Author Topic: Brahms vs. Haydn Brilliant sets  (Read 1505 times)

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Offline OzRadio

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Brahms vs. Haydn Brilliant sets
« on: January 05, 2009, 05:39:19 PM »
I have the Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven sets by Brilliant and thoroughly enjoy them. I'm looking at either the Brahms or Haydn set as my next purchase. Is one recommended any more than the other? Or does it depend on my preference in composers (which I don't have)? Thanks for your thoughts.
Ryan

Lilas Pastia

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Re: Brahms vs. Haydn Brilliant sets
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2009, 06:28:38 PM »
Hi, Ryan. I don't think that question can be easily answered. It's like comparing Bach and Verdi. Go for what you're looking first in music and try to read as many reviews as you can.

I can't imagine many people having reviewed the 150-disc Haydn set yet, but parts of it have been very well received (the symphonies) and the few important concertos he wrote seem to be in capable hands. But that leaves about 115 discs of music played by performers I've not heard a word about, or that have not left much of an impression over the years - most notably the all-important Masses and oratorios The Creation and The Seasons.

With the Brahms, read the Amazon reviews (I found it helpful), but bear in mind that 23 discs out of the 60 consist of music you'll rarely want to hear more than once: assorted vocal quartets and a capella choruses, and songs. The male choruses are the most impressive. The concertos do not seem to have attracted much enthusiasm (American Record Guide reviews the hwole caboodle in their November-December 2008 edition.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2009, 06:31:06 PM by Lilas Pastia »

Online SonicMan46

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Re: Brahms vs. Haydn Brilliant sets
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2009, 06:29:07 PM »
I have the Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven sets by Brilliant and thoroughly enjoy them. I'm looking at either the Brahms or Haydn set as my next purchase. Is one recommended any more than the other? Or does it depend on my preference in composers (which I don't have)? Thanks for your thoughts.

Ryan - as you likely already know, Haydn & Brahms are quite different composers, they are in my top half dozen or so of the most discs owned; both are obviously worthy of owning much of their works - probably the main issue w/ the 'massive' Brilliant collections offered are the performers on the recordings; I've not reviewed these offerings, so cannot comment; but if I were to be cosidering such a purchase, I would review 'which' recordings were included and then make a decision - not much help but just a suggestion - Dave  :D

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Brahms vs. Haydn Brilliant sets
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2009, 10:33:44 PM »
It can only come down to preference, I think. The Brahms set has had less stellar reviews than the Mozart one, but that criticism could be applied to the Beethoven and Bach sets as well, which you enjoy already. The Haydn set is essential for an existing Haydn fan due to the works on it which are unavailable elsewhere.

It seems like you will end up purchasing both sets eventually, so maybe go to Youtube and sample some works by both composers, and buy the box of the one whose music currently grabs you the most.

Edit: I forgot, another factor is that their current Haydn set has a lot of confusing things done with it. For example only half the masses are included, and most strange by far, almost all the quartets are included, but with a few missing (including, if I recall correctly, one of the opus numbers simple being halved - 1-3 included but 4-6 not). It is misgivings like these that have stopped me buying the box right away - especially considering it is debatable whether Haydn has enough output to produce a similarly sized second box, so a token supplemental one that may be released later considering a disembodied group of masses, a few SQs and operas along with the usual divertmenti and miscellanea would be strange.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2009, 11:25:38 PM by Lethe »
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Offline The new erato

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Re: Brahms vs. Haydn Brilliant sets
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2009, 12:24:29 AM »
bear in mind that 23 discs out of the 60 consist of music you'll rarely want to hear more than once: assorted vocal quartets and a capella choruses, and songs.

Brahms songs are works to be treasured again and again. But there's lots of historical recordings here which are very fascinating if you are interested in singing, but may be offputting for many because of recording quality. As for the quartets ans vocal choruses they are a mixed lot and I wont take you up on them. But the reason I find the set valuable is that it's a cheap way to complement a Brahms collection once you have the main works in heavyweight recordings.

Offline PerfectWagnerite

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Re: Brahms vs. Haydn Brilliant sets
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2009, 06:54:06 AM »
I had a chance to look over disc by disc the 40cd Brahms Brilliant set the other day at the cd store (the complete set has the same performers I think). If you are looking for big name well-known performers you are not likely to find it here. There are 4-5 cds with Isabelle Faust at the fiddle but that's about all. The performances may be very good but the names are not well-known that's all.

Lilas Pastia

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Re: Brahms vs. Haydn Brilliant sets
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2009, 05:39:06 PM »
Brahms songs are works to be treasured again and again. But there's lots of historical recordings here which are very fascinating if you are interested in singing, but may be offputting for many because of recording quality. As for the quartets ans vocal choruses they are a mixed lot and I wont take you up on them. But the reason I find the set valuable is that it's a cheap way to complement a Brahms collection once you have the main works in heavyweight recordings.

Voice and piano repertoire is a blind spot for me - whatever the period or language it's sung in. I make an exception for some works, but not very many, I'm afraid :-[. I guess I should have mentioned that personal misgiving before hinting the works themselves may not be up to par.