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This series of DVDs will make the publicly broadcast BSO concerts from this era available for the first time since they were broadcast. This rare material represents some of the earliest televised concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and William Steinberg, and has been restored using the greatest care and state-of-the-art techniques. It is of exceptional musical interest and historic value.
The BSO s Music Director for just three seasons, Steinberg spent a great deal of time in the USA, having left Europe following Music Director positions in Cologne, Prague and Frankfurt. He also co-founded the Palestine Orchestra, later the Israel Philharmonic. His time with the BSO came at the end of his career following his position as the Music Director of Pittsburgh Symphony, which he held for over 20 years. Steinberg recorded a great deal of material with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to great acclaim, but only a small selection of recordings with the BSO for DG. His recording of Holst s The Planets became a bestseller thanks to the calibre of Steinberg s interpretation and virtuosic playing from the BSO.
A live recording of Bruckner 8 with Steinberg and the BSO, from 1972, was issued as part of the orchestra s Centennial Celebration set, and has been described as a good, well paced and powerful reading, well played by the Bostonians . Steinberg s CD release of Mahler s Second Symphony on ICA Classics has received excellent reviews Gramophone described it as a startlingly direct statement of a score that is too often treated to extremes of mood and tempo and Classics Today as having moments that set a new standard in this music . Steinberg leads this Bruckner 8 performance from memory and with great subtlety and distinction in a sympathetic interpretation that provoked a rapturous response from the Boston audience. Richard Dyer in his booklet note describes the performance as compelling. Two of ICA s BSO DVDs featuring Charles Munch as conductor have been awarded the Diapason d Or in France s Diapason magazin
While the material has been restored using the greatest care and state-of-the-art-techniques, certain visual artefacts and distortions remain in some instances due to the age of the film. Despite this, it remains of exceptional musical interest and historic value and is released here for the first time on DVD.
A compelling performance of Bruckner's Eights Symphony, this DVD presents Steinberg at his most majestic in a sympathetic interpretation of this mighty work. The Boston Symphony Orchestra is once again on top form, as testified by a rapturous Sanders Theatre audience.