In 2013 I heard Arkadij Volodos play the Brahms Piano Concert nr . 2 with the Oslo Philharmonic. He certainly is one of the leading pianists of this decade. After the third call he sat down again and played something quite opposite to the fairly boisterous concerto. Was it Bach or Handel, I'm not sure, gentle, fairly slow, but his pianissimos are magical.
We also heard the 5th symphony by Sibelius, my favourite. The director was Jukka-Pekka Saraste. I love the ending by cords. It also has the famous 'swan theme'. You can find the 5th on YouTube by many conductors. I loved the interpretation of Bernstein, partly perhaps as it is a DVD, not CD, so you can see him. Especially the end, where he, after thanking the orchestra with his hands held palm to palm, folds them in front of his face, seemingly overwhelmed. the camera moving quickly away.
There are some fine remarks on the performance:
"Surely every performance of any work has its merits unless played utterly contradictory to a composer's wishes. This is Bernstein's performance and who has the audacity to argue with him? Sibelius is not here to defend his work and who is entitled to say that he would NOT have approved of Bernstein's
, Karajan's or anyone else's interpretation? Great orchestra and fantastic sound. Thanks."
"Thank you for posting this. It makes me homesick for Finland- and I'm not even from there!!"
"Epic piece...played it in San Vito Lanciano (Italy) 1989 with german conductor and the Orchestra Interazionale...last movement especially really emotional. Best interpretation I have ever heard! Bravo!"
After this some criticism:
"Leonard Bernstein was a true genius one of the greatest musicians, composers and conductors EVER so stop picking nits ! He COMMANDS this orchestra as if he's playing each instrument personally ! I once felt sick when I heard a 'Classic FM' DJ called Henry Kelly refer to him as 'Lenny' as if he were a personal friend and worthy of anything more than doing up his shoelaces !"
"Surely every performance of any work has its merits unless played utterly contradictory to a composer's wishes. This is Bernstein's performance and who has the audacity to argue with him? Sibelius is not here to defend his work and who is entitled to say that he would NOT have approved of Bernstein's, Karajan's or anyone else's interpretation?
Great orchestra and fantastic sound. Thanks."
"Of all the versions of Sibelius' 5th, I must say this is the most perfect. Which is a lofty thing to say...today I heard this very performance on SiriusXM and had to hold back my blubbering tears as I sat in my car during lunch."
He was answered by: "The face of Bernstein following the end of the Fifth and the end of the Second says it all. I think Bernstein would agree with you"
These probably followed Bernstein's interpretation of the 2nd.:
"Two geniuses made this symphony breathtaking, it leaves me in tears of thanking God' grace on this rainy day in northern California."
"Pinch yourself if you don't feel moved by the closing 15 minutes. Have to be dead."
"I played it with the Longwood Symphony. It was hard not to weep during the string unisons.
My brother in Seattle heard this done by their Symphonic Orchestra and turned me onto it...can't help but be pulled into the emotion and action...fun, fun, fun."
"Thanks for this! I love watching Bernstein conduct, & he's especially wonderful here. Those last few seconds totally melted my heart."