Brahms: The Symphonies

Decca: 4785344

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Brahms: The Symphonies


Presto Disc of the Week

14th October 2013

Gramophone Awards 2014

Record of the Year

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - October 2013

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2014

Orchestral Award Winner



Catalogue No:


Release date:

7th Oct 2013




3 hours 53 minutes


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Brahms: The Symphonies


Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)

Tragic Overture, Op. 81

Intermezzo in E major, Op. 116 No. 4

arr. Paul Klengel

Intermezzo in E flat major, Op. 117 No. 1

arr. Paul Klengel

Variations on a theme by Haydn for orchestra, Op. 56a 'St Anthony Variations'

Liebeslieder-Walzer, Op. 52: excerpts

Orchestral Version

Nagen am Herzen fühl ich Gift in mir, Op. 65, No. 9

Orchestral Version

Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80

Hungarian Dance No. 1 in G minor

Hungarian Dance No. 3 in F major

Hungarian Dance No. 10 in F major

Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68 - Andante

Original First Performance Version

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Following the 2011 landmark Beethoven cycle, Riccardo Chailly returns with a recording of the complete Brahms symphonies and orchestral works including the overtures and Haydn Variations.

Rarities include world premiere recordings of two piano intermezzi orchestrated by Paul Klengel (brother of the Gewandhaus’ long-standing principal cellist Julius Klengel); the 9 Liebeslieder waltzes; the original first performance version of the Andante of Symphony No. 1 and the even rarer revised opening of the Fourth Symphony.

Chailly has radically rethought his approach to these works, re-examining the scores and returning to the recorded interpretations of a generation of conductors alive during Brahms’ lifetime, principally Felix Weingartner and one of his Gewandhaus predecessors Bruno Walter.

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68

1. Un poco sostenuto - Allegro - Meno allegro

2. Andante sostenuto

3. Un poco allegretto e grazioso

4. Adagio - Piu andante - Allegro non troppo, ma con brio - Piu allegro

Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F, Op. 90

1. Allegro con brio - Un poco sostenuto - Tempo I

2. Andante

3. Poco allegretto

4. Allegro

Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 73

1. Allegro non troppo

2. Adagio non troppo - L'istesso tempo, ma grazioso

3. Allegretto grazioso ( Quasi andantino) - Presto ma non assai

4. Allegro con spirito

Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 4 In E Minor, Op. 98

1. Allegro non troppo

2. Andante moderato

3. Allegro giocoso - Poco meno presto - Tempo I

4. Allegro energico e passionato - Più allegro

1. Alternative opening

Johannes Brahms: Tragic Overture, Op. 81

Tragic Overture, Op. 81

Johannes Brahms: Fantasias (7 Piano Pieces), Op. 116 - Arr. Paul Klengel

No.4 - Intermezzo in E major

Johannes Brahms: Intermezzi, Op. 117 - Arr. Paul Klengel

No.1 - Intermezzo in E flat major

Johannes Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56a

Theme: "Chorale St. Antoni"

Variation I: Poco più animato

Variation II: Più vivace

Variation III: Con moto

Variation IV: Andante con moto

Variation V: Vivace

Variation VI: Vivace

Variation VII: Grazioso

Variation VIII: Presto non troppo

Finale: Andante

Johannes Brahms: Liebeslieder-Walzer, Op. 52 - Orchestral Version






Johannes Brahms: Neue Liebeslieder Waltzer, Op. 65 - Orchestral Version


Johannes Brahms: Liebeslieder-Walzer, Op. 52 - Orchestral Version




Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68 - Original First Performance Version

1. Andante

Johannes Brahms: Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80

Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80

Johannes Brahms: Hungarian Dance No. 1 in C Minor

Hungarian Dance No.1 In C Minor

Johannes Brahms: Hungarian Dance No. 3 in F

Hungarian Dance No.3 In F

Johannes Brahms: Hungarian Dance No. 10 in F

Hungarian Dance No.10 In F

Financial Times

26th October 2013


“There’s not a whiff of Germanic stodginess, but nor do you feel the music is being unnaturally pushed. Chailly’s tempi, faster than 20th century tradition and always consistent within themselves, bring out the “classical” in Brahms, and the Leipzigers’ performances – wonderfully lithe as well as meltingly lyrical – are a tonic”

BBC Music Magazine

December 2013


“dynamic and dramatic readings, faithful to Brahms's intentions. Powerfully conceived, they are rhythmically alert, without an ounce of undue sentiment and never for an instant losing sight of the scores' rock-solid architecture. The Gewandhaus players reward him with magnificent playing, alert and sumptuously rich in sound.”

Sunday Times

17th November 2013

“Chailly achieves a refreshing clarity and vividness...Sometimes, I feel, clarity is achieved at the cost of lightening the bass too much. All in all, though, these are richly stimulating performances.”

Presto Classical

James Longstaffe

14th October 2013

“the overriding impression I got from these performances was of Chailly wanting to blow away the cobwebs, to set aside tradition and to come up with something that sounded different.”

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