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

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Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)

Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)


Recording Date:

Symphonies Nos. 2 & 4 recorded at the Semperoper Dresden 2013

Symphonies Nos. 1 & 3 recorded at the NHK Hall Tokyo 2013

After the great success of his Beethoven cycle, Christian Thielemann now turns with his new orchestra, the Staatskapelle Dresden, to the symphonic work of Johannes Brahms.

Bonus features include: an extensive 52 minute interview with Christian Thielemann on Brahms’ Symphonies and provides and in-depth look into his interpretation of Brahms.

Subtitles: English, Japanese and Korean

Sound Format DVD: DTS 5.0/5.1, PCM Stereo

Picture: 16:9, HD

Booklet: E, G, F

Total Running Time: 260 Minutes

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

C Major - 715108

(DVD Video - 3 discs)

$66.25

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Brahms: The Symphonies

Brahms: The Symphonies


Brahms:

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


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.

“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” Financial Times, 26th October 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.” BBC Music Magazine, December 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.” Sunday Times, 17th November 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.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, 14th October 2013

GGramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - October 2013

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2014

Orchestral Award Winner

Decca - 4785344

(CD - 3 discs)

$37.25

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Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)

Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)


David Zinman celebrated his 75th birthday on July 9, 2011. He will leave the Tonhalle Orchestra in 2014 after nearly 20 years. He has been Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich since 1995.

Under his aegis as Artistic Director, the Orchestra has developed into an outstanding ensemble, celebrated highly successful tours in Europe, the United States and Asia, and recorded numerous CDs.

New York born David Zinman is one of the internationally most recognized conductors of his generation. He frequently conducts the renowned American orchestras in Boston, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco and New York; in Europe, he regularly guest conducts the Berlin Philharmonic, the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the London Philharmonia Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

The Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich has recorded for SONY/RCA/ARTE NOVA: Beethoven (complete symphonies, complete concertos), Schumann (complete symphonies), Richard Strauss (complete orchestra works) and Gustav Mahler (complete symphonies on SACD). A project with the complete symphonies by Franz Schubert started in 2011.

The recording of all the Beethoven symphonies was awarded (among others) the German Record Critics’ Prize in 1999 and GRAMMOPHONE “Editor’s Choice” & “Record of the Year 2000”. Sales worldwide of their recording of all Beethoven symphonies with the Tonhalle Orchestra (complete cycle and separate CDs): more than 1,000,000 units.

The Beethoven cycle has been famous because of the unusual and fresh interpretation combining the advantages of period instruments interpretations with the sound qualities of a big modern orchestra. All qualities of the renowned Beethoven cycle can be expected also regarding to the Brahms interpretations.

All Sony Classical recordings have received special praise because of their superb sound quality. (Chris Hazell/Recording Producer & Simon Eadon/Sound Engineer & Editing).

The cycle of the complete Brahms Symphonies (Symphonies 1 – 4) was recorded in April 2010 in the Tonhalle Zurich, a concert hall, that has been inaugurated by Johannes Brahms himself and that is famous because of its superb acoustical qualities.

In recent years, the Tonhalle Orchestra has developed into one of Europe’s leading ensembles. Ground-breaking CD recordings of the orchestral works of Richard Strauss and the symphonies of Robert Schumann, for example – and most notably of all the Beethoven symphonies, overtures and solo concertos – paved the way for the orchestra’s rise to prominence.

Wherever the Tonhalle Orchestra performs it is enthusiastically received by audiences and critics alike.

Ever since 1999, when the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich won the German Record Critics’ Prize for its seminal recording of all the Beethoven symphonies, it has been at the centre of worldwide attention. Since then, well over one million CDs have been sold.

RCA - 88697961242

(CD - 3 discs)

$24.25

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Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)

Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)


This special 3 CD-box features the four Symphonies by Johannes Brahms, performed by the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, under Paavo Berglund.

Paavo Berglund (1929–2012) is considered to be one of the most acclaimed Finnish conductors of the last few decades. This highly praised symphony cycle is re-released in honour of his memory.

The Chamber Orchestra of Europe, hailed as one of the finest ensembles in the world, has released over 100 recordings with the world’s leading conductors and soloists, winning several prestigious awards.

Present day performances of Brahms symphonies with smaller string forces are rare, but there is evidence that the size of orchestra in Brahms’s time was not fixed and, indeed, Brahms’s own orchestra in Meiningen performed his fourth symphony with almost the same forces as are used on this recording.

