessible and
instantaneously lovable. But there are other works whose idiom
may take considerable time to get used to, such as Symphony No. 3
Kaddish, and the Mass. At any rate, the textures, harmonies,
melodies and idioms Bernstein employ in his compositions all point
to a composer with considerable talent and imaginativeness.
Despite this some have expressed further doubts about Bernstein as
a composer. One reviewer mentioned that a composition by
Bernstein was just a huge melting pot of jazz, Jewish music and
Copland (meaning contemporaneous American music); I will agree
that Bernstein was not exactly the most inventive of composers, i.e.
he did not invent a completely original style or voice in his
compositionssome may use the word derivative. Yet I will say that
Bernstein was one of the most ingenious composers: that he could
fuse three completely different idioms together (okay, two) and call
it his own is already in itself a considerable creative act. (And let it
never be said that the great composers of the past never once
copied from others idioms!) Of course, his versatility in
composition also points to his American-Jewish roots, as well as his
extroverted personality and extremely diverse and pluralistic fields
of study and expertise (rarely has there been such a polymath, a
Renaissance man, as Leonard Bernstein!). At any rate, even if
Bernstein was not one of the great composers, the merits of his
work are many, and most of them are just plain fun. As such I see
no reason why anyone should avoid his works.
As to the performances: as I have explained above, they are mostly
great. The Israel Philharmonic takes the lions share of this large
body of works, playing like the world-class orchestra it has not
always been (the percussion and brass pack considerable wallop),
while the other pieces are assigned to a surprising variety of
orchestras: the New York Philharmonic gets the enigmatic and
abstract Dybbuk; the National Symphony Orchestra takes the
eclectic Songfest, based on American poems; the Vienna
Philharmonic surprises with a bright, brash and disarmingly
idiomatic rendition of the Prelude, Fugue and Riffs starring principal
clarinet Peter Schmidl; Los Angeles delivers an intense and
boisterous Symphonic Dances, yielding little to the famous New York
Philharmonic recording on Sony; the London Symphony gives us a
raunchy, gung-ho Candide with both Jerry Hadley and June Anderson
in their prime; only the ORF Orchestra (a.k.a. Vienna Radio
Symphony Orchestra) slightly disappoints in A Quiet Place with
indifferent orchestral response and an incredibly distant recording
that sounds as if it was recorded from backstage. The famous West

Side Story recording needs no introduction from me; suffice it to say


that, while this writer also feels its demerits, its merits completely
live up to the hype. DG has also rather considerately included the
recordings of the two major Bernstein works that Bernstein did not
live to record: Naganos A White House Cantata and Tilson Thomas
On The Town, both with the London Symphony.
Bizet and other Frenchmen (CDs 33-34, 46, 49)
The Carmen included here was Bernsteins first recording for DG,
and the cast is starry indeed, with Marilyn Horne a seductive
Carmen, James McCracken a huge-voiced Don Jos (some find him
shouty), and a convincing if not particularly memorable Escamillo
sung by Tom Krause. The MET orchestra and chorus play and sing
very well respectively. On the other hand, Bernsteins direction is
heavy and monumental to the extreme, and the sonics, while
basically clear and present, suffer from distortion whenever a full
tutti is achieved. Not the most idiomatic Carmen around, but a very
special one.
The Debussy La Mer, recorded with the Santa Cecilia Orchestra of
Rome in 1989, strikes me as resembling less the outright kineticism
and intensity of a Reiner than the relaxed, mysterious and spiritual
experience that late Giulini and Celibidache gave us. But there the
similarities between the two conductors end. Comparing to Giulini,
Bernstein is more imaginative in terms of phrasing, showing that in
his late years he could still bring flair to the musicthus the ebb
and flow of the cello theme in De laube midi sur la mer is
masterfully and sensually handled; same goes to the central climax
of the otherwise quite protracted Faun Prelude. But unlike
Celibidache, Bernstein does not invest the climaxes with quite as
much drama or energy, nor does he have that laser-like
concentration and strong control over the orchestras texture and
dynamics that sustained my attention from start to finish. (Suffice it
to say that this was Bernsteins firstand onlyrecorded concert
appearance with the orchestra). Both in terms of sonics and playing
Bernsteins performance is generally very fine but less than worldclass; the richness of the Munich strings and heaviness of their
brass leaves an indelible impression that the Italian orchestra, no
matter how technically proficient, struggles to achieve. Similar
observations regarding the orchestra apply to the Images (which
Celibidache also recorded), though this time round I find Bernsteins
interpretation slightly more cohesive and convincing.
The other French disc in this box contains Francks Symphony, SaintSaenss Le Rouet dOmphale and Roussels Symphony No. 3. The
Franck is a great version, with a soulful cor anglais solo in the
second movement and a really blistering opening to the finale (the
long timing points to the way he really takes his time on the lyrical
sections). Yet it is obvious that the French National Orchestras
playing, while technically proficient, is not particularly distinguished,
with an underweight string section and characterless windsfor
great playing you are referred to Giulinis magisterial Vienna

