Author Topic: Revisiting Brahms and his symphonies  (Read 3291 times)

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Offline ChamberNut

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Re: Revisiting Brahms and his symphonies
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2019, 10:37:49 AM »
My first exposure to Brahms' symphonies was Sawallisch/LPO.  Then Van Zweden with the Netherlands Philharmonic.

Most recently, I have also revisted Brahms' symphonies through Daniel Raiskin's reading and really enjoy these performances.

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Offline George

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Re: Revisiting Brahms and his symphonies
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2019, 08:22:53 PM »
As much as I love Wand's Beethoven, I was disappointed by his Brahms.

Recently, I enjoyed a listen to Sanderling's 2nd and 3rd symphonies. I have the full set.

I also enjoy Barbirolli's Brahms, always have. Same with Karajan's 60s recordings for DG.

I also have Klemperer's set, but have only heard it once. I recall enjoying it.

And last but not least, I have Walter's mono and stereo sets. I always find his interpretations enjoyable.
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Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Revisiting Brahms and his symphonies
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2019, 09:32:38 PM »
Another vote for Mackerras.
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Revisiting Brahms and his symphonies
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2019, 12:54:21 AM »
Recently, I enjoyed a listen to Sanderling's 2nd and 3rd symphonies. I have the full set.

I assume you mean Kurt Sanderling with Staatskapelle Dresden on RCA? There is also Kurt with a Berlin Orchestra on Capriccio and Thomas on a label I forgot.

Sanderling/Dresden ist very good in many ways although I found the 3rd way too slow and spineless. I have not heard his other recordings or his son's.
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Offline George

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Re: Revisiting Brahms and his symphonies
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2019, 03:51:17 AM »
I assume you mean Kurt Sanderling with Staatskapelle Dresden on ...

Eurodisc.
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Offline Madiel

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Re: Revisiting Brahms and his symphonies
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2019, 04:09:33 AM »
I chose Chailly's 2nd cycle as my set (in its 7-CD box form with concertos and serenades), and a key reason for that was precisely because so many things said it was not plodding.

I'm certainly very happy with it. And reviews were very consistent and positive.
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Offline NikF

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Re: Revisiting Brahms and his symphonies
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2019, 08:34:09 AM »
As much as I love Wand's Beethoven, I was disappointed by his Brahms.

Recently, I enjoyed a listen to Sanderling's 2nd and 3rd symphonies. I have the full set.

I also enjoy Barbirolli's Brahms, always have. Same with Karajan's 60s recordings for DG.

I also have Klemperer's set, but have only heard it once. I recall enjoying it.

And last but not least, I have Walter's mono and stereo sets. I always find his interpretations enjoyable.

FWIW, I too found myself less than enamoured with the Wand set.

Barbirolli - one of the last sets I bought and so heard with the benefit of a frame of reference that was ten or so other boxes. And there I found romantic, expansive and rich interpretations throughout. I could get by on having that be the only one I own.

Klemperer I love, tempered by being the first cycle I owned and so a 'first love' of sorts, including an amblyopic eye to some tempo extremes in the fourth.

Nowadays my listening seems to be a cycle conducted by Eschenbach(?) but more often Abbado with the Vienna or Bernstein and the NYP.
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Offline George

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Re: Revisiting Brahms and his symphonies
« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2019, 09:15:35 AM »
Barbirolli - one of the last sets I bought and so heard with the benefit of a frame of reference that was ten or so other boxes. And there I found romantic, expansive and rich interpretations throughout. I could get by on having that be the only one I own

Agreed on all counts. Heard his Brahms Concerti with Barenboim? I may like it even more than his recordings of the symphonies.

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Offline NikF

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Re: Revisiting Brahms and his symphonies
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2019, 09:24:25 AM »
Agreed on all counts. Heard his Brahms Concerti with Barenboim? I may like it even more than his recordings of the symphonies.



No, I haven't heard that but it's the weekend (well, Friday  ;D ) and so the set you've linked to the image of has gone in as a part of my end of the week order. Cheers - an example of the pros of GMG   8)
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Offline George

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Re: Revisiting Brahms and his symphonies
« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2019, 09:31:24 AM »
No, I haven't heard that but it's the weekend (well, Friday  ;D ) and so the set you've linked to the image of has gone in as a part of my end of the week order. Cheers - an example of the pros of GMG   8)

Always happy to spend other people's money.  ;D
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Re: Revisiting Brahms and his symphonies
« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2019, 09:54:50 AM »
Barbirolli is special because of the lyrical, "dolce" approach he takes to the music. My one qualm is the sound on the CDs is a little thin and shrill. The overtures recorded in Vienna sound better to me than the symphonies recorded by the WPO at Abbey Road. But it is not brisk, generally, and not an antidote to "plodding."

Another set I generally like (but which seems to have generated the plodding complaint) is the Bohm/WPO cycle on DG. Not distinctive, but he lets the WPO do what they do best.

I guess I like "plodding" Brahms. There so so much going on under