Classics of the Phonograph

Bernstein, the last recordings

Bernstein conducting the New York City Symphony (1945)

Bernstein conducting the New York City Symphony (1945) By Fred Palumbo, World Telegram staff photographer - Library of Congress. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection., Public Domain,

The last phase of Leonard Bernstein's recording career was mainly with Deutsche Grammophon Records. Bernstein had become a star guest conductor in Europe, especially in Vienna. He was always better before a live audience, so recordings of live performances were issued. As Bernstein mellowed with age, his tempos got slower as his career drew to a close.

On this week's Classics of the Phonograph, Saturday at 11 am on WILL-FM, we will sample some of these recordings. 


Liszt: Faust Symphony, finale, Boston Sym., first recording of Bernstein's contract with Deutsche Grammophon

Mozart: Sym. 41, Jupiter, first movement, Vienna Phil.

Beethoven: Ninth Symphony, choral finale (in part), "Freiheit" Performance, on 12, 25, 1989, on fall of Berlin Wall, seen by over a 100 million people on TV.

Beethoven: Symphony 7, finale, at last concert of Bernstein's life, Tanglewood Festival, Boston Symphony, August 14, 1990