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4.6 out of 5 stars 13 ratings

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Audio CD, Import, 7 June 2018

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Product details

  • Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12.9 x 12.9 x 4.29 cm; 421.84 Grams
  • Manufacturer ‏ : ‎ SME MASTERWORKS
  • Original Release Date ‏ : ‎ 2018
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 10 hours and 37 minutes
  • Label ‏ : ‎ SME MASTERWORKS
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07BF3T98C
  • Country of origin ‏ : ‎ Germany
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 11
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 13 ratings

Product description

Sony Classical celebrates the 2018 centenary of Leonard Bernstein - one of the 20th century's most celebrated, multi-faceted and influential musicians - with a box set devoted to his complete RCA Victor and Columbia Masterworks recordings as pianist. All recordings in this 11 CDs original jacket collection have been newly remastered from the original analogue tapes using 24 bit / 192 kHz technology. It is a fitting tribute to the man whom Arthur Rubinstein called "the greatest pianist among conductors, the greatest conductor among composers, and the greatest composer among pianists."

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Pyotr Petróvich
5.0 out of 5 stars A great accompanist because he could adapt himself to the personality of the singer ...
Reviewed in Spain on 14 November 2018
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Roger Tibble
5.0 out of 5 stars Leonard Bernstein - The Pianist
Reviewed in Germany on 21 October 2020
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John Fowler
5.0 out of 5 stars CONTENTS ANALYSIS
Reviewed in the United States on 9 June 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars CONTENTS ANALYSIS
Reviewed in the United States on 9 June 2018
Bernstein’s best-selling piano recording was his highly personal reading of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (equal parts jazzy and sentimental) on Columbia.
This gave listeners a misleading impression of Bernstein’s pianism.
The remaining piano performances in this box are not nearly so flamboyant -- in contrast to the liberties Bernstein sometimes took with these same composer’s orchestral scores.
“Bernstein the Pianist” is the sixth box in Sony’s current reissue series.
All six feature state-of-the-art remasterings of the original Columbia recordings.

Bernstein’s pianism was pretty much confined to his Columbia years:
Eleven CDs on Columbia versus two CDs on Deutsche Grammophon.
Bernstein re-recorded Mozart’s Piano Concerti 15 & 17, the Ravel Concerto, and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue for DG/Decca.
DG has just one piano solo: Gershwin’s first Prelude (but at least it was new to his discography).

Eleven CDs in “original jacket format” with original LP artwork on the front and program notes on the back, plus a forty page booklet, in a cardboard slip case (not a box).
No texts or translations (these usually came on a separate sheet inside the LP jacket, but are not reproduced).
24bit/192kHz transfers supervised by Andreas K. Meyer or Brett Zinn.
“Bernstein the Pianist” recycles compositions from previously issued boxes:
Seven from “Bernstein Remastered” (*), and four from “Bernstein the Composer” (**).
Stereo unless otherwise indicated:

PIANO CONCERTI conducted from the keyboard
-- Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.1: New York Philharmonic, 1960 *
-- Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue: Columbia Symphony, 1959 *
-- Mozart: Concerto No.15: Columbia Symphony, 1956 mono *
-- Mozart: Concerto No.17: Columbia Symphony, 1956 mono *
-- Mozart: Concerto No.25: Israel Philharmonic, 1974
-- Mozart: Concerto for Three Pianos with Gold & Fizdale: New York Philharmonic, 1968
-- Ravel: Piano Concerto: Philharmonia Orchestra (aka Savoy Symphony), 1946 mono
-- Ravel: Piano Concerto: Columbia Symphony, 1958
-- Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No.2: New York Philharmonic, 1958
-- Bernstein: Seven Anniversaries, 1947 mono **
-- Copland: Piano Sonata, 1947 mono
-- Mozart: Piano Quartet K.478 with Juilliard Quartet members, 1965 *
-- Schumann: Piano Quintet Op.44 with Juilliard Quartet, 1964 *

