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.
Leonard Bernstein on “The Age of Anxiety“ - Interview by Humphrey Burton