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

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Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete), etc.

Brahms:

Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)

Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80

Tragic Overture, Op. 81


“[On Brahms' Third Symphony] Many conductors come to grief in the Third Symphony's first movement, but Sawallisch is a wise and experienced practitioner, and he steers a confident course through the music's various potential pitfalls” Gramophone Magazine

“[On Brahms' Fourth Symphony] it is ardent, uniquely imaginative in its faithful response to Brahms's markings, far-sighted and focused.” Gramophone Magazine

EMI Triples - 5009132

(CD - 3 discs)

$14.25

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Brahms: Alto Rhapsody, Op. 53, etc.

Brahms:

Alto Rhapsody, Op. 53

Christa Ludwig (alto)

Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)

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

Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80

Tragic Overture, Op. 81


“The First Symphony is compelling, the Second is the greatest, the most revealing performance ever recorded, and in the Fourth Symphony, infinitely grand and penetrating, Klemperer reveals more than most of us dreamed of perceiving.” Gramophone Magazine

EMI Great Recordings of the Century - 5627422

(CD - 3 discs)

$24.00

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Brahms - Complete Symphonies

Brahms - Complete Symphonies


Brahms:

Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)

Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80

Tragic Overture, Op. 81

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


“Any fears that Nikolaus Harnoncourt's Brahms will be quirky, provocative or abrasive can be dispelled. There are interpretative novelties (freshly considered articulation and clarified counterpoint) and the Berlin strings project a smooth, curvaceous profile. Harnoncourt makes a beeline for the brass, and the horns in particular. The live recordings have remarkable presence and are mostly cough-free.
The First Symphony's opening Un poco sostenuto seems a trifle soft-grained but the pounding basses from bar 25 are beautifully caught and the first-movement Allegro is both powerful and broadly paced. The Andante sostenuto slow movement is both limpid and conversational, with trance-like dialogue between oboe and clarinet and sparing use of vibrato among the strings.
Harnoncourt makes real chamber music of the third movement, though he drives the trio section to a fierce climax, and the finale's first accelerating pizzicatos are truly stringendo poco apoco – the excitement certainly mounts, but only gradually.
The Second Symphony's first movement is relatively restrained. Harnoncourt's strategy is to deliver a sombre exposition and a toughened development. Again, the slow movement is fluid and intimate, with some tender string playing. The third movement's rustling trio is disarmingly delicate and the finale, tightly held, keenly inflected and heavily accented: the coda threatens to break free and the effect is thrilling.
First impressions of the Third suggest a marginal drop in intensity, yet the first movement's peroration is so powerful that there's a retrospective suspicion that all the foregoing was mere preparation. The middle movements work well but the rough-hewn, flexibly phrased finale really makes the performance.
Like the Third, the Fourth opens with less import than some of its older rivals, yet the development intensifies perceptibly, the recapitulation's hushed piano dolce opening bars are held on the edge of a breath and the coda is recklessly headstrong. The slow movement has some heartfelt moments, the top-gear Scherzo is quite exhilarating and the finale, forged with the noble inevitability of a Baroque passacaglia.
Ultimately, Harnoncourt delivers a fine and tragic Fourth.
Harnoncourt's Brahms is the perfect antidote to predictability and interpretative complacency.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Under Harnoncourt the music's gently descending lines truly glow [in the Third], distinctively but never conspicuously, and the gradual 'dying away' is beautifully handled” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2012

Teldec - 0630131362

(CD - 3 discs)

$18.25

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Brahms: Complete Symphonies

Brahms: Complete Symphonies


anon.:

God Save The Queen

Brahms:

Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)

Tragic Overture, Op. 81

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


“The concerts recorded here preserve the two legendary occasions in the autumn of 1952 when in a Brahms cycle at the Royal Festival Hall Toscanini conducted the Philharmonia Orchestra, then only six years old but already the front runner among London orchestras. The recording itself, now legendary, has generated pirated versions, but never before has the original made by EMI, under the supervision of Walter Legge, been officially released. Testament's remastering is a revelation. This new set brings the clearest of demonstrations that the RCA recordings of Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra made during the last years of his life (including his Brahms cycle of the very same 12-month period) give only an imperfect picture of a conductor who at the time, and for a generation or so previously, was almost universally counted the greatest in the world. That reputation has been eroded over the years, but this issue may help to put the record straight.
Take for example the quite different NBC version of No 3 that he recorded in New York barely a month after this performance: as Alan Sanders says in his note, a 'rhythmically staid recording which entirely lacked the lyricism and eloquence of the Philharmonia performance'.
His description points to the marked contrasts, not only in No 3 but in all four symphonies.
Whereas the New York performances, resonant and superbly drilled, have a hardness and rigidity, with the dynamic contrasts ironed out, thus eliminating pianissimos (partly a question of recording balance), the Philharmonia's consistently bring a moulding of phrase and subtlety of rubato which bears out the regular Toscanini instructions to 'Sing!'. And in contrast with most Toscanini recordings, the hushed playing is magical. The New York players, by comparison, seem to have forgotten how to respond to the finer subtleties of this notorious taskmaster among conductors. The extra flexibility of the Philharmonia performances over the NBC has an interesting effect on tempo too. Whereas in No 1 the NBC speeds of 1951 are faster, not just than those of the Philharmonia but of the 1941 NBC performance, in the other three symphonies the Philharmonia timings tend to be a degree quicker, notably in No 3, where for example the Andante flows far better.
Walter Legge fought hard to get these live recordings officially released – now we can understand why.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

