While most of his short symphonic poems are enduring masterpieces, Franz Liszt never truly excelled to the same degree in the larger orchestral forms. His two symphonies and two piano concertos are occasionally flawed by paucity of musical invention, by sometimes sluggish or repetitive developments, and by flashy or banal orchestration. The 1857 "Faust Symphony" displays some interesting chromaticism and daring tonal experimentation and certainly a lot of grandeur, but it fails to captivate some listeners the same way as roughly contemporary pieces by Berlioz, Schumann, Brahms and others. Therefore it never was overly popular with audiences around the globe and infrequently performed. There are, however, plenty of recordings by famous orchestras and conductors, most of which make a good case for the work. Among others, Beecham, Horenstein, Doráti, Solti, Barenboim and Järvi championed the symphony, and so did of course Leonard Bernstein himself in this 1976 recording, which has been available on CD for nearly 35 years and has attained cult status among the composer's and the conductor's followers. Although the DVD was recorded in a different venue from the CD, they are sonically and interpretively pretty close. The CD appears to have a better instrumental and vocal definition than the DVD, but I can only guess here, as I have to play them on different systems and my audio-only system is superior. The video quality is quite acceptable for the time period, Humphrey Burton's direction impeccable as always. It is revealing to compare Bernstein's rapport with the Boston musicians to his beloved Vienna Philharmonic with whom he recorded so much during these years. If you don't know the CD, here are a few words about the performance. As opposed to the other conductors mentioned (they all stay within the 70- to 75-minute range), Bernstein's tempi are very slow (ca. 79 minutes total), much slower here than in his own 1960 New York recording (72 minutes). He has an admirable grasp on the score as a whole and lovingly lingers on details often lost in faster readings. The downside is that the symphony comes off less gripping and "dramatic" than one could desire, and that certain passages, especially in the slow movement, seem interminable. Those who love the score will delight in Bernstein's detailed approach, but those who are lukewarm may find it all a bit too much. Kenneth Riegel is glorious in his solo, the choir and musicians are excellent, the last bars overwhelmingly powerful.