Ondine - ODE12292T

(CD - 3 discs)

$18.00

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Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)

Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)


New York born David Zinman is one of the most internationally recognized conductors of his generation & is the chief conductor & artistic director of the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich. This cycle of the complete Brahms Symphonies (Symphonies 1-4) was recorded during April 2010 in Tonhalle, Zurich, which is famous because of its superb accoustic qualities. The symphonies will be released as a ltd edition 3CD deluxe hard cover book with a 40 page booklet including extensive liner notes & illustrations of rare material.

“there is an unusually cogent feel to this cycle...they represent a kind of mainstream Brahms, utterly devoid of mannerism and interpretational quirks, with a fine central European orchestra playing at the top of its game...RCA/Sony’s lavish presentation is a luxury item encasing deluxe performances.” Sunday Times, 25th September 2011

“All the clarity and technical finesse that made their Mahler performances so refreshing are evident in these performances; there's no doubt the orchestra really has risen up the international pecking order under Zinman's direction.” The Guardian, 29th September 2011

“Zinman’s Brahms, again with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra but this time recorded live, makes fewer nods to period style than his Beethoven. It’s a warm, genial Brahms, as one might expect of a septuagenarian who describes the symphonies as “a perfect blending of spontaneity and intellect”.” Financial Times, 1st October 2011 ***

“These are splendid performances, passionately felt and never losing sight of the architecture. The orchestra under David Zinman is on top form. I like his choice of tempos - alert and dynamic throughout the fast movements, never too slumberous in the slow.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2011 ****

“the orchestra's playing for Zinman...impressively renews the time-honoured Austro-German tradition of Karajan and Klemperer...No non-vibrato, period-instrument revisionism here! Instead there's a firm-toned, glowing power which, in the passages like the great horn-tune in the First Symphony's finale, is seriously enthralling...As close to a definitive set of these masterworks as you'll find - and in fabulous modern recorded sound.” Classic FM Magazine, December 2011 *****

“conductor and orchestra rise to greatness in the Fourth Symphony. Elsewhere, they provide the kind of trenchant, well-grounded Brahms performances which have been common currency in Middle Europe since the composer's own time...Zinman is meticulous in his observation of Brahms's dynamic markings. This makes for some interesting articulation but it can also dislocate the line and disrupt the pulse...[in the Fourth] Zinman takes a less pedantic view of the markings.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2011

RCA - 88697933492

(CD - 3 discs)

$37.75

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Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)

Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)


The name of Simon Rattle had not been closely associated with the works of Johannes Brahms so it was even more rewarding when his first Brahms recording with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Ein deutsches Requiem, won critical accolades and both Grammy and Classic FM/ Gramophone awards. Now Sir Simon and the Orchestra have committed to disc the complete Brahms symphonies, recorded in concert at Berlin’s Philharmonie in the autumn of 2008. In the words of Die Zeit, “Simon Rattle has finally dared to tackle Brahms with the Berliner Philharmoniker. He combines Furtwängler’s monumentality with Karajan’s beautiful sound.”

The Brahms symphonies concerts drew praise from the German critics: “The fourth symphony was an ecstatic apotheosis of what current orchestral playing, quick reactions and scarcely sketched annotations can get out of this work which has long since become a classic. Especially the Passacaglia finale was a finely-dosed wonder of sound refinement and harmonic finesse. Rattle appears to have finally conquered his difficult Berliners.” (Die Welt)

Stephen Johns, Vice President of A&R, EMI Classics, commented, “We are extremely pleased to be able to present Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker in this major new recording of the complete Brahms Symphonies - music that lies at the very core of the orchestra's repertoire and reputation. With the combination of Sir Simon's vision and iconoclastic approach, and the orchestra's remarkable technique and unique sound, these new performances should prove a new milestone in the history of recordings of these works, and a valuable addition to the growing catalogue of Sir Simon and the Berlin Philharmonic.”

Discussing the Brahms symphonies performances and recordings Sir Simon agreed that Brahms is very much at the centre of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s sound and style of playing. “Of course, the works were newly minted when the Orchestra was [being born] – in the first three years of the Orchestra’s history, they played all of them.” He also described the particular sound of Brahms, “steeped in the German ethos, the idea of the forests and the sound of horns coming from a distance, even the forest colours” and confirmed that performing these works with the Berliner Philharmoniker, which has been hailed as the world’s greatest Brahmsian orchestra “gives you a possibility of colours that you have almost nowhere else. … I can say to this orchestra, ‘I need a different sound’ and the sound changes immediately.” Brahms loved musicians with individual ways of phrasing, even when these were apparently contradictory – he loved the playing of the violinist Joseph Joachim, for example, who used almost no vibrato and that of the clarinettist Richard Mühlfeld, who played with much more vibrato than any clarinettist before or since – “There was no one way of performing.” Bearing this in mind, Sir Simon and the Orchestra have approached the symphonies anew, trying things they had never done before. At the end of the first movement of the Second Symphony, for example, Sir Simon asked the Orchestra’s principal horn, Stefan Dohr, about the possibility of trying a stingendo at the end of the big horn solo. “And Stefan not only took it and ran with it, but actually wanted to do much more than I had originally intended. He did it and it makes a moment of crisis rather than a moment of peace. And that’s wonderful.”

