C1962. Verdi Requiem - LEONARD BERNSTEIN Cond. London S.O., w.Martina Arroyo, Jospehine Veasey, Plácido Domingo & Ruggero Raimondi. (Austria) 2-Sony MH2K 47639, recorded 1970, Royal Albert Hall, London. Long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 5099704763927
“This 1970 recording, made in London's Royal Albert Hall, is predictably histrionic. Bernstein's involving, slightly over-heated version is not to be ignored. Bernstein observes many points others ignore - for instance the frizzante horns in the ‘Tuba mirum’, the real cupo in Veasey's voicing of the close of the ‘Liber scriptus’, the marvellously alert and precise ‘Sanctus’ with the right lightness at ‘Pleni sunt coeli’, the bite of the ‘Libera me’ fugue. The Albert Hall acoustics help give the performance real ambience (including a little echo), though sometimes the sound is uncomfortable on the ears. The LSO and its attendant Chorus fulfil all Bernstein's stringent demands on them.
Veasey makes a deeply eloquent, stylish mezzo. Domingo, near the outset of his international career (replacing an ailing Corelli) sings with pleasing spontaneity and refulgent tone. He finds a magical pp at ‘inter oves’ in his ‘Ingemisco’ and for his ‘Hostias’. Raimondi, slightly too insubstantial in tone, sings with refinement, except when he slides up to notes as was his wont in those days. Arroyo is a disappointment. She is no more than efficient and her vibrato is intrusive.
Alan Blyth, GRAMOPHONE, Sept., 1989
“Bernstein was ‘one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history’. He is quite possibly the conductor whose name is best known to the public in general, especially the American public. His fame derived from his long tenure as the music director of the New York Philharmonic, from his conducting of concerts with most of the world's leading orchestras, and from his music for WEST SIDE STORY, as well as CANDIDE, WONDERFUL TOWN, ON THE TOWN and his own MASS. Bernstein was also the first conductor to give numerous television lectures on classical music, starting in 1954 and continuing until his death. In addition, he was a skilled pianist, often conducting piano concertos from the keyboard.
In 1960 Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic held a Mahler Festival to mark the centenary of the composer's birth. Bernstein, Walter and Mitropoulos conducted performances. The composer's widow, Alma, attended some of Bernstein's rehearsals. The success of [Bernstein’s Mahler] recordings, along with Bernstein's concert performances and television talks, was an important part of the revival of interest in Mahler in the 1960s, especially in the US.
In 1964 Bernstein conducted Franco Zeffirelli's production of Verdi's FALSTAFF at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. In 1966 he made his début at the Vienna State Opera conducting Luchino Visconti's production of the same opera with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau as Falstaff. He returned to the State Opera in 1968 for a production of DER ROSENKAVALIER and in 1970 for Otto Schenk's production of Beethoven's FIDELIO. Sixteen years later, at the State Opera, Bernstein conducted his sequel to TROUBLE IN TAHITI, A QUIET PLACE, with the ORF orchestra."
- Donal Henahan, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 15 Oct., 1990