Philharmonic recording and Klemperers weighty Philharmonia


rendition. The Saint-Saens and Roussel are not very popular on
disc; Bernstein invests them with plenty of color, delicacy and
vivacity. (Editors note: This disc is now available on Virtuoso at
budget price.)
Brahms (CDs 35-41)
While Bernsteins Beethoven was relatively straightforward, his
Brahms symphony cycle was more in the style of what we usually
refer to as Bernsteins late style, which is to say deliberate, heavy,
emotionally charged and larger-than-life. This caused a few major
reviewers to feel that Bernstein was mismatched with Brahms, with
one going as far to say that it was dull and demented.
Subjectively I couldnt agree more. Yes, Bernstein views Brahms on
a more emotive and ponderous scale than many other conductors
(but not in any way significantly slower than the norm!), but I feel
theres nothing wrong with that. Quite on the contrary, this
unprecedented heroicness (and tragedy, in the case of the 4th
symphony) shines a completely distinctive light on Brahms, both the
man and the music: revealing the greatly emotional soul behind the
gruff exterior, and bringing out the wealth of moods behind the
stringent symphonic argument and tightly-knit structures. Therefore
the opening of the finale to the 1st symphony has rarely sounded
more brooding, the horn calls welcoming and big-hearted; the
opening and finale of the 3rd is saturated with visceral drama; the 4th
almost unbearably intense and moving in the coda of the opening
and closing movements. Bernstein sees no hurry in the slow
movements, but he sustains the melodic line very well, and the
Vienna Philharmonics playing is absolutely ravishing. The same
goes for the overtures and the Haydn Variations. Only the finale of
the 2nd is a bit clumsily handled, but thats about the only flaw I can
point out in these beautifully played and recorded performances.
In the concertos Bernstein once again proves to be a sensitive
accompanist, but this time in the piano concertos (also with Krystian
Zimerman) I find the two to be slightly mismatched (this was not a
feeling that I had with their Beethoven): Bernsteins
accompaniments are lush and grand, while Zimermans playing is
surgically clean, lean, and extremely sparsely pedaled. Hearing the
treacherous F-minor episode in the first movement of the 2nd
concerto (bar 159 onwards) played by the piano and then built up to
its climax with the orchestra (figure F) is like being transported from
the future to the past in a blink of an eye: very fascinating, yet also
a bit strange. However it is impossible to lay similar criticisms with
the Violin Concerto and Double Concerto performances: both
Kremer and Maisky make perfect complements to Bernsteins
vigorous direction and the Vienna Philharmonics luxurious tone.
The Americans sans Bernstein (CDs 17, 24, 25, 43-45, 50,
57)
Bernsteins authority on contemporary American music is
unquestionable: he was one of its major proponents and made a

