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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Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)

Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)


Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons are pleased to announce the release of their latest recordings on BSO Classics-a three-disc set of the four Brahms symphonies, recorded live during concert performances at Symphony Hall this past November, engineered by the same in-house team that produced the BSO's recent Grammy-winning Shostakovich recordings under Maestro Nelsons on Deutsche Grammophon. This new Brahms symphony cycle follows two others recorded previously by the BSO, under Erich Leinsdorf in the mid-1960s and Bernard Haitink in the early 1990s. "It makes me so proud and happy," observes Andris Nelsons, "that the Boston Symphony Orchestra of today, filled with so many great musicians, will now have its own place in recorded history with this amazing music."

“There’s not a single bar that feels heavy or stodgy, and yet amongst the lightness there is real weight when required...Aside from that, what impressed me most was the absolute clarity achieved, with every facet of Brahms’s orchestration there to be heard...This set is quite exceptional, and surely one of the finest to have come along in recent years.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, 26th May 2017

“His Brahms is as vital, impulsive and rhythmic as all his work strives to be – though not as sheerly dynamic as one might have imagined – but there is blend and bloom, too...he truly listens to the music, feeling its pulse and allowing the phrasing to evolve with as little intervention or ‘shaping’ as possible. He is generous without indulgence, muscular without vulgarity.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2017

Presto Disc of the Week

26th May 2017

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

BSO Classics - BSOCL1701

(CD)

$36.50

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)

Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)


NDR Elbphilharmonie Orcheste, Thomas Hengelbrock

Before moving into the Elbphilharmonie, chief conductor Thomas Hengelbrock and his NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester performed a ‘Brahms Marathon’ with all four symphonies of the Hamburg-born composer in the historic Laeiszhalle. Brahms’ music has always played an important role in the history of the orchestra, whose defining interpretations of the symphonies by Brahms and Bruckner have become the ensemble’s artistic hallmark. The orchestra, founded in 1945, was led by outstanding conductors such as Günter Wand, Christoph Eschenbach and Christoph von Dohnányi. Since 2011, chief conductor Thomas Hengelbrock is in charge of continuing the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester’s history. In the bonus program Discovering Brahms, Thomas Hengelbrock offers interesting background information on all four symphonies. ‘The evening was more than worth it’ (Hamburger Abendblatt).

RECORDING DATE: Laeiszhalle Hamburg, May 2016

SOUND FORMAT: Blu-ray: PCM Stereo, DTS-HD MA 5.1

PICTURE: 16:9, HD

BOOKLET: English, German, French

SUBTITLES BONUS: German (original language), English

TOTAL RUNNING TIME: 210 mins

Concert: 167 mins / Bonus: 43 mins

BONUS: Discovering Brahms with Thomas Hengelbrock

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

C Major - 741104

(Blu-ray)

$35.25

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Brahms: Symphony No. 4, Alto Rhapsody & Schicksalslied

Brahms: Symphony No. 4, Alto Rhapsody & Schicksalslied


Brahms:

Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98

Alto Rhapsody, Op. 53

Ann Hallenberg (mezzo)

Schicksalslied, Op. 54

Collegium Vocale Gent


"The four symphonies of Brahms form the kernel of our musical heritage, along with such works as the Monteverdi Vespers, the Bach Cello Suites and Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations. To mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées and the half-century (!) of Collegium Vocale Gent, we conceived the project of recording them in tandem with major choral works by this composer whose instrumental and vocal worlds are in essence inextricable. Johannes Brahms was at heart a singer. His entire oeuvre is underpinned by poetry and text, indeed even by rhetoric, following on in organic succession from ‘early’ music, notably the music of Schütz and Bach, of which he had a profound knowledge and whose tradition he was bent on continuing, to the horror of the modernists of his day. In the twentieth century, the world of the orchestra and that of the voice often followed different paths. But, contrary to this tendency, the trajectories of the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées and Collegium Vocale Gent have always been closely linked.

In the first place, this musical complementarity has enabled us to mount and record a considerable number of masterpieces of the repertoire with a deep-rooted shared aesthetic. But above all, thanks to an assiduous process of collaboration, the choir of Collegium Vocale has applied itself to the task of incorporating into its approach vertical, rhythmic precision and true, non-tempered intonation, two of the qualities to which the orchestra aspires, while the preponderance of text and vocal phrasing and articulation, indeed even pronunciation, has profoundly influenced the discourse of the orchestra, permeating to the very core of its instrumental technique. These are the bases of a task we dream of continuing for the next half-century." Philippe Herreweghe

“this strikes afresh. The sound is crystal clear, the playing sings, dynamic contrasts stand out (just before the first movement’s recap, the sudden stillness is magical). Never has his woodwind writing seemed less congested.” Sunday Times, 21st May 2017

“This one is taut, cleanly structured, perhaps a little underwhelming for those who prefer a beefier, more integrated sound. But the disc is worth snapping up for the two accompanying vocal works: the Alto Rhapsody, with the superb, pure-toned Swedish mezzo-soprano Ann Hallenberg, and the Schicksalslied.” The Observer, 4th June 2017 ****

Released or re-released in last 6 months

PHI - LPH025

(CD)

$15.50

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg: The First Recording (Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4)

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg: The First Recording (Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4)


Brahms:

Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90

Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98


With his imagination, his musicological passion for discovery and his uncompromising manner of music-making, Thomas Hengelbrock numbers among the most sought-after conductors of our time and he is musical director of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra. Concert tours with the orchestra have taken him through Germany, Europe, and Asia. The opening of the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg in January 2017 will mark the beginning of a new era for the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, formerly the NDR Symphony Orchestra: the ensemble will move in as orchestra in residence at the Elbphilharmonie, making its musical home after a 70-year history. The orchestra’s programme will play a major role in shaping the artistic profile of this spectacular new concert hall. The NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra was founded in 1945, holds its own concert series in Hamburg, Lübeck and Kiel today and plays a leading role at the large festivals in northern Germany. Its international standing is underlined by tours throughout Europe, to North and South America and to Asia.

“[Hengelbrock] sacrifices a degree of tension in Brahms's dynamic cut-and-thrust for long, simmering vocal lines: we certainly learn the hall allows for great spaciousness and subtle bloom. In the Third Symphony the Andante has a wonderful still serenity, winds and horn glow and strings drape the melody with silken texture” BBC Music Magazine, May 2017 ***

Sony - 88985405082

(CD)

$13.75

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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).

“The spirit of romance is certainly present in Griffiths’s readings…[and] the Frankfurt orchestra produces a very agreeable soft-grained legato sound” Gramophone Magazine, August 2016

Klanglogo - KL1514

(CD)

$12.75

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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.

Warner Classics Original Jacket Reissues - 2564676771

(CD - 2 discs)

$19.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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)

$15.50

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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)

$8.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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

Up to 30% off LSO Live

LSO Live - LSO0737

(SACD)

Normally: $10.00

Special: $7.00

(also available to download from $8.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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


RCA Classical Masters - 88697711362

(CD)

$6.75

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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