The Tchaikovsky concerto with Watts and Bernstein.
Watts is impressive here with reserves of power and tenderness in equal measure and all the virtuosity called for by this piece.
Bernstein, on the other hand, is a little heavy handed with the orchestral accompaniment and the big sound he draws from the NYPO sometimes drowns out Watts.
Once again, Lenny at his most exuberant! If you like Watts, a more mature and balanced recording of this work is available with Watts on piano, and Yoel Levi conducting the Atlanta Symphony on the Telarc label.
The Rachmaninov with Gary Graffman and Bernstein leading the NYPO is very fine.
This was before Graffman’s unfortunate loss of one hand, I believe, in an accident.
Bernstein here is much more sensitive to the soloist and the purely romantic effect of this concerto comes through wonderfully.
The sound is also quite clear and full and the climax at the end is invigorating.