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CD Review

Keeping The Doors Open

Isaac Stern 90th Birthday Celebration

Vladimir Horowitz, piano
Isaac Stern, violin
Mstislav Rostropovich, cello
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra/Leonard Bernstein
Sony Classical 88697-75347-2 47m ADD Rec. 1967, 1976
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This fabulous disc is a souvenir document of one of Isaac Stern's greatest performances for a noble cause. In the late 60's the iconic Carnegie Hall in the heart of New York was threatened with closure but Stern and a few like minded artists such as Vladimir Horowitz and Mstislav Rostropovich set out to save the hall through a series of benefit concerts.

The Mendelssohn performance was recorded in 1967 and is imbued with the usual Stern characteristics, consummate flair and unbridled momentum throughout. The recording is slightly dry but still the greatness of the violinist surely shines through. However the plum of this disc is undoubtedly the 4th movement from Tchaikovsky's sublime A minor trio – here Stern is joined by Horowitz and Rostropovich in what was described at that time (1976) as the "Concert of the Century".

There isn't really more to say about such legendary recordings and this handsomely presented digipack also includes some entertainingly written notes and a selection of rare photographs which make it a true collector's item.

Copyright © 2011, Gerald Fenech