EuroArts DVD in May: Bernstein, Brahms, Beethoven, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Juilliard String Quartet

Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood

Johannes Brahms

Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73 • Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98

In anticipation of the upcoming Bernstein 90th birthday celebration, Naxos releases Leonard Bernstein and the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood. Leonard Bernstein came to Tanglewood as a student under Sergei Koussevitzky in the summer of 1940. Two summers later, Bernstein was appointed as the assistant to Maestro Koussevitzky at Tanglewood. Bernstein continued to return to Tanglewood almost every summer for 50 years to teach and conduct. This performance from August of 1972 speaks to Bernstein’s passion for conducting, his love affair with Tanglewood, and his hometown Boston Symphony Orchestra’s fondness for him.

Bernstein remarked of this performance of Brahms Symphonies 2 & 4, “Every time I return to Tanglewood I’m filled with nostalgia, but this summer of 1972 I’ve had a particularly vivid memory of Koussevitzky conducting the Brahms symphonies he loved so deeply.”

A bonus film shows Leonard Bernstein talking about his relationship to Tanglewood, his early career there and of the festival’s very special culture. The DVD also features Bernstein in conversation with his students in the summer of 1972, when the material for this wonderful portrait of Leonard Bernstein was recorded.


Juilliard String Quartet

Op. 18 No. 4 • Op. 59 “Rasumovsky” No. 1 • Op. 13

Now celebrating its 62nd anniversary, the Julliard String Quartet was founded in 1946 to champion the cause of chamber music through pedagogy and public performance. Known for its unprecedented affinity for experimentation, the quartet has won 4 Grammy® Awards and has been String Quartet-in-Residence at the Library of Congress since 1962. Thirty years into its long history, and equipped with founding member Robert Mann on 1st violin, veteran members Earl Carlyss (2nd violin) and Samuel Rhodes (viola), and cellist Joel Krosnick, the ensemble was filmed performing these Beethoven quartets.

This unique documentation of a 1975 concert is performed in an acoustically spectacular former Augustinian Monastery in Bavaria and includes Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 4 in C minor (1799), a stellar example of Beethoven’s early works; the mid-period String Quartet No. 7 in F major, which was completed 7 years later and is regarded as one of Beethoven’s finest chamber works; and finally the last large-scale piece written by the composer, String Quartet No. 14 (Op. 131), which is considered to be one of his greatest works in any the genre.