Levine's Orchestral Recordings - What To Collect?

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arthound
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Levine's Orchestral Recordings - What To Collect?

Post by arthound » Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:39 am

The thread on Levine's health problems has made me focus on my efforts to collect his orchestral recordings. When I first started collecting I got the impressions from some reviews - mainly of his Mozart symphonies - that he was considered a bit of a bland conductor. How wrong I was! Nearly everything I have picked up so far has really impressed me and some - such as his Dvorak 7th - have really suprised me. I was hoping that some of the collectors here could put forward their favorite Levine orchestral recordings - as many as you can!

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Re: Levine's Orchestral Recordings - What To Collect?

Post by DavidRoss » Fri Mar 26, 2010 7:38 am

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Re: Levine's Orchestral Recordings - What To Collect?

Post by Steinway » Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:07 am

Mahler 6th/London on RCA

Mahler 3rd/Chicago on RCA

Mahler 10th/Philadelphia on RCA

Mahler 9th/Philadelphia on RCA

He is one of the really fine Mahlerians. :)

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Re: Levine's Orchestral Recordings - What To Collect?

Post by Lance » Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:34 am

The lists can be enormous. Here's a few of my favourites, including concertos:

♪Sony 62926: Rachmaninoff: PC #3 w/Volodos, pf (Berlin PO)

♪DGG 429 730: Holst: The Planets (Chicago SO)

♪DGG 431 265: Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue (Chicago SO, Levine also piano)

♪RCA 1757: Mahler: Symphony #3 w/Marilyn Horne, mezzo-soprano; Adoplh Herseth, trumpet (Chicago SO) [My personal favourite Levine recording]

♪RCA 61397: Mozart: Symphonies 40/41 (Chicago SO, Ravinia) [Early but outstanding Levine in every musical respect]

♪RCA 60387: Bach: Brandenburg Concerto #5 (Levine, harpsichord and conducting) + Cantata #202 (w/Kathleen Battle, soprano) (Chicago SO, Ravinia) [Early but superb Levine]

♪RCA 61397: Brahms: A German Requiem w/Kathleen Battle, and Hakan Hagegard (Chicago SO).

Then there's the Mozart violin concertos w/Itzhak Perlman (DGG). Lots more, but this may prove to be a good start for you. I'm sure you'll have hundreds more suggestions! Levine is that good!
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josé echenique
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Re: Levine's Orchestral Recordings - What To Collect?

Post by josé echenique » Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:49 am

I like his Pictures at an Exhibition with the MET orchestra. And though it´s probably not a great Enigma Variations, his live version with the Berlin Philharmonic is interesting, especially for hearing that great orchestra in Elgar.

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Re: Levine's Orchestral Recordings - What To Collect?

Post by Cyril Ignatius » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:01 am

One essential Levine recording would be his 25th Anniversary Gala, where he conducts, and various opera stars sing great arias from a variety of Met Productions. I've seen this (DVD) and it is really great!
Cyril Ignatius

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Re: Levine's Orchestral Recordings - What To Collect?

Post by Chalkperson » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:23 am

Get the Brahms and Ravel recordings on the Boston Symphony's own label...they are absolutely superb...
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Re: Levine's Orchestral Recordings - What To Collect?

Post by stenka razin » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:38 am

No matter how you cut and slice Levine's extensive recording legacy, his opera recordings are his greatest gift for us. It is staggering to think of his contributions to the recorded history of opera. That is where his his place in the pantheon of great conductors will primarily reside. 8)


P.S. Yes, I have many Levine orchestral recordings, too and like a good deal of them, including his Mahler. 8)
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Re: Levine's Orchestral Recordings - What To Collect?

Post by maestrob » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:59 am

The good thing about Levine is that he rarely disappoints. He was trained at Juilliard by Jean Morel, who, while not well-known today, conducted a great deal at the MET and made many recordings in the mono LP era as well as teaching at Juilliard. Other conductors trained or at least "finished" by Morel include Myung-Whun Chung, James Conlon, and Leonard Slatkin.