whole generation of Europeans take it seriously, his own music was


influenced greatly by it, he premiered many works of the type, and
he befriended quite a number of its composers (Copland, Foss, etc.).
There are so many works by so many different composers here
(mainly Gershwin, Copland, Schuman, Foss, Ives and Harris) that I
find it futile to describe the performances work by work; instead I
will select a few performances (and works) that I identify and return
to the most.
The Gershwin with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on CD 17, coupled
with Bernsteins Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, features a
relaxed and sentimental Rhapsody and Blue with Bernstein on the
piano. Like Bernsteins old New York Philharmonic recording he
disembowels the work, linking the two piano cadenzas together;
unlike the old one the orchestral response is much more alert and
the piano is significantly better recorded (read: less woodysounding). Bernstein slowly, soulfully and sassily plays the encore,
Gershwins Second Prelude. As far as Gershwins Rhapsody goes I
still prefer the sharpness and leanness of MTTs New World
Symphony recording but Bernsteins way with the work is
delightfully old school and deserves repeated hearing.
I dont generally like Coplands music, but I enjoy El Salon Mexico,
and Bernstein plays the pants of the work. In both orchestral
response and sonics Bernstein surpasses the classic Dorati
recording on Mercury (the thwacks at around 5 and 11 minutes into
the work makes an audiophile showstopper), but whether you prefer
Bernsteins more heavily inflected interpretation boils down to a
matter of taste (it suits mine very well).
Ives, on the other hand, is probably my favorite American composer
besides Bernstein and Gershwin, and Bernsteins recordings of
Symphony No. 2 have justly become classics (be it the premiere
New York Philharmonic recording on Sony, this 1987 live recording
with the same orchestra, or the video performance with the
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, also in 1987, complete with a
touching address to the audience). More passionate than
Schemerhorn/Nashville, more athletic than Ormandy/Philadelphia,
more naturally recorded than Litton/Dallas and better played than
Mehta/Los Angeles (and more amputated than any of them),
Bernsteins performance has virtually nothing to criticize. The
timbral qualities of the New York Philharmonic itself are something
to write home about (lush strings with lots of depth, brilliant
woodwinds and brass and a matte-sounding horn section), and
needless to say Bernstein enjoys himself tremendously.
Even if I havent come completely to terms with all the
contemporary American music featured here, Bernsteins
performances are all nothing less than excellent, and no matter how
many recordings of these works have subsequently appeared on the
market Bernsteins still deserve to be highly recommended.
Haydn (CDs 51-55)

Of all the composers, Bernstein was probably the closest to Haydn in


terms of personality: outgoing, honest and bubbly. Bernstein had
previously recorded 12 CDs worth of Haydn for Sony with the New
York Philharmonic (this includes all the London and Paris symphonies
plus No. 88); his Haydn recordings for DG have been concentrated
into only 4 symphonies (88, 92, 94, 102), some masses, the oratorio
The Creation, and a work new to his discography, the Sinfonia
Concertante.
While the New York recordings of the symphonies strove for
kineticism and directness, Bernsteins Vienna remakes are more
relaxed, warmer and sunnier, and for this reason very lovable.
Cognoscenti and Bernstein fans will remember a memorable
Bernstein non-conducting moment (the whole finale of the 88th),
which sees him giving the tempo for the first few bars and then
putting his hands at the back of his body, allowing only his facial
expressions and grunts to signalize changes of mood and color to
the players. As for the Sinfonia Concertante, its hard to decide
between Bernsteins geniality and darker-toned soloists and
Abbados eloquent poetry and cleaner, more close-sounding
recordingI recommend that you hear both.
Bernstein takes a magisterial view of The Creation, eschewing Soltis
at times blistering ferocity in favor of grandiosity and measuredness
(Karajans is also grand but not as ponderous). In my opinion
Bernsteins soloists are tonally not as distinguished as either Soltis
or Karajans (Ruth Ziesaks silvery tone and Gundula Janowitzs solid
gold one), but they sing with more emotion and involvementnone
of the latter twos impersonal perfection, and the Bavarian Radio
Symphony Orchestra and Chorus dark, smooth sound is a delight.
In the end I still prefer Soltis more theatrical view, but Bernsteins is
never less than distinguished. The Paukenmesse is similarly more
measured than his New York first recording, but it gains in intensity
and grandeur what it may lack in sheer speed, and the Bavarians
playing is something to die for (such a soulful cello solo in Qui
Tollis!).
Everything else (CDs 16, 42, 47, 48, 56, 58, 59)
What we have in these remaining eight discs are some German,
British, Czech, Italian and Hungarian music that occupy too small a
volume of this box set in themselves that I thought it would be best
to review them together.
CD16 contains Brittens Four Sea Interludes, performed in the same
concert (and on the same disc) as Bernsteins valedictory Beethoven
7 with the Boston. To my ears the playing is less problematic to
these ears but the transitions can be clumsy at times, and it is still
badly recorded.
Bernstein never was fully convinced or comfortable with Bruckners
idiom, and such he steered clear of most of Bruckners symphonies
except the 9th, which he also did with the New York Philharmonic on
Sony. (A few sources note his loathing of the 8th, which he
nevertheless could memorize from heart and explain note for note

