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Herbert von Karajan conducts Brahms & Dvorak
“Karajan's superb reading of the Dvorak is the winner here with every detail of this volatile score superbly realised.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2011 ***
“two of Karajan's most natural and elemental recordings...Karajan was more inclined to let the Vienna Philharmonic play - allowing it more freedom while still keeping a firm hand on the performance - than he was his own Berlin orchestra. The results have the kind of spontaneity and freshness that is sometimes missing from his Berin performances” International Record Review, May 2011
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Bracha Eden & Alexander Tamir (pianos)
A unique release of Brahms Music arranged and originally written by the composer for piano duet, played by the world famous Israel duo, Eden & Tamir.
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Lorin Maazel conducts Brahms, Ravel & Debussy
These performances were recorded in the fifties; the Brahms in Milan in 1956, the Debussy in Rome in 1958 and the Ravel, performed by the Orchestre National de France in 1958.
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Edition Staatskapelle Dresden - Volume 29
The evenings of October 22 and 23, 1992 in the Dresden Semperoper brought not only performances for the Dresden audience but were at the same time the start of an extensive tour from October 25 to November 12, during which the Staatskapelle under Sir Colin Davis performed twelve concerts in Japan.
The Staatskapelle seems once more to have tapped the pulse of the Japanese audience with their interpretations and so affirmed their reputation.
“The Schubert is beautiful: warm intensity of tone, long phrases that feel elegant and acutely sensitive, at the the same time, pathos, grandeur, romantic atmosphere, and underneath all that a feeling of steady, unpressured momentum carrying the music to its conclusion.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2011 **/***
“Davis occasionally bends the line for rhetorical effect...demonstrably smitten by the sheer lustre of Brahms's writing...As to Davis's Schubert Unfinished, breadth and depth of feeling prevail, the transition from repeated exposition to development section in the first movement as darkly mysterious as on any other version” Gramophone Magazine, July 2011
“These recordings date from 1992, the aftermath of German reunification and a time in which emotions in Dresden were running high...Certainly Colin Davis, who was then building a strong bond with the orchestra, has drawn from it performances that are exceptionally intense in nature...These are fine, thoughtful performances of timeless masterpieces that seemed to find in those years at Dresden a particular time and a particular place.” International Record Review, May 2011
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Sir John Barbirolli conducts Schubert, Mendelssohn & Brahms
Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90
Recorded 21 & 22 May 1952 Free Trade Hall, Manchester. First CD Release
Double Concerto for Violin & Cello in A minor, Op. 102
Recorded 17 & 18 September 1959 Free Trade Hall, Manchester
André Navarra (cello) & Alfredo Campoli (violin)
Scherzo from Octet, Op. 20
Recorded 31 May 1949 No.1 Studio, Abbey Road, London. First CD Release
Symphony No. 9 in C major, D944 'The Great'
Recorded 21 & 22 December 1953 Free Trade Hall, Manchester
Die Zauberharfe (The Magic Harp), D 644 - Overture
Recorded 28 April 1948 Houldsworth Hall, Manchester & 31 May 1949 No.1 Studio, Abbey Road, London. First CD Release
Barbirolli had a particular affinity for the music of Brahms and Schubert and he conducted their works to critical acclaim. As a young cellist, he gained knowledge and practical experience of their instrumental and chamber works, and as an orchestral musician he became familiar with their orchestral works, whilst still in his teenage years. He included Brahms’s E Minor Cello Sonata op. 38 at an Aeolian Hall recital in November 1917 and played in a trio arrangement of Schubert’s Serenade during his army service. Barbirolli included the Fourth Symphony by Brahms in his first four concerts with the New York Philharmonic in Carnegie Hall in November 1936.
During his seven years with the orchestra, he conducted all the major works of Brahms as well as Schubert’s Second and Fourth Symphonies and Five German Dances. In July 1940, at his debut at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, he conducted Brahms’s Fourth Symphony before an audience of 12,000 and, shortly afterwards, conducted in Chicago at the Ravinia Park Festival where his concerts included Schubert’s Fourth and Ninth Symphonies and Brahms’s Fourth Symphony. Audiences throughout Britain and abroad heard Barbirolli conduct magnificent performances of the works of Brahms and Schubert.
He conducted all the Brahms symphonies in the 1945-46 season in Manchester. Schubert’s Second, Fourth, Fifth and Eighth Symphonies all found their way into his Viennese Night programmes. Barbirolli also conducted several performances of the Brahms Alto Rhapsody (two with Kathleen Ferrier, who also sang the Four Serious Songs) and, in 1955, two performances of the German Requiem. In the late 1960’s, he recorded a Brahms cycle for EMI with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. In his last decade, when he conducted many of the world’s great orchestras, Barbirolli’s outstanding performances of Brahms and Schubert thrilled audiences throughout the world, nowhere more so than in Berlin and Boston where his interpretations (of Brahms’s Second Symphony, in particular) also greatly impressed the orchestral players. This set brings together Barbirolli's HMV recordings of Schubert's Symphony No.9 (1953), the Rosamunde Overture (1948/49), the Symphony No.3 by Brahms (1952) and Mendelssohn's Scherzo (1949). Also included is the famous Pye recording of the Brahms Double Concerto (1959) with André Navarra and Alfredo Campoli as soloists.
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Brahms: Symphony No. 3
Recording locations: Recorded live at the Salle Pleyel, Paris and Royal Festival Hall, London.
Soli Deo Gloria is proud to release the third instalment in the successful Brahms Symphony series which sees John Eliot Gardiner and his Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique explore the music of Johannes Brahms.
The choral pieces on this release demonstrate beautifully the extent to which choral thinking permeates Brahms’ orchestral writing. Gardiner states that ‘just as there is choral thinking evident in his symphonies, surely there are also signs of orchestral thinking embedded within his choral writing.’ Both Nänie and Gesang der Parzen show fascinating links with Brahms’ last two symphonies Parzen sharing with the Third not just an adjacent opus number but an immensely powerful orchestral opening, with passing references to ‘early music’ styles next to passages of the most advanced harmony.
Einförmig ist der Liebe Gram, an irresistible little piece written for women’s voices, sees Brahms take the final song from Schubert’s Winterreise and turn it into a haunting six-part canon. Another example of Brahms forging links with a revered predecessor.
Written nearly six years after Brahms completed his Second Symphony, his third symphony was described by Hans Richter on its premiere as Brahms’ ‘Erioica’. A friend of Brahms and music critic at the time, Eduard Hanslick, wrote: “Many music lovers will prefer the titanic force of the First Symphony; others, the untroubled charm of the Second, but the Third strikes me as being artistically the most nearly perfect”
“…urgent, magnificently angry… This is Gardiner at his penetrating, combative best, making contact with the music's heartbeat in a way that sounds both radical and natural…” BBC Music Magazine, November 2009 *****
“Taking up more than half the disc, the choral items are its obvious glory… Gardiner sets his face against anything that could be construed as false consolation. In his element in Song of the Fates, he gives the sublime Nänie an unusually taut, sharp-edged feel.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2009
“This period instrument interpretation for Brahms 3 will be a surprise to many. Once you’ve adjusted though, the enjoyment to be gained from this superbly performed disc (…) is enormous” CD Review
“It’s hard to under-emphasise the lift Gardiner’s historically informed performance has given to Brahms’s Third Symphony” Classic FM Magazine
“A must-have disc for Brahmsians” Sunday Times
“Throughout, there’s the satisfying phrasing that Gardiner excels in, with melodic lines and their accompaniments shifting and undulating to a satisfying degree...Riveting, enlightening and enjoyable in equal measure.” Charlotte Gardner, bbc.co.uk, 9th September 2009
“This recording with the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique under John Eliot Gardiner is one of the most urgent readings of this symphony I can recall, especially in the outer movements, and it certainly makes for a tremendously exciting performance, with some thrilling horn playing in particular.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, November 2014
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Otto Klemperer - The Last Concert
The concert of 26 September 1971 was never intended to be Klemperer’s farewell to ‘live’ musicmaking. In his 87th year this conductor was keen to remain an active music maker. He had just overridden EMI’s choice of Fiordiligi in his new Così fan tutte recording (he wanted, and got, Margaret Price), approved Lorin Maazel as guest conductor of the New Philharmonia, and was keen to be present at player auditions. For 1971/72 he planned his first-ever performances of Mahler’s Eighth and Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht and told EMI that he wished to record the Verdi Requiem, Weber’s Euryanthe, Sibelius’s Fourth and Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld. After a deal of negotiation (and some intrigue with Deutsche Grammophon) sessions for Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge, Mozart’s Serenata Notturna, Brahms’s St Antony Variations and a complete Mozart Entführung aus dem Serail were agreed. And yet, according to Otto Freudenthal, the Swedish-born pianist and composer who assisted closely in (and played for some of) Klemperer’s musical activities, “he was not interested in recordings; he had no feeling for that at all. Recording sessions were just rehearsals for concerts”. 1971 proved a busy year. Così was recorded and performed. Klemperer began learning Hebrew, advised Rafael Kubelík not to become music director of the Metropolitan Opera (he did, but only for 6 months), conducted Mahler in London (the Resurrection Symphony for the 60th anniversary of the composer’s death) and Bach and Mozart in Jerusalem, and (according to Freudenthal) was “always working on the score of his opera Das Ziel”. (Plans to record it were eventually shelved at Klemperer’s own request). In September he came to London and recorded Haydn’s Oxford Symphony – he had never performed the work ‘live’ and was nervous, but sessions went smoothly – and Mozart’s K.375 Serenade. An ensemble of young players from the New Philharmonia performed his String Quartet No.7.
From the booklet Mike Ashman, 2008
Mono Recording: 26 September 1971, Royal Festival Hall, London
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