Early Recordings:
---- Bernstein: “Afterthought” with Blanche Thebom soprano, 1947 mono **
---- Bernstein: “I Hate Music!” with Blanche Thebom soprano, 1949 mono
---- Blitzstein: “Dusty Sun” with Walter Scheff baritone, 1945 mono
-- with Christa Ludwig, mezzo, rec.1972:
------ Liebestreu, Op.3, No.1
------ Ruhe, Süßliebchen, Op.33, No.9
------ Von ewiger Liebe, Op.43, No.1
------ Die Mainacht, Op.43, No.2
------ Feldeinsamkeit, Op.86, No.2
------ Sapphische Ode, Op.94, No.4
------ Der Tod, das ist die kühle Nacht, Op.96, No.1
------ Zigeunerlieder, Op.103, No.1-7,11
------ Immer leiser wird mein Schlummer, Op.105, No.2
------ Ständchen, Op.106, No.1
------ Mädchenlied, Op.107, No.5
-- with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone, rec.1968:
------ Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugendzeit:
Nicht wiedersehen! / Serenade aus Don Juan / Zu Strassburg auf der Schanz / Scheiden und Meiden / Selbstgefühl / Um schlimme Kinder artig zu machen / Ablösung im Sommer / Phantasie aus Don Juan / Erinnerung / Ich ging mit Lust / Frühlingsmorgen
------ Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen - complete *
------ Rückert-Lieder: Ich atmet' einen linden Duft, Blicke mir nicht in die Lieder! / Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen / Um Mitternacht
-- with Christa Ludwig, mezzo & Walter Berry, baritone, rec.1968:
------ Des Knaben Wunderhorn
The piano version was originally released in a two-LP set with the orchestral version (which was in the “Bernstein Remastered” box).
JENNIE TOUREL, mezzo-soprano:
---- Mussorgsky: Songs and Dances of Death, mono
---- Bernstein: La Bonne Cuisine **
---- Bernstein: I Hate Music **
---- Poulenc: hôtel
---- Poulenc: Voyage à Paris
---- Poulenc: C
Rec.1969 at Carnegie Hall
---- Schumann: Liederkreis, Op.39
---- R. Strauss: Allerseelen, Op.10, No.8
---- Rachmaninov: Oh Cease Thy Singing Maiden Fair, Op.4, No.4
---- Tchaikovsky: Cradle Song, Op.16, No.1
---- Tchaikovsky: Wait!, Op.16, No.2
---- Tchaikovsky: Night, Op.60, No.9
---- Tchaikovsky: Amid Somber Days, Op.73, No.5
---- Tchaikovsky: So soon forgotten TH 94
---- Debussy: Fêtes galantes, Set 1
---- Duparc: La Vie antérieure
---- Liszt: O quand je dors, S282
---- Offenbach: O mon cher amant, je te jure (from La Périchole)
---- Offenbach: Ah! quel dîner je viens de faire (from La Périchole)
---- Poulenc: Airs chantés: Air vif
---- Satie: Trois Melodies
The 1969 Jennie Tourel Carnegie Hall concert is presented in it's entirety, with nine songs that were not on the original LP: Debussy (2), Poulenc, Satie (2), Strauss and Tchaikovsky (3).

* these remasterings were previously in the “Leonard Bernstein Remastered Edition” box.
** these remasterings were previously in the “Bernstein the Composer” box.


Sony: Six boxes of Bernstein’s Columbia Recordings
-- 2009: [[ASIN:B005SJIP1E Mahler: The Complete Symphonies]] (12 CDs)
-- 2015: [[ASIN:B00UOFIUDK Bernstein Sibelius - Remastered]] (7 CDs)
-- 2017: [[ASIN:B01MPX0CXB Leonard Bernstein - The Composer]] (25 CDs: 11 conducted by Bernstein)
-- 2017: [[ASIN:B01M5FQZCK New York Philharmonic 175th Anniversary]] (65 CDs: 25 conducted by Bernstein))
-- 2018: [[ASIN:B072M4GVVB Leonard Bernstein Remastered]] (100 CDs)
-- 2018: [Bernstein the Pianist] (11 CDs) reviewed on this page.
Deutsche Grammophon:
-- Bernstein’s later career is documented in an absolutely complete collection of his DG recordings: [[ASIN:B0787H5939 Leonard Bernstein - Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon & Decca]] (131 CDs + 1 Blu-Ray Audio disc + 36 DVDs)

Columbia has several advantages over Deutsche Grammophon:
-- Bernstein was usually a more vital conductor (and pianist) during the 1950s and ‘60s. This is a totally subjective statement. You don’t have to accept it.
-- Ninety percent of his Columbia recordings involve the New York Philharmonic (sometimes masquerading as the “Columbia Symphony”). Not the world’s greatest orchestra, but it was Bernstein’s orchestra. Intangible, but I think it matters. Most of his DG remakes were with European orchestras.
-- The Columbia analog sound, especially in the new remasterings, is preferable to DG’s mostly digital sound. Another subjective statement.
(and the DG remasterings are not new, with the exception of the Beethoven Symphonies).

That said, Sony has done a messy job of repackaging their Columbia recordings.
The lack of logic is stunning.
The 166 Bernstein-conducted CDs in the six Sony boxes amount to approximately sixty percent of Bernstein’s total recordings for Columbia Masterworks.
Admittedly a 300 CD box of “Bernstein’s Complete Columbia Recordings” would be a bit unwieldly, but Sony could have broken it into two or three boxes with the composers in alphabetical order (DG’s method) or chronological order.
“Bernstein the Pianist” at least has a unifying theme.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous collection
Reviewed in the United States on 14 January 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lenny, the American Treasure.
Reviewed in the United States on 9 April 2021
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