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If ‘slow tempos’ were a significant characteristic of Klemperer’s final years as a conductor, in his earlier days, as demonstrated on these 1927-28 recordings, he could set fizzing tempos, galvanising his performers with electric gestures. Above all, however, Klemperer was a master structuralist, always focussed on the music, its construction and direction. His recording of the Brahms Symphony No. 1, made over seven months, is notable not only for athletic vitality but for ecstatic singing lines and subtle integration of light and shade. The account of the Prelude to Act I of Tristan und Isolde is remarkably rapt while that of Siegfried Idyll is intimate and gentle.
Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68
I. Un poco sostenuto - Allegro
II. Andante sostenuto
III. Un poco allegretto e grazioso
IV. Adagio - Allegro non troppo ma con brio
Johannes Brahms: Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80
Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80
Richard Wagner: Tristan und Isolde, Act I: Prelude (1859 version)
Tristan und Isolde, Act I: Prelude (1859 version)
Richard Wagner: Siegfried Idyll, WWV. 103
“Compelling and magisterial. The Bhrams Symhony is overwhelming, the Wagner excerpts tantalising.”
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