Author Topic: Brahms Symphony Cycles  (Read 47891 times)

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Offline Bogey

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Brahms Symphony Cycles
« on: August 19, 2007, 07:29:07 AM »
What are some of your favorite ones?  There is a great discussion on just HvK's on the "purchase" thread, and thought this topic deserved its own "umbrella".  I currently have HvK's 70's cycle....have heard great things about his 60's work, and also enjoy my Furtwängler run on the Music & Arts label.  Here are the covers:

   
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

M forever

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2007, 07:35:02 AM »
Dis:



and dis:



and dis:



and dis:



and dat:


hornteacher

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2007, 07:35:52 AM »

M forever

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2007, 07:37:41 AM »
I *knew* you would say that!

What's your girlfriend's favorite?

Offline Bogey

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2007, 07:39:03 AM »
I *knew* you would say that!

What's your girlfriend's favorite?

Ah, and like your choices Wand, Harnoncourt, and Giulini were shocking!  ;D  ;)

However, the Bernstein intrigues me.
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Offline Novi

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2007, 07:42:24 AM »
Walter/ColSo

and the Furtwängler set Bogey posted, only I seem to have misplaced it :'(.
Durch alle Töne tönet
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Für den der heimlich lauschet.

hornteacher

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2007, 07:43:32 AM »
I *knew* you would say that!

What's your girlfriend's favorite?

Good question.  Don't really know.

I do like other Brahms cycles (Wand, Abbado, etc) but for some reason I always come back to Mackerras.  Maybe its the reduced instrumentation that I like.  Gives the music a less heavy feel which is appealing to me.

dtwilbanks

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2007, 07:44:30 AM »
It would be easy enough to pick up a cycle, but I never have. Maybe I should. How's the Wand? Anyone?

Offline Que

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2007, 07:49:28 AM »
The thread on the old forum: Brahm's Symphonies cycles

My favourites in chronological order:

 

 

Q
À chacun son goût.

M forever

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2007, 07:56:48 AM »
Good question.  Don't really know.

You should ask her next time you see her!

Ah, and like your choices Wand, Harnoncourt, and Giulini were shocking!  ;D  ;)

However, the Bernstein intrigues me.

I deserve the best! These cycles represent an extremely wide spectrum of interpretive approaches while all being very stylish and idiomatic. I would have loved to include the Mackerras set, I think the concept is great, after all, Brahms liked to have his symphonies performed by a really small orchestra. I have been to the theater in Meiningen where several of his major works were performed with such a small band under Bülow. It is a really small theater and I find the idea intriguing to hear this music in an intimate setting with lean, transparent sounds. However, I don't find this set to be very successful in the execution of that idea. The orchestra does not have the eloquence of phrasing and the sense of flexible timing needed for this music.
Harnoncourt does much better, although the forces he uses aren't quite that small. They were rather "medium" sized. I heard the performances live when they recorded that, it was incredibly interesting to hear the BP play like that only a few years after I had heard them play the Brahms symphonies in widescreen sound under Karajan. Which in itself was very impressive, too. And the orchestra really audibly enjoyed "rediscovering" the music in that way.
Mackerras is, unfortunately, more a dry exercise of a good idea. There is also a set with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Berglund which I have but somehow never got around to listening to.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2007, 08:06:54 AM by M forever »

Offline sound67

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2007, 08:00:45 AM »
Mackerras/Scottish Chamber Orchestra

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=10241

Seconded. Hard to beat as "hip" or "near-hip" versions go.

Also, for traditional readings:



Thomas
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Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2007, 08:08:26 AM »
Jansons/Oslo Philharmonic:






Haitink/Boston Symphony:






Jochum/London Philharmonic:





Honorable mentions:

1st - Tennstedt/LPO
2nd - Carlos Kleiber/VPO
3rd - Cantelli/Philharmonia




« Last Edit: January 19, 2008, 06:47:58 PM by donwyn »
Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline Xenophanes

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2007, 08:11:05 AM »
Bruno Walter, Columbia Symphony, now on Sony, is very strong on all four.  I do prefer Reiner, Royal Philharmonic, for Symphony No. 4.

head-case

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2007, 08:21:13 AM »

I would put Karajan's 60's cycle on top (especially the 4th) and 80's cycle second.  The second cycle has it's amazing moments, but suffers from poor recording, I find the brass and winds too recessed.  There are many cycles that I find satisfying in their way, I'd say the Kertesz/VPO cycle is the finest.  Jochum's cycle in EMI is thrilling but driven too hard, IMO.  His old MONO cycle on DG is also brilliant.


What are some of your favorite ones?  There is a great discussion on just HvK's on the "purchase" thread, and thought this topic deserved its own "umbrella".  I currently have HvK's 70's cycle....have heard great things about his 60's work, and also enjoy my Furtwängler run on the Music & Arts label.  Here are the covers:

   


DarkAngel

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2007, 09:33:48 AM »
1)Jochum/LSO/EMI - requires two purchases for complete 1-4 set
2)Walter/NYPO/Sony - sounds much different than later Columbia SO versions
3)Dorati/LSO/Mercury - available as Archiv reissue
4)Van Beinum/CBO/Phillips - got this from HMV Japan

Also like the Furtwangler/Music & Arts plus Toscanini/RCA as historical documents

To make best Brahms 1-4 set from individual CDs:

1)Klemperer/EMI GROTC
2)Walter/NYPO/Sony
3)Jochum/LSO/EMI
4)Kleiber/VPO/DG
« Last Edit: August 19, 2007, 09:37:17 AM by DarkAngel »

Renfield

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2007, 09:58:18 AM »
I was thinking of making a thread about Brahms cycles, to see if I'm missing any great ones. I have a "thing" for collecting good Brahms symphony cycles, adoring the Brahms symphonies as I do! ;D

My Top 10

1. Furtwangler/VPO, BPO (EMI) - No contest.

2. Harnoncourt/BPO (Teldec)

3. Karajan/BPO (DG) - The 70's cycle; if the unavailable 60's cycle was around, I might have put it in its place, from what I've heard about it.

4. Toscanini/Philharmonia (Testament)

5. Sanderling/Staatskapelle Dresden (EMI)

6. Walter/NYPO (United Archives) - And Sony, apparently.

7. Wand/NDR Hamburg Symphony Orchestra (RCA) - His penultimate cycle.

8. Abbado/BPO (DG)

9. Haitink/Concertgebouw (Philips)

10. Custom cycle (Various) - Ok, I cheated. :P

1st Symphony, Karajan/BPO (DG) - The only part of the 60's cycle I have, bundled with the Schumann 1st.
2nd & 3rd Symphonies, Walter/Columbia Symphony Orchestra (Sony)
4th Symphony, Kleiber/VPO - (DG)


Honourable Mention: Karajan/BPO (DG) - The amalgam of the 70's and 80's cycle, part of the Karajan Edition; I left it out because of already having one Karajan cycle in the list.

Good cycles left out deliberately are the Klemperer, which I never warmed to, and the Weingartner, because I've never heard a "listenable" transfer of that otherwise excellent cycle. Oh, and, for the ultimate (in my opinion) performance of the Academic Festival Overture, check out Willem Mengelberg and the Concertgebouw Orchestra, on Naxos. 8)

P.S.: Oh, looks like DarkAngel did the "custom cycle" thing, too. I feel less guilty, now. ;)
« Last Edit: August 19, 2007, 10:01:08 AM by Renfield »

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2007, 10:08:37 AM »
I have this one :



i don't know what the general feeling is about Eschenbach or about this set in particular....but, although it was a "good" introduction (relatively speaking) for a newbie like me, it was totally blown to pieces when i heard Kleiber's version of 4th. Suddenly, the Eschenbach set seemed completely lifeless and i have never managed to get attracted into it any longer...i'll be checking the recommendations on this thread for sure  :)
Olivier

Offline Que

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2007, 10:15:01 AM »
I was thinking of making a thread about Brahms cycles, to see if I'm missing any great ones. I have a "thing" for collecting good Brahms symphony cycles, adoring the Brahms symphonies as I do! ;D

My Top 10

1. Furtwangler/VPO, BPO (EMI) - No contest.

That EMI-set (I have it myself) misses two superb FW/Brahms recordings: the 1st Hamburg '51 and the 4th BPO '44. Recommended!

Q
À chacun son goût.

Mark

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2007, 10:39:55 AM »
I have Haitink with the LSO (LSO Live), Marriner with the ASMF (Hanssler), and Rahbari with the Brussels Belgian Radio & TV Philharmonic Orchestra (Naxos).

Renfield

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2007, 10:54:32 AM »
I have Haitink with the LSO (LSO Live)

I think that was far less successful than his earlier (Concertgebouw) cycle; or at least that's what I remember reading about it...