Title - Bernstein: Symphony No. 2
Artist - Krystian Zimerman & Simon Rattle
For those not in the classical know, Krystian Zimerman is a Polish pianist and conductor who has been described as one of the finest living pianists.
Indeed, in 1975, he won the IX International Chopin Piano Competition.
Sir Simon Rattle OM CBE is an English conductor who rose to international prominence during the 1980s and 1990s, while Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (1980–98).
Rattle was principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic from 2002 to 2018.
It was announced in March 2015 that Rattle would become Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra from September 2017.
As a passionate supporter of music education, Rattle is also the patron of Birmingham Schools' Symphony Orchestra, arranged during his tenure with CBSO in mid 1990s. The Youth Orchestra is now under the auspices of charitable business Services for Education.
When the great Leonard Bernstein celebrated his 70th birthday, Krystian Zimerman was asked to perform Symphony No. 2 (The Age of Anxiety) with Bernstein for the first time.
Full of praise for Zimerman’s performance, Bernstein asked the pianist to perform the piece again when the composer turned 100.
To fulfill that promise, Zimerman releases a new recording of Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2, performed with the Berlin Philharmonic and conducted by Simon Rattle in his last appearance as its chief conductor.
1: Leonard Bernstein on "The Age of Anxiety" (Interview)
Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)
Symphony No.2 "The Age of Anxiety" for piano and orchestra
After the poem by W.H. Auden
2-16: Part I: 1. The Prologue 2. The Seven Ages 3. The Seven Stages
17-19: Part II: 4. The Dirge 5. The Masque 6. The Epilogue
This wondrous live performance, that features Zimerman on piano along with the Berliner Philharmoniker, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, is - simply put - one of the finest classical workings of this piece that I've heard in many a year.
On Symphony No. 2 "The Age of Anxiety," Zimerman’s precision, and yet always delicate, thoughtful and pronounced piano playing is simply astounding to behold.
Combining an extraordinary amount of both dexterity along with the fluidity of certified nuance, each moment within the piece relates the story Bernstein wanted told perfectly.
Ergo, this thrilling and upbeat work, that finds both Zimerman and Rattle working hand in hand, effortlessly, as it seems, with the renowned Berliner Philharmoniker, truly allows for the overall playfulness of the piece to shine through at just the right times.
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