for a 2010 Grammy!
“I can tell you without hesitation that what Zander delivers here is the most profoundly insightful and utterly illuminating discussion of any classical masterpiece in my experience” – Fanfare Magazine
Best Orchestral Performance (Award to the Conductor and to the Orchestra.)
- Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique
Simon Rattle, conductor (Susan Graham; Berliner Philharmoniker)
- Bruckner: Symphony No. 5
Benjamin Zander, conductor (Philharmonia Orchestra)
- Ravel: Daphnis Et Chloé
James Levine, conductor (Boston Symphony Orchestra; Tanglewood Festival Chorus)
- Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 15
Valery Gergiev, conductor (Orchestra Of The Mariinsky Theatre)
- Szymanowski: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4
Antoni Wit, conductor (Jan Krzysztof Broja, Ewa Marczyk & Marek Marczyk; Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra)
All of these performances are superlative and all of them would give delight to classical music lovers, but one of them has quite another dimension.
Benjamin Zander’s recording of Anton Bruckner's 5th Symphony includes a full-length free CD on which Maestro Zander explains the music, so that ANYONE, - even those with no musical training - can understand and feel the power of this glorious masterpiece.
This man has found a way of entering the hearts of people in all walks of life, giving them the gift of classical music.
Go on TED.com and Pop!Tech and watch him in action.
“Music lovers have not had so enthusiastic a guide into the mysterious world of classical music since the glory days of Leonard Bernstein” -- High Fidelity.
Share this with the music lovers in your life, especially those who you believe may be members of the Academy of Recording Artists, and encourage them to vote for Zander’s Bruckner 5th. If it were to win the Grammy it could transform the world of classical music.
Make Benjamin Zander a Twitter trending topic: #benjaminzander
From FANFARE MAGAZINE:
... this quite remarkable new reading from Zander and the Philharmonia... strikes me as the very finest Fifth of the digital era. The recorded sound is terrific, with an enormous dynamic range set against a completely silent background (for hardcore audiophiles, a separate SACD release is also available). With utmost fidelity to the score’s dynamic markings, Zander delivers a well-executed reading that captures all the lilting moods of this challenging work.
What truly clinches the indispensability of this set is its 80-minute bonus discussion disc. I can tell you without hesitation that what Zander delivers here is the most profoundly insightful and utterly illuminating discussion of any classical masterpiece in my experience. He is, above all, a superb communicator whose enthusiasm is altogether contagious.
Because the Fifth is often noted for its “cathedral sound” and lofty architecture, Zander uses the extended metaphor of an actual cathedral’s floor plan in discussing each movement of the work (a handy foldout diagram is included with the booklet notes).
I’ve been listening to this music for more than 40 years and will freely admit that Zander provided epiphanies for me at every turn. Zander also quotes extensively from World War I letters that his father wrote as a German soldier stationed on the Russian front (he happened to have a pocket score of the Fifth with him that was a birthday gift from the senior Zander’s own mother). This discussion disc also utilizes many illustrations taken from the recording and also from Zander himself on piano. Be prepared for some deeply moving moments.
This review must end now, lest you be unnecessarily detained from running out to buy this CD set. I will conclude with just three additional comments: 1) this recording of the Fifth is highly recommended; 2) the discussion CD here is a life-enriching experience; and 3) Bravo Zander!
- Jeffrey J. Lipscomb