What I admire most about Levine is his consistency of tempo and his command of the flow of the music, coupled with a strong committment to tone quality.

If you're really interested in Morel's recordings, search Amazon and you'll like the results!

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Re: Levine's Orchestral Recordings - What To Collect?

Post by Modernistfan » Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:32 am

Two absolutely essential recordings for me are: (1) Berg's Three Pieces for Orchestra, Webern's Six Pieces for Orchestra, and Schoenberg's Five Pieces for Orchestra, all with the Berlin Philharmonic, one of the best Second Viennese School orchestral recordings ever made (Deutsche Grammophon 419781, out of print but available from ArkivMusic as a burn-to-order ArkivCD); and (2) Carter's Variations for Orchestra, Schuller's Spectra, Babbitt's Correspondences, and Cage's Atlas Eclipticalis, a very important recording of "difficult" modern American music with the Chicago Symphony (Deutsche Grammophon 431698, also out of print but available from ArkivMusic as a burn-to-order ArkivCD).

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Re: Levine's Orchestral Recordings - What To Collect?

Post by Cyril Ignatius » Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:57 am

maestrob wrote:The good thing about Levine is that he rarely disappoints. He was trained at Juilliard by Jean Morel, who, while not well-known today, conducted a great deal at the MET and made many recordings in the mono LP era as well as teaching at Juilliard. Other conductors trained or at least "finished" by Morel include Myung-Whun Chung, James Conlon, and Leonard Slatkin.

What I admire most about Levine is his consistency of tempo and his command of the flow of the music, coupled with a strong committment to tone quality.

If you're really interested in Morel's recordings, search Amazon and you'll like the results!
Levine is also remembered for his Cincinnati roots.
Cyril Ignatius

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Re: Levine's Orchestral Recordings - What To Collect?

Post by RebLem » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:29 pm

First on my list, if I didn't have it already, would be Levine's recording of the Prokofiev 1st and 5th Symphonies with the Chicago Symphony.
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Re: Levine's Orchestral Recordings - What To Collect?

Post by Heck148 » Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:22 pm

Lance wrote:The lists can be enormous. Here's a few of my favourites,
♪DGG 429 730: Holst: The Planets (Chicago SO)

♪DGG 431 265: Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue (Chicago SO, Levine also piano)

♪RCA 1757: Mahler: Symphony #3 w/Marilyn Horne, mezzo-soprano; Adoplh Herseth, trumpet (Chicago SO) [My personal favourite Levine recording]

♪RCA 61397: Mozart: Symphonies 40/41 (Chicago SO, Ravinia) [Early but outstanding Levine in every musical respect]

♪RCA 60387: Bach: Brandenburg Concerto #5 (Levine, harpsichord and conducting) + Cantata #202 (w/Kathleen Battle, soprano) (Chicago SO, Ravinia) [Early but superb Levine]


yes, Lance, excellent list. also the Prokofieff Sym #5 and #1 with CSO on DG is a must. great #5!! Overall best I've heard in terrific sound.

I do wish RCA would release more of the Music from Ravinia series - the Bach disc is totally top-notch really electrifying performances. somewhere there's also an outstanding "L'Histoire du Soldat", amd Mozart 5tet for Piano & WWs.

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Re: Levine's Orchestral Recordings - What To Collect?

Post by moldyoldie » Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:40 pm

I do admire Levine's "no fear" approach to much of the Late Romantic and Modern repertoire and agree that he's a marvelous Mahlerian, at least from those recordings I've heard. To the list above, I'd like to add his Mahler No. 5 with the Philadelphia and No. 7 with the Chicago, both of which are personal favorites.

Also try to find his Schumann symphonies from Berlin on DG, especially Nos. 2 and 3. I understand his Schumann from Philadelphia is also well thought of, but I've yet to hear it.

As a lover of Sibelius, I'd recommend one avoid Levine's mostly ill-measured takes on the popular Second and Fifth Symphonies with the Berlin. His Fourth is quite fine, however, and most vividly recorded.

