19 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Few pianists have lived as long with Leonard Bernstein’s imposing and virtuoso Second Symphony as Krystian Zimerman. In the 1980s he often performed it with the composer as conductor, and he brings a wealth of experience to his playing. Less impetuous than some, Zimerman’s playing is wonderfully deep—he’s thought hard about the seething emotional life of the work, inspired by W.H. Auden’s long, angst-ridden poem. Rattle and the great Berlin Philharmonic add further depth plus a beautiful patina to the sound, and the recording is spectacularly well-handled with a real sense of perspective.

Apple Digital Master

EDITORS’ NOTES

Few pianists have lived as long with Leonard Bernstein’s imposing and virtuoso Second Symphony as Krystian Zimerman. In the 1980s he often performed it with the composer as conductor, and he brings a wealth of experience to his playing. Less impetuous than some, Zimerman’s playing is wonderfully deep—he’s thought hard about the seething emotional life of the work, inspired by W.H. Auden’s long, angst-ridden poem. Rattle and the great Berlin Philharmonic add further depth plus a beautiful patina to the sound, and the recording is spectacularly well-handled with a real sense of perspective.

Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
1 Rating

1 Rating

SFreije ,

Bernstein at 100

To celebrate Bernstein’s birth 100 years ago, virtuoso pianist, Krystian Zimerman, returns to Bernstein’s 2nd symphony, a work he often performed with the legendary composer/conductor. I must confess to not being a big fan of Bernstein’s symphonies before this recording but this performance is so captivating, it was like hearing it with fresh ears. Right from the start, the hushed opening beautifully played by the Berliner clarinets captures our attention. The Berliners gorgeous tone and weight of sound contribute a lot to this recording. It is great to see a major orchestra advocate this symphony and play with such conviction. Zimerman, one of the best pianists of our time, draws upon his wealth of experience with the work and performs with poetic insight and faultless technique. Of all the Bernstein recordings released this year to celebrate his 100th birthday, this is the best. Those who know Bernstein mostly from “West Side Story” and looking to explore more of his compositions should listen to this, even if you have not been keen on previous recordings of Bernstein’s symphonies. Fans of Zimerman, Rattle, and the Berliner Philharmoniker should love this release as an important recording of a major composition from a giant of 20th century music.

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