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Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4, Serenades Nos. 1 & 2 & Haydn Variations
There have been many recordings of the Brahms symphonies but few have the passion, vitality and drive of István Kertész’s Vienna Philharmonic cycle. This 4CD collection brings together all of Kertész’s Brahms recordings for Decca. The two Serenades were recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra. His Wiener Philharmoniker Brahms cycle began in May 1964 with a recording of the Second Symphony and continued in 1972-73 with the remaining symphonies and the Variations on a theme of Haydn. Recording of the Variations commenced on 1 March 1972, and upon Kertész’s passing (16 April 1973), the orchestra completed the recording on 14 May 1973, conductor-less, in his memory.
“Kertesz's Brahms cycle has wonderful freshness and Magyar fire; his invigorating Serenade in D has surely never been bettered. Sound is occasionally a little rough.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2013 *****
“The playing and the recording are gorgeous—just listen to the way the oboe steals in as if from nowhere for its main solo in the slow movement” Gramophone Magazine (Symphony No. 1)
“This is a really excellent performance … This orchestra plays marvellously” Gramophone Magazine (Symphony No. 2)
“Kertesz's is an exemplary reading of the Fourth Symphony” Gramophone Magazine
“[The Symphonies] are superbly played by the Vienna Philharmonic and this account of No. 3 is deeply musical, unaffected and natural, distinguished by warm string tone and eloquent wind playing. The wind blend beautifully, even the somewhat thin Viennese oboe tone sounds splendidly expressive … The recording is exceptionally well-balanced; it has just the right perspective and the relationship between wind and the rest of the orchestra, which seems to baffle many balance engineers these days, could not be more musically or naturally judged. The same goes for the St Antoni Variations the last part of which were recorded in Kertesz's much lamented absence.” Gramophone Magazine
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Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)
Recorded live at the Royal Festival Hall’s Southbank Centre, the Philharmonia orchestra are led by Christoph von Dohnányi in these captivating live recordings of Brahms’ Four Symphonies.
“The catalogue is full of Brahms symphony cycles but these Dohnányi readings are consistent and very rewarding and, as such, are competitive. This set is well worth considering, especially since the price is advantageous.” MusicWeb International, June 2012
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Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4
For a long time Johannes Brahms was considered the epitome of conservatism who, contrary to the disciples of Wagner and Liszt, fell back on old forms which allegedly had no power any more.
Indeed, Brahms was an expert on music of the past, going back to the polyphonic composers of the 16th century. He made use of old patterns such as the variation and the interrelated passacaglia.
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Brahms from Hamburg
What could be more authentic than recording Johannes Brahms‘ symphonies and other famous orchestral works with a Hamburg orchestra in the composer‘s home town of Hamburg?
(also available to download from $9.25)
Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days. (Available now to download.)
Bruno Walter - Live Recordings
Myra Hess (piano), Erica Morini (violin), John Corigliano (violin) & Leonard Rose (cello)
Los Angeles PO, New York PO, RAI Milan Symphony Orchestra & NBC Symphony Orchestra
Recording made between 1940 and 1953, in New York, Los Angeles and Milan.
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Brahms: Symphonies, Overtures & Violin Concerto
“Zehetmair’s is a warm and thoroughly musical account: his timbre is sweet and both he and Dohnanyi, who accompanies sympathetically, offer a natural response to Brahmsian lyricism. The Cleveland Orchestra’s playing is beyond criticism and the sound balance is impressively natural.” Penguin Guide
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