He also recorded a fine Beethoven Eroica with the MET Orchestra on DG which I enjoy.
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Re: Levine's Orchestral Recordings - What To Collect?

Post by Lance » Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:10 pm

I haven't viewed the DVD (yet), but I have the audio CD and have enjoyed that completely. For those interested, it may still be available on Deutsche Grammophon 449 177. As you might expect, it's spectacular and features such voices as Domingo, Ramey, Terfel, Alagna, Bumbry, Alfredo Kraus, Swenson, Jerry Hadley, Hagegard, von Stade, Voigt, Te Kanawa, von Otter, Fleming, etc. The event took place with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra on April 27, 1996. ♪
Cyril Ignatius wrote:One essential Levine recording would be his 25th Anniversary Gala, where he conducts, and various opera stars sing great arias from a variety of Met Productions. I've seen this (DVD) and it is really great!
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arthound
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Re: Levine's Orchestral Recordings - What To Collect?

Post by arthound » Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:31 am

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. I have been enjoying Levine's Bartok 'CFO and MSPC' lately. I hope that his health problems don't prevent him from doing more recording. The things that really amazes me is that it seems that only a couple of his Mahler symphonies have been remastered and re-released.

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Re: Levine's Orchestral Recordings - What To Collect?

Post by josé echenique » Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:05 am

Lance wrote:I haven't viewed the DVD (yet), but I have the audio CD and have enjoyed that completely. For those interested, it may still be available on Deutsche Grammophon 449 177. As you might expect, it's spectacular and features such voices as Domingo, Ramey, Terfel, Alagna, Bumbry, Alfredo Kraus, Swenson, Jerry Hadley, Hagegard, von Stade, Voigt, Te Kanawa, von Otter, Fleming, etc. The event took place with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra on April 27, 1996. ♪
Cyril Ignatius wrote:One essential Levine recording would be his 25th Anniversary Gala, where he conducts, and various opera stars sing great arias from a variety of Met Productions. I've seen this (DVD) and it is really great!
Something strange about that dvd: it does not include Alfredo Kraus singing Werther´s aria, which the cd does. It´s true that he was not on best voice that night, the high notes are effortful, but still, it was Alfredo Kraus. The Gala was magnificent: Renée Fleming in best voice sings ravishingly the Louise aria, and the young Alagna and Terfel are stupendous in the Pearl Fischer´s duet. Almost everything is enjoyable, pity about the Kraus.

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Re: Levine's Orchestral Recordings - What To Collect?

Post by Istvan » Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:23 am

Cliftwood wrote:Mahler 6th/London on RCA

Mahler 3rd/Chicago on RCA

Mahler 10th/Philadelphia on RCA

Mahler 9th/Philadelphia on RCA

He is one of the really fine Mahlerians. :)
Surely these have all been deleted, very unfortunately? :cry:
Cheers

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Re: Levine's Orchestral Recordings - What To Collect?

Post by Jack Kelso » Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:27 pm

Do get the Levine Schumann Symphonies 2 and 4 and the Mahler 5 with the Philadelphia Orchestra on RCA red seal. Among our favorite interpretations!!

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Re: Levine's Orchestral Recordings - What To Collect?

Post by Chalkperson » Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:37 pm

RebLem wrote:First on my list, if I didn't have it already, would be Levine's recording of the Prokofiev 1st and 5th Symphonies with the Chicago Symphony.
I finally tracked down a copy of that disc, it arrived this morning and I look forward to listening to it this evening...
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Re: Levine's Orchestral Recordings - What To Collect?

Post by val » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:38 am

My favorite among Levine's recordings and one of the few that I really love:

BERLIOZ: Romeo et Juliette, with von Otter, Langridge and the Berlin Philharmonic (DG).

Berlioz orchestra never sound so beautiful.

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Re: Levine's Orchestral Recordings - What To Collect?

Post by rwetmore » Sat Apr 17, 2010 11:14 am

His recording of Schumann's 4th symphony with Philly is a great one.
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