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Steven Kruger
Fanfare, July 2012

This DVD is a welcome addition to the Erich Leinsdorf legacy…It is surprisingly exciting. It contains moments of what might pass for Viennese charm.

…it is useful from today’s perspective to look Leinsdorf in the eye in presentable color and experience him in good Symphony Hall sound, both supplied here. These Tchaikovsky and Beethoven performances date from 1969…They are recorded well, and the camerawork is optically normal and fairly modern.

The program notes by Richard Dyer are worth reading and explain Leinsdorf’s notoriously “objective” approach to music-making in a fair and understanding manner. And indeed, there is a comforting…sense of structure to everything heard here. Leinsdorf paces both works beautifully and excitingly. Most of the famous BSO principal players are visible, and I especially applaud the timpanist, Everett Firth. He adds fire, of which there is surprisingly a lot here. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review



Andrew Achenbach
Gramophone, June 2012

The standard of playing is little short of sensational and Leinsdorf’s actual interpretation…possesses prodigious energy, drama and sweep. The closing pages shoot off like a rocket, Leinsdorf’s audible exhortations merely intensifying the giddy rush of adrenalin. It’s also a rare treat to view a number of legendary BSO principals—among them the flautist Doriot Anthony Dwyer and timpanist Everett (‘Vic’) Firth—at the top of their game.

As for the fill-ups…ICA Classics DVD contains a sleek Egmont Overture from the same Symphony Hall concert as that of the symphony, as well as the first Minuet from Mozart’s Posthorn Serenade in a performance from January 1963…this time with Leinsdorf sans baton and drawing some rich-toned, immaculately tailored playing from this aristocrat among orchestras. © 2012 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Christopher Howell
MusicWeb International, May 2012

The first pleasant surprise that the material is in colour…

[Leinsdorf] is on truly inspired and inspiring form, conducting with total involvement. This doesn’t mean that it’s all fast and loud: the Beethoven goes at a good but not excessive pace and there is plenty of expressive weight to the introduction. The wind phrases in the allegro are beautifully turned and the coda truly blazes.

But his Tchaikovsky?

Leinsdorf plays this with great tenderness and free rubato, even risking some less precise ensemble. I must emphasize that here everything is white-hot and convinces as a free expression of emotions.

So, too, does the slow movement. The tempo is pretty steady but there is a sense of free-soaring passion which completely effaces any sense of the four-square. The waltz has an elegance which does not prevent exploitation of its darker moments while the finale carries all before it. The coda has an air of crude triumph presaging Mahler. Audience reaction is rightly rapturous and even Leinsdorf manages some smiles. It looks as though the Bostonians learnt to love Leinsdorf just as he was on his way out.

…don’t miss the Tchaikovsky on any account. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review





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