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Brahms: Symphony No. 4
Recorded in the Mann Auditorium, Tel Aviv, 11/2006 [Brahms], 10/2007 [Saint-Saëns]
Brahms' Fourth Symphony, his last, was completed in 1885, twelve years before his death. Perhaps, having reached such perfection in his Fourth Symphony, Brahms was less inclined to write another. In his Third Symphony, Saint-Saëns, himself a highly accomplished organist – hailed by Frans Liszt as the greatest in the world, gives us the first work to place the organ in a prominent role in a symphonic setting.
(also available to download from $10.00)
Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days. (Available now to download.)
Carl Schuricht conducts Brahms & JS Bach
Carl Schuricht was awarded a warm welcome in Geneva from Ernest Ansermet when forced into exile in 1944. Brahms was always a central part of Carl Schuricht’s repertoire. The harnessing of the fourth symphony, delivered in 1952 is amazing due to the intensity of its metronomic movements and the fluidity of its reading. Carl Schuricht added Bach’s second suite for orchestra to his repertoire to allow the talents of the orchestra’s solo flutist – André Pépin, to be highlighted.
Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.
Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4
Bremen Philharmonic Orchestra, Markus Poschner
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Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days. (Available now to download.)
Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98
version for piano 4 hands
Hans-Peter Stenzl (piano), Volker Stenzl (piano)
Brahms: Symphony No. 4
Recorded live at Royal Festival Hall, London, 5-8 October 2008
Soli Deo Gloria is proud to release the last instalment of its successful Brahms Symphony series which sees John Eliot Gardiner and his Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique explore the music of Johannes Brahms.
This album is a celebration of the Fourth Symphony and the various pieces that contributed to its making.
From baroque to romantic, and from great orchestral pieces to intimate choral works, the listener gains a wonderful insight into Brahms’s mind and music making, through pieces that he loved and inspired him.
The Fourth Symphony was described by Richard Strauss as “a giant work, great in concept an invention, masterful in its form, and yet from A to Z genuine Brahms, in a word, an enrichment to our art”. Drawing from many sources of the musical past, it is nevertheless absolutely unique.
It is impregnated with baroque influence – the Finale was directly inspired by Bach’s cantata Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich. Brahms enjoyed conducting less known old repertoire such as Gabrieli’s Sanctus Benedictus and Schütz’s Saul, Saul. They influenced his choral writing as we can hear in the Geistliches Lied. Brahms was also famously inspired by Beethoven, and the Finale to the Fourth clearly owes to his Coriolan overture.
The booklet includes a conversation between John Eliot Gardiner and composer Hugh Wood, explaining how the pieces relate to each other and giving a moving account of Brahms as a composer and as a man.
This recording was made during the 2008 Brahms: Roots and Memories tour.
“Gardiner brings a delightful crispness and spontaneity to the work: he creates great sweeps of emotion without sacrificing inner details, and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique respond to him by playing with warmth and passion.” METRO, 3rd September 2010
“[The motets] provide a surprising context for the symphony, given in a transparent, analytical performance by the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. Harmony and counterpoint gleam, with no aural smudges and not a jot of bookish didacticism.” The Observer, 12th September 2010
“...the variety of tone, dynamic and texture from Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique is consistently well defined...A no-prisoners account of Beethoven's Coriolan Overture opens a programme that explores Brahms' choral influences, with pristine excerpts of Gabrieli, Schütz and Bach.” The Independent on Sunday, 12th September 2010
“Gardiner's highly energised, raw-boned account, superbly played by the ORR and never dwelling unduly on inessential expressive details, has a real sense of culmination, of the end of a creative journey that the whole series of recordings has illuminated in a genuinely original way.” The Guardian, 16th September 2010 ****
“The symphony is upstaged by choral works (Schütz, Gabrieli, Beethoven and Brahms) which illuminate its creative background. The jewel is Brahms’s wondrous Geistliches Lied, giving the Monteverdi Choir its finest hour.” Financial Times, 17th September 2010 ***
“this disc is a triumph of imaginative programming, an education for anyone wishing to hear the music that inspired the composer...Gardiner’s approach is the antithesis of the muddy sound of most “classic” recordings. His tempi are brisk yet flexible, as Brahms wanted, but he refuses to sentimentalise the music.” Sunday Times, 26th September 2010 ****
“everything seems in focus: not just the tempo, but also the rhythmic drive and urgency seem absolutely right in the third and fourth movements...This performance gives a lively sense of what that authentic Brahms sound might have been like, and the music gains enormously - not an ounce of flab on these textures” BBC Music Magazine, December 2010 *****
“It's fascinating to hear the Bach cantata movement that inspired that Finale, with the orchestra in its comfort zone. The little-known choral pieces are done well.” Classic FM Magazine, December 2010 ****
“Textures are as transparent as chamber music. Phrases and ideas are nuanced, but disciplined...In short, Gardiner and his orchestra have placed the work firmly within the classical tradition, as a natural continuation from Brahms' symphonic idol Beethoven, rather than the seamless precursor to Wagner.” Charlotte Gardner, bbc.co.uk, 2nd November 2010