Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98

This page lists all recordings of Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98, by Johannes Brahms (1833-97) on CD, SACD, DVD, Blu-ray & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.

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Lucerne Festival Historic Performances Vol. IX

Lucerne Festival Historic Performances Vol. IX


Beethoven:

Leonore Overture No. 3, Op. 72b

Brahms:

Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98

Schubert:

Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D759 'Unfinished'


Swiss Festival Orchestra, Paul Kletzki

A rediscovery of a master: a leading podium star during his lifetime, Paul Kletzki, born Pawel Klecki in the Polish city of Łódź on 21 March 1900, nowadays is considered an insider’s tip among connoisseurs.

Volume 9 in the Lucerne Festival Historic Performances series presents a live recording from the summer of 1946 as a first release. It shows Kletzki at the height of his art: on the podium of the Swiss Festival Orchestra he realises exciting interpretations of Brahms’s Fourth Symphony, Schubert’s Unfinished and Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No.3 – expressive and with a stupendous sense of musical architecture.

Paul Kletzki fled as many as three totalitarian regimes – initially Nazi Germany, where he had established himself as a composer and conductor since the 1920s, and where Wilhelm Furtwängler had championed him; later on, Stalin’s Soviet Union; and finally fascist Italy – before settling in Switzerland in 1939. Here, he became a regular guest at the Internationale Musikfestwochen Luzern, today’s Lucerne Festival, and began his international career which led him to work with all the important orchestras, whilst he also became chief conductor of the symphony orchestras at Liverpool, Dallas, Bern, as well (as Ernest Ansermet’s successor) as the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.

This live recording documents a charity concert which Kletzki conducted following studio recordings made in Lucerne for EMI: the first ever recording made by a Swiss orchestra for the international record market. The Neue Zürcher Zeitung wrote about Kletzki’s performance that the “works […] were interpreted with a brilliant perfection of intellectual excitement and spiritual fulfilment as it is to be experienced only extremely rarely”. This live recording from 1946 is one of the oldest recordings in the Audite catalogue. It is based on the original recording which was made using acetate discs, each with a duration of about 4 minutes. Despite their old age and the particular technical challenges presented by the remastering process, Kletzki’s impressive dynamics have been fully preserved. In cooperation with Audite, Lucerne Festival presents outstanding concert recordings of artists who have shaped the festival throughout its history.

The aim of this CD edition is to rediscover treasures – most of which have not been released previously – from the first six decades of the festival, which was founded in 1938 with a special gala concert conducted by Arturo Toscanini. These recordings have been made available by the archives of SRF Swiss Radio and Television, which has broadcast the Lucerne concerts from the outset. Carefully remastered and supplemented with photos and materials from the Lucerne Festival archive, they represent a sonic history of the festival.

Live recording: Lucerne, Kunsthaus, 7 September 1946

Previously unreleased.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Up to 25% off Audite

Audite Lucerne Festival Historic Performances - AUDITE95642

(CD)

Normally: $12.00

Special: $10.80

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Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4

Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4


Brahms:

Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90

Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98


Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, Howard Griffiths

Not only did Brahms write his symphonies, he also heard them - and was impressed with conductor Fritz Steinbach. Several decades ago one of his students published Steinbach's interpretive notes, which sparked the profound interest of Howard Griffiths, the director of the Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt / Oder - there hardly is a more authentic way of listening to Brahms' symphonies.

This rendition of the two symphonies is based on a collection of detailed and exciting interpretive suggestions, which Brahms himself knew, heard and liked. They were conceived by Fritz Steinbach, a conductor and contemporary of Brahms, who the composer considered the best performer of his symphonies. Howard Griffiths has thoroughly studied the dossier and has diligently transferred the notes to his score: he plays with the tempo, balances with the dynamics and uses minute shifts of accentuation to great effect. This brings the interpretation very close to Brahms intention, thereby literally presenting the listener with a historically informed performance and simply providing the most authentic way of enjoying Brahms' last two symphonies. A recording of the first two symphonies performed by the Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt under the baton of Howard Griffiths has already been released by Klanglogo in 2015 (KL1513).