Testament - SBT3167

(CD - 3 discs)

$51.75

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Brahms: The Symphonies

Brahms: The Symphonies


Brahms:

Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)

Philharmonia Orchestra (Nos. 1, 2 and 4), Wiener Philharmoniker (No. 3)

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

Philharmonia Orchestra

Hungarian Dances (excerpts)

Berliner Philharmoniker


Recordings from 1952 to 1960

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Urania - WS121265

(CD - 3 discs)

$23.75

Usually despatched in 8 - 10 working days.

Brahms: Complete Symphonies & Tragic Overture

Brahms: Complete Symphonies & Tragic Overture


Brahms:

Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)

Tragic Overture, Op. 81


GGramophone Magazine

Re-issue of the Month - June 2013

King Records - KKC2028

(CD - 3 discs)

$48.50

Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.

Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4

Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4


Brahms:

Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80

Tragic Overture, Op. 81

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

Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)


During recent years Andrew Manze has become one of the most inspiring conductors of his generation. Since 2006 he has been the principle conductor of the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra in Sweden, who celebrated their 100th birthday in February.

It is with this orchestra that Andrew Manze conducts a wonderful new interpretation of the Brahms Symphonies, recorded in SACD sound. Accompanying the complete Symphonies are the Haydn Variations, Tragic Overture and Academic Overture.

“this proves a release of distinctive character and many rewards...Although Manze has come from the 'period performance' movement, there is absolutely nothing pedantic in the readings he secures from his modern-instrument players...There are many instances of fresh thinking in his approach - and of fresh feeling.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2012 ****

“With swift, flowing tempi and minimal vibrato, Manze's Brahms is lithe, clear and bold. His pulse within movements will be too flexible for some tastes, but much is organic-sounding and he is generally convincing.” Classical Music, 5th May 2012 ***

“These Brahms performances...suggest that Manze has brought an added subtlety and beauty to the orchestra's string-playing...The Haydn Variations and the Academic Festival Overture are both finely done. Elsewhere what we have is work in progress, not only for the orchestra...but also for Manze himself. Awash with insights and excitements though his readings are, he has yet to bring these within the fold of a settled vision.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2012

“Manze’s performances are quite outstanding. His interpretations are taut without being over-driven; at the same time he is sensitive to the emotional ebbs and flows of Brahms’ music, and his management of transitions is masterly.” MusicWeb International, July 2012

“You don't often find freshness and innovation in performances of the Brahms symphonies, but Manze's take is wholly individual: they burst with life, by turns wistful, yearning, sharp-edged and blisteringly incisive...Manze's vision provides more than an "early music" approach to Brahms: this is the composer reinvented for the 21st century.” The Observer, 6th May 2012

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

CPO - 7777202

(SACD - 3 discs)

$34.25

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Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)

Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)


Rhenish State Philharmonic Orchestra, Daniel Raiskin

Two Pianists - TP1039121

(CD - 3 discs)

$38.25

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Brahms: The Complete Symphonies

Brahms: The Complete Symphonies


Brahms:

Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68

Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra

Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73

Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland

Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90

Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra

Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98

Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra


Amongst the standard performances for this repertoire.

Conducted by Jaap van Zweden, the current music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Great performances by 2 of the best Dutch orchestras, both were under his artistic leadership for years. This is an unfailingly warm-hearted, full-blooded Brahmsian sound and seems to represent a genuine attempt at redirecting the modern symphony orchestra towards the sort of sound-mix Brahms himself is likely to have heard.

“recommended without qualification. This is a vibrant cycle, played with real ardour and extremely well recorded. It shows van Zweden to be a really committed and intelligent Brahmsian. There's not a weak link here: every performance is full of life and sections that can be problematic are triumphantly successful...van Zweden is consistently inspiring and imaginative.” International Record Review, October 2011

Brilliant Classics - 94074

(CD - 3 discs)

$14.50

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Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)

Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)


In Norrington’s interpretations of the great romantic Brahms, the works are presented with new clarity and vividness. They are now available on SACD and at a special price. “The vibrato-free Stuttgart strings play with a purity and simplicity….” Gramophone

“The interplay of divided strings is very clear. The woodwind players are absolutely top-notch, and I especially enjoyed their contributions in the first movement of No. 3, which of all the performances probably comes off best.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2011 ***

“the modern Stuttgart strings do use vibrato, but sparingly, the leaner textures in no way inhibiting lyricism or sounding anaemic...this is an affectionate memento of how, in Norrington's words, he has tried to 'connect a modern orchestra with its roots'.” International Record Review, March 2011

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Hänssler - HAEN93267

(SACD - 3 discs)

$36.50

(also available to download from $31.25)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

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