In his review of the Berliner Philharmoniker/Simon Rattle’s performance of Brahms’s Symphony No. 3 at the BBC Proms in September 2008, Andrew Clark of the Financial Times commented that Simon Rattle had spent most of the past six years attempting to drag the Berliner Philharmoniker into the 21st century, making the Orchestra “more versatile … more aware of its function in the community, more alert to a younger generation. But in this most dynamic of conductor-orchestra partnerships, the partner who has changed most is Rattle” as he has grown to value the Orchestra’s fabulous musicianship and tradition even more than before. “The evidence was there in Brahms’s Third Symphony, the most beautiful performance of this work I have heard, radiating a profundity that was not lost on a rapt Proms audience.”

Simon Rattle’s association with EMI dates back to the 1970s and has resulted in many award-winning and ground-breaking releases. Previous critically acclaimed recordings with the Berliner Philharmonker encompass works by Bruckner, Brahms, Holst, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Schoenberg, Richard Strauss, Schubert, Mahler and Debussy. Their release of Holst’s The Planets won ‘Classical Recording of the Year’ at the Classical Brit Awards. Their Berlioz Symphonie fantastique/La mort de Cléopatre disc won an Excellentia award from Pizzicato, the Luxemburg-based European classical music magazine and, most recently, their recording of Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms won a Grammy award in the ‘Best Choral Performance’ category.

“[The September 2008] Proms performance [of Symphony No. 3] was manifestly Brahmsian in its warmth, lyrical flow and structural coherence. It was manifestly from Berlin in its richness of timbre and soloistic allure … But it was also manifestly Rattle in its flexibility of tempo and adherence to the score.” (Financial Times)

“Simon Rattle has clearly forged a deep bond with the Berlin Philharmonic during his tenure, and the playing is never less than superb, with every section of the orchestra ideally responsive. If any one aspect should be singled out it must be the horn-playing, both solo and as a body, which is gloriously expressive, most movingly of all throughout Symphony No. 2.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2009 *****

“if you’re looking for Romantic depth and sheer beauty of tone, then you’ve come to the right band. In fact, there are moments where a particular theme is so achingly lovely that you almost forget to breathe” Charlotte Gardner, bbc.co.uk, 9th September 2009

“For all-round technical and musical expertise, it is difficult to fault these mellifluous performances. Very satisfying.” Classic FM Magazine, October 2009 ****

“Where Harnoncourt rather underplays the First Symphony, giving it a decorous Schumannesque feel, Rattle's reading is one in which the inwardness and charm of the exquisitely realised inner movements offset the breadth and lyric power of the surrounding drama. ...in the Third... we hear... exquisitely quiet string- and horn-playing - the inner movements rich in beauty and quiet foreboding... Rattle's finely moulded direction sustains the discourse.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2009

“Rattle's account of the Second Symphony has a wonderfully relaxed good humour about it, with the Berlin Phil's fabulous horn section adding lustre to the climaxes, and a finale that positively overflows with high spirits. Much of the Third is equally fine, by turns spaciously expressive and tautly rigorous.” The Guardian, 18th September 2009 ****

“there are no gimmicks, only an impressive fidelity to the score...In sum, a revelation, which rewards repeated listening.” The Observer, 20th September 2009

EMI - 2672542

(CD - 3 discs)

$27.75

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Brahms - Complete Symphonies

Brahms - Complete Symphonies


Brahms:

Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)

Tragic Overture, Op. 81

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


The 1977-78 symphony cycle.

“The playing of the Berlin Philharmonic remains uniquely cultivated: the ensemble is finely polished, yet can provide tremendous bravura” Penguin Guide

DG Karajan Symphony Edition - 4777579

(CD - 3 discs)

$23.00

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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

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$13.75

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Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4

Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4


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

Great Recordings of the Century - 30% off

EMI Great Recordings of the Century - 5627422

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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

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$17.50

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