why he disliked it.) This 9th with the Vienna Philharmonic on CD42
undoubtedly joins the list of great Vienna Bruckner Ninths (Mehta,
Schuricht, Giulini, Abbadoalmost amounting to the whole Vienna
Bruckner 9 discography!). This is Bruckner taken personal: a highly
wrenching, emotional and visceral approach that none of the
previously mentioned conductors (and most other conductors, in
fact) even begin to resemble. The slow tempi is used for further
intensity everywhere, be it the sonic intensity of the gut-wrenching
climaxes or the hushed intensity of the beautifully sustained
melodic lines; in both instances the Vienna Philharmonic fully
matches Bernsteins approach, and the highly pronounced timbral
qualities (sweet strings, buzzy horns and rock-solid timpani) is a joy.
With CD47 we come to one of two highly controversial and personal
Bernstein interpretations included in this box, readings that even
the most devoted Bernstein fan may find hard to accept, let alone
love. This Dvorak 9 with the Israel Philharmonic is famous for its
extremely slow Largo (18:30) and, like the New York first version, a
very speedy Scherzo, balancing moderately slow first and last
movements. Like the aforementioned Bruckner 9 Bernsteins
slowness makes for more intensity, but this time to me the Largos
pace really bogs it down; not only are the Israel players unable to
sustain the tempo convincingly (poor English Horn player!though I
doubt few other orchestras and their soloists can successfully
sustain Bernsteins pace), this interminability distorts Dvoraks
carefully planned symphonic architecture, making it seem like a
massive pond of ditchwater between two craggy, magnificent
peaks. That movement aside the symphony goes extremely well,
with the Israel Philharmonic playing their hearts out, and this is all
recorded in very good sound. The coupling, Slavonic Dances Op. 46
Nos. 1, 3 and 8, are more straightforward, but the peasants are
dancing in clogs, not in sandals.
CD48 then immediately presents us with Highly Controversial
Bernstein Interpretation No. 2, and of the two controversial bits of
this performance of the Enigma Variations one is musical (the 6:11
Nimrodtwice as slow as many performances) and one is extramusical (the fact that Bernstein insulted many of the BBC players by
his behavior in the sessions; he was never re-engaged). Say what
you like about that Nimrod (the BBCSO, a generally better orchestra
than the Israel PO, is able to sustain the etiolated pace better than
the IPO did with the Dvorak Largoand I find it absolutely
gorgeous), the rest of the performance is spontaneous, characterful
and gruff. Bernstein here has the quality of a great actor in that he
is able to switch between characters and personalities (and there is
a different personality in each variation) effortlessly, and manages
to bring the character to life idiomatically and authentically. Thus
(to mention a few variations) the theme is sweet with a tinge of
melancholy; W.M.B, Troyte and G.R.S bubble with ebullience, and the
final variation (referring to Elgar himself) is grand and self-glorifying
beyond compare, with a blazing organ. The two Pomp and

Circumstance marches (1 and 2) are totally idiomaticgreat


performances in themselves. No matter how much the BBC players
suffered (mentally not physically) they play excellently for
Bernstein.
The remaining performances need little accounting for; they are
suitably legendary. The Hindemith program with the Israel
Philharmonic has rarely sported the orchestra in such an alert and
inspired form, while Bernstein fully epitomizes the intense Faustian
struggle and spiritual trajectory in the Liszt (with generally slower
tempi than the norm), with a fantastic Boston Symphony at his beck
and call (this particular recording has been reissued on Originals).
The original LP of the Liszt was coupled with a performance of the
prologue of Arrigo Boitos Mefistofele, and it reappears that way in
this original jacket collection. Bernstein conducts a beautiful
performance, especially haunting in the last section, with the Vienna
Philharmonic sounding ravishing as always and surprisingly
enthusiastic in such obscure repertoire as this. The sonics are a bit
distant and reverbrant, but this serves to enhance the
heavenliness of the music.
Conclusion
I believe enough ink has been shed on the Maestros greatness as
an artist, so all I have left to say is that this beautifully presented
box is an essential purchase if you are a fan of Bernstein, and even
if you arent you can safely invest in this box knowing that you will
be treated to countless hours of great performances and listening
pleasure. I look forward to the second volume, due in 2015, with
baited breath.