Author Topic: Brahms Symphony Cycles  (Read 50524 times)

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Don

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #40 on: August 20, 2007, 06:04:44 PM »
Is it just me or does Suitner look a little like Gomer Pyle?   SHAZAMM!!

Suitner looks just like him.  Maybe he is Gomer.

George

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #41 on: August 21, 2007, 04:17:48 AM »
Suitner looks just like him.  Maybe he is Gomer.

The name sure suits him.  ;D

Offline sperlsco

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #42 on: August 30, 2007, 01:36:28 PM »
I've been on a real Brahms symphony binge this year.  Some of the ones that I have really enjoyed but not seen mentioned here are as follows:

Dohnanyi/Cleveland O (re-released in April in an inexpensive slim box)
Szell/Cleveland O
Levine/Chicago SO (Japan mastering)
Levine /Vienna PO

I also downloaded the Gielen Brahms 1 from eMusic.com and find it to be one of the most satisfying ones that I have heard.  It is a fairly swift version, featuring sharp textures and oodles of detail and clarity. 

Of the ones previously mentioned elsewhere, I really love the Wand/NDR and Karajan (Recent release of 80's No. 1-3, 70's No. 4).  One of the common denominators in the these two sets and the above Cleveland ones is very strong lower brass playing.  Also, the tempos are generally on the brisk side for all four sets. 

I was surprised by how much I really liked the box by Sir Colin Davis/BRSO on RCA.  I finished listening to it last week.  It has tempos that would seem slower than my ideal, but the playing is superb by the Bavarians and Davis has fairly flexible tempos. 

I listened to the Muti/Philly O set just prior to that and found it to be a complete dullard. 

Scott


M forever

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #43 on: August 30, 2007, 03:34:44 PM »
I think the Levine/WP 3rd is really outstanding, one of the most intense and musically to the point recordings of the 3rd. Same goes for the Tragische Ouvertüre from that set. The other items are all very nice, too, hardly surprising given the authority the orchestra has in playing this music. All the more interesting to compare them playing the same pieces under Giulini, Bernstein, and also Böhm, in their cycle with him from the 70s which may not yet have been mentioned here either.

I have the 3rd only from the Davis/SOBR cycle which I picked up for $3 or so in an used CD shop, just to hear what the orchestra sounds like in the recording, as Davis is conductor whose interpretation rarely interest me. However, the first impression from this disc was also very good. But I would have to listen to it again in order to give a more detailed criticism, but I also considered maybe grabbing the whole box since it's often available for very cheap and contains all the symphonies and concertos. However, I already have so many recordings of these symphonies, it is not really a buying priority right now.

I would probably buy the Dohnányi/Clevelandbox first though since I have some of these as individual releases but not all of them and the box also contains the violin concerto with Zehetmaier which I don't yet have either.

I agree about the Muti cycle. Nice playing and all that, but you get that from many other sets and with more depth and charcter of sound, too. The Philips recording is one of these typically round, warm, supersmooth recordings they often produced which superficially heard may sound very "nice" but which I really don't find very good because they are too featureless and like a warm, fat sauce. Musically, Muti's approach is fiercely classicist but he simply doesn't offer as much insight into the inner life of the music as conductors with a roughly similar approach do, like Dohnányi or Wand.

BorisG

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #44 on: August 31, 2007, 06:39:25 PM »
For a cycle, I think the Karajan 1960's leads the way. Especially for 1 & 4. Klemperer is his equal in 2 & 3 (1956 & 1957), and Abbado in 3 (1989).

Renfield

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #45 on: August 31, 2007, 07:24:54 PM »
For a cycle, I think the Karajan 1960's leads the way. Especially for 1 & 4. Klemperer is his equal in 2 & 3 (1956 & 1957), and Abbado in 3 (1989).

But why, why aren't they issuing it (complete) on CD? :(

George

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #46 on: September 01, 2007, 03:55:03 AM »
But why, why aren't they issuing it (complete) on CD? :(

Because the chimpanzees who run DG haven't a clue about the music that they release?  ;D

longears

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #47 on: September 01, 2007, 07:44:47 AM »
I'm most inclined to listen to either the MacKerras set or the Sanderling, or maybe Szell.  Sanderling's is the most appealing plush cycle I know, in large part because of the sound of the Dresden Staatskapelle.  In general I prefer the less weighty strings of MacKerras.  I like a tonal balance more like chamber music, but am not as pleased with MacKerras's symphonies as with his serenades (the former seem just a bit, well, stodgy), so I might really like a leaner approach but livelier and more playful.

Has anyone heard the Berglund/COE cycle?  I've had my finger on the trigger for that one a couple of times, but haven't fired yet.

Offline sperlsco

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #48 on: September 02, 2007, 06:18:27 AM »

Has anyone heard the Berglund/COE cycle?  I've had my finger on the trigger for that one a couple of times, but haven't fired yet.

FYI - This set is available from eMusic.com.  I believe the first 25 downloads are free.  In fact they have a decent number of Brahms cycles available:
Berglund, Bychkov, Alsop (1-3), Janowski/Liverpool (plus the new Pittsburgh B1), Haitink/LSO Live, Gielen (1-2).

I've sampled the Berglund set a few times (mostly at bedtime), but really never gave it enough outright attention to form an impression. 

Offline sperlsco

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #49 on: September 03, 2007, 06:07:04 AM »
I've sampled the Berglund set a few times (mostly at bedtime), but really never gave it enough outright attention to form an impression. 

Just in case my use of the word "sampled" is unclear, I have indeed downloaded the set from eMusic and listened through at various times.  For someone looking for less strings and more forward winds, this may be your cup of tea.  The performances seem enjoyable enough, but just rather smallish -- especially in the bigger moments. 

Joe Barron

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #50 on: September 20, 2007, 07:30:55 AM »
I am always looking for better and better recordings of Brahms's symphonies. Taking the hint from some posters on this thread, I have purchased the Fourth with Kleiber and the VPO. Just got through listening to movement No. 1, and so far, it's everything everyone says it is — clear, dynamic, beautifully phrased.

Also bought the First with Klemperer & the Philharmonia. Will get back to you on that.

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #51 on: September 20, 2007, 08:13:13 AM »
I am always looking for better and better recordings of Brahms's symphonies. Taking the hint from some posters on this thread, I have purchased the Fourth with Kleiber and the VPO. Just got through listening to movement No. 1, and so far, it's everything everyone says it is — clear, dynamic, beautifully phrased.

It's a stunning performance, and really well recorded too. As good as Walter and Furtwängler are, they do not have both of these qualities.
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

Mark

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #52 on: September 20, 2007, 08:18:26 AM »
Anyone got any thoughts they'd care to share on Bychkov conducting the WDR Sinfonieorchester Koln in these symphonies?

Renfield

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #53 on: September 20, 2007, 08:41:17 AM »
Anyone got any thoughts they'd care to share on Bychkov conducting the WDR Sinfonieorchester Koln in these symphonies?

First time I hear of it... But I do have thoughts to share on the newly-released Medici Masters Brahms 1st by the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra, under Klemperer's baton, which is superb!

(And that coming from someone who isn't exactly a die-hard fan of Klemperer's Philharmonia Brahms cycle, as you might notice from my recommendations earlier in this thread.)

ChamberNut

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #54 on: April 29, 2008, 03:35:57 AM »
I'll be the first to mention the set by:

Wolfgang Sawallisch/London Philharmonic
 :)

Offline Todd

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #55 on: April 29, 2008, 03:54:47 AM »
A relatively recent addition to my collection, and a superb one.  Long readings, with especially long opening movements in all four symphonies, but they never sound slow or heavy.  Lyricism where appropriate, oomph where needed.  I can think of no cycle I like better - though I shan't be discarding my old standbys.


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Offline Wanderer

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #56 on: April 29, 2008, 04:09:01 AM »
Anyone got any thoughts they'd care to share on Bychkov conducting the WDR Sinfonieorchester Koln in these symphonies?

So, has nobody listened to this set yet?

MN Dave

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #57 on: April 29, 2008, 04:13:09 AM »
A relatively recent addition to my collection, and a superb one.  Long readings, with especially long opening movements in all four symphonies, but they never sound slow or heavy.  Lyricism where appropriate, oomph where needed.  I can think of no cycle I like better - though I shan't be discarding my old standbys.




Man, this looks good. Mainly because I love their Requiem on Audite.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2009, 10:50:38 PM by Que »

Online Brian

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #58 on: April 29, 2008, 10:20:55 AM »
Hey, folks. I'd be interested to hear some thoughts on Gielen's recent Brahms cycle; I have heard his Fourth and have to say that it's my favorite performance since Carlos Kleiber's. A bit brisk but entirely fabulous - wondering if the other three are up to that standard.

In the opposite direction, I have heard the first three symphonies from Marek Janowski's ongoing cycle and cannot wait for the Fourth to be released. So far the music-making has been fabulous, with highly accomplished playing from Pittsburgh.

Renfield

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Re: Brahms Symphony Cycles
« Reply #59 on: April 29, 2008, 12:14:04 PM »
Hey, folks. I'd be interested to hear some thoughts on Gielen's recent Brahms cycle; I have heard his Fourth and have to say that it's my favorite performance since Carlos Kleiber's. A bit brisk but entirely fabulous - wondering if the other three are up to that standard.

In the opposite direction, I have heard the first three symphonies from Marek Janowski's ongoing cycle and cannot wait for the Fourth to be released. So far the music-making has been fabulous, with highly accomplished playing from Pittsburgh.

Has he completed the cycle? Gielen, that is. If he has, where do I buy it? ;D

Janowski's Brahms I've heard live, the 3rd symphony. Highly energetic, virile reading to be sure; but I'll have to wait for him to wrap up the cycle, maybe "cross-examine" a few reviews before making the purchase.

(I'm already past my 20th Brahms cycle, I think. So even though these are a known obsession for me, there's no rush. :P)