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Klanglogo - KL1514

(CD)

$13.75

(also available to download from $10.00)

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Brahms: The Four Symphonies

Brahms: The Four Symphonies


Brahms:

Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)

Tragic Overture, Op. 81

Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80

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


The music of Brahms held an important place in Sir John Barbirolli’s repertoire and these recordings of the symphonies, made with the Vienna Philharmonic in 1966 and 1967, stand as one of the peaks of his discography. Barbirolli’s relationship with this music is rooted in his time as an orchestral cellist, and these performances are notable for their rich, ripe sonorities and expansive warmth.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Warner Classics Original Jacket Reissues - 2564676771

(CD - 2 discs)

$14.25

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Brahms: Symphony No. 4

Brahms: Symphony No. 4


 

Instrumental folk music from the region of Sic (original melody used by Brahms in his 3rd Hungarian Dance)

István Kádár (violin), András Szabó (viola), Attila Martos (bass)

Brahms:

Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98

Hungarian Dance No. 3 in F major

Hungarian Dance No. 7

Hungarian Dance No. 11


"What a wonderful start: a fragmented melody like a hovering leaf blown up and down by the wind. Never has tenderness been composed more movingly. And what a magnificant ending of the same movement: extreme tenderness is matched by extreme drama which grows and grows to gigantic expression. Brahms is not restrained anymore in his last symphony.

After the fun and vitality of the third movement the final passacaglia is much more than a sequence of variations. We experience a huge range of dark emotions: from the lonely lamentation of the flute to the defiant, tragic ending. There is no room for the usual jubilation or the usual modulation to a major key. Brahms finishes his symphonic work with prophetic foreboding heralding Spengler's Der Untergang des Abendlandes (The Decline of the West)."

Iván Fischer

BBC Music Magazine

Orchestral Choice

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Channel - CCSSA35315

(SACD)

$16.25

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Yevgeny Mravinsky: The Accomplishment of the Romantic Symphony 1885-88

Yevgeny Mravinsky: The Accomplishment of the Romantic Symphony 1885-88


Brahms:

Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98

Tchaikovsky:

Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64


This release in Praga's Reminiscences series of SACD remasterings features the great Russian conductor Yevgeny Mravinsky leading the Leningrad Philharmonic in recordings of two masterpieces of the Romantic repertoire. Brahms's refined and intellectually complex Symphony No.4 is paired with the rich, heart-on-sleeve passion of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No.5 – one of the composer's best loved works. Recorded December 31, 1982

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Praga Digitals - DSD350111

(SACD)

$16.25

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Brahms: Symphony No. 4

Brahms: Symphony No. 4


Brahms:

Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98

Schoenberg:

Variations for Orchestra, Op. 31


A little over 40 years separate Brahms’s Fourth Symphony from Schoenberg’s Variations Op.31: little enough for two sound-worlds so radically divergent. Yet a certain conscious classicism in the handling of variation forms (the chaconne in Brahms, balanced serialism in Schoenberg) and a common affiliation – to Bach – link these masterpieces of Romanticism and dodecaphony.

“Nagano delivers an overwhelming and superbly articulated account of the Schoenberg. His Brahms is beautifully played, but lacks the last ounce of passion, especially in the outer movements.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2015 ****

Harmonia Mundi Musique d'Abord - HMA1951884

(CD)

$8.50

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Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4

Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4


Brahms:

Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90

Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98


Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra bring to a close their celebrated Brahms’ cycle with the release of Brahms third and fourth Symphonies.

Brahms is often associated with the idea of abstract music, free of literary models or autobiography, but with the third the composer wrote in many ways his most personal symphony.

Composed at a mountain retreat in 1884, about a year after completing the third, Brahms’ architectural musical skill is nowhere more evident than in his fourth and final symphony, employing Baroque contrapuntal techniques and chromatic labyrinths and described by Hans von Bülow as having the feeling of ‘being given a beating by two incredibly intelligent people.’

“Brahms and Gergiev could hardly be described as natural bedfellows but there were moments in the Third Symphony where the illicitness of unnatural bedfellows generated a certain frisson.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2014

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

LSO Live - LSO0737

(SACD)

$11.25

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Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)

Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)


Continuing their survey of works performed by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Weitblick label presents a 2CD set of Brahms' Complete Symphonies, conducted by the ever-favourite, Evgeny Svetlanov.

Weitblick - SSS0136

(CD - 2 discs)

$26.25

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Brahms & Schumann: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4

Brahms & Schumann: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4


Brahms:

Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68

Wiener Philharmoniker

Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98

London Symphony Orchestra

Schumann:

Symphony No. 1 in B flat major, Op. 38 'Spring'

London Symphony Orchestra

Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120

1956 version

London Symphony Orchestra


Born in Vienna in April 1902, the cheery-looking Josef Krips seems to have been pre-destined to achieve eminence in the Viennese classics. He recorded with both, the Wiener Philharmoniker and the key London orchestras for Decca in the 1940s, 50s and 60s and the interpretations have genuine expressive power while remaining devoid of exaggeration or affectation.

Here we have Krips giving us the First and Fourth symphonies, respectively of Brahms and Schumann. With the Wiener Philharmoniker he whips up an almost uncontainable sense of thrill in Brahms’s First. ‘I wrote the Symphony in that first flush of spring which carries a man away even in his old age, and comes over him anew every year’ wrote Schumann of his First Symphony. Krips’s way with the work is unforced and natural, and of his two recordings of Schumann’s Fourth (in 1952 and 1957), the second is included here.

This issue forms part of a series of five reissues devoted to the art of Josef Krips.

Recording producers: John Culshaw (Brahms No. 1); Victor Olof (Brahms No. 4); James Walker (Schumann No. 1); Christopher Whelan (Schumann No. 4);

Balance engineers: James Brown (Brahms No. 1); unidentified (Brahms No. 4); Ken Cress (Schumann No. 4); Gordon Parry (Schumann No. 4)

Recording locations: Sofiensaal, Vienna, Austria, October 1956 (Brahms No. 1); Kingsway Hall, London, United Kingdom, April 1950 (Brahms No. 4), October 1956 (Schumann No. 4), May 1957 (Schumann No. 1)

“the glory of this disc is Brahms 1 - an Andante of unalloyed bliss.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2011 ****/*

“The Schumann [Fourth] shows powerful structural conviction … It begins by striking just the right ominous note, and the Allegro grows from this compellingly … Krips’s avoidance of easy sentimentality is welcome, as is his refusal to linger affectionately over passages that please him at the expense of overall vision. Transfers are up to Decca’s customary high quality, giving a clean, immediate sound.” Gramophone Magazine

“Krips’s smiling, companionable approach is so sympathetic” Gramophone Magazine (Schumann Symphony No. 1)

“An extremely fine performance in many ways with plenty of weight and sense of purpose. The playing of the Vienna Philharmonic is both sensitive and splendidly alive; the slow movement is thoroughly felt and eloquently phrased. Krips’s reading combines strength and tenderness, power and lyrical feeling” Gramophone Magazine (Brahms Symphony No. 1)

“Superb… There are no histrionics about Krips’s reading, in which everything is beautifully proportioned and carefully calculated. The music moves forward to its natural climaxes, in each of the four movements, with a wonderful feeling of inevitability that leads logically and dramatically to the crowning achievement of the great Finale. The orchestral playing is sensitive, vigorous, and poised to a nicety, and the recording does full justice to it.” Gramophone Magazine (Brahms Symphony No. 4)

GGramophone Magazine

Re-issue of the Month - August 2011

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4804325

(CD - 2 discs)

$13.75

(also available to download from $10.75)

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Brahms - Symphonies 3 & 4

Brahms - Symphonies 3 & 4


Brahms:

Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90

Alto Rhapsody, Op. 53

Dunja Vejzovic (soprano)

Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98

Tragic Overture, Op. 81


Houston Symphony, Christopher Eschenbach

Up to 35% off Erato

Erato de Virgin - 6932282

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $10.75

Special: $9.67

(also available to download from $8.00)

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