I don't see this as an opportunity to rehearse details of the oft told tale of all the similarities between Gustav Mahler and Leonard Bernstein. In summary, then : the conflict between composing and conducting; the Jewishness and sundry other bits of prejudice; Vienna and New York as significant centres of influence and intrigue; overwork and self-neglect as contributions to an early death. All of that, and more, is easily available from other sources.
As part of a 9 DVD series from Deutsche Grammophon, Leonard Bernstein rehearses Symphonies 5 and 9, and Das Lied von der Erde
This new remastering by Andreas K. Meyer is nothing short of sensational. Some of the finest performances of Mahler & Bernstein, it's amazing how much detail Sony/CBs can get from this stunning SACD!
"This legendary first commercial recording by Leonard Bernstein of Mahler's Symphony No. 2 has until now, only been available in generally inferior-sounding LP, open-reel, and CD formats, using a master tape derived from the original recording session tapes. It has never until now, been given the opportunity to show the sonics it likely had, and which it now reveals via SACD"
"Bernstein stamps his outsize personality on every bar and regularly has you convinced it is Mahler's own" (Gramophone). Beginning with the First Symphony, Bernstein reveals Mahler's position at the hinge of modernism, while emphasizing his emotional extremism. The uplifting Second "Resurrection" Symphony, with which Bernstein had an especially long and close association, is recorded here in a historic performance from 1973, set in the Romanesque splendour of Ely Cathedral. In the Third, Bernstein encompasses the symphony's spiritual panorama like no other conductor - with the Vienna Philharmonic players alive to every nuance.
The musical reconstructions industry keeps gathering pace, but few works have attracted as much attention as Mahler's 10th Symphony. Joe Wheeler (who died in 1977) was a brass-playing British civil servant with a passion for Mahler. This completion (itself in an edition by the conductor here, Robert Olson) uses the leaner orchestration of the composer's later years. But does it sound Mahlerian? Certainly more so than Remo Mazzetti's 1997 version, but neither caps Deryck Cooke's acute sense of authentic detail and color in his legendary edition.