Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto; Serenade for Strings

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COMPOSERS: Tchaikovsky
WORKS: Violin Concerto; Serenade for Strings
PERFORMER: Isaac Stern (violin) New York Philharmonic/Leonard Bernstein
CATALOGUE NO: SMK 47637 ADD (1976)
These Tchaikovsky recordings from the Seventies are not Bernstein at his best. The first movement of the Concerto is positively leaden, with an uncomfortably slow tempo that serves to make the music hobble. Stern’s sound in the slow movement is finely mellow, but only in the third movement does the performance actually wake up. The Serenade for Strings also suffers from an unduly solid reading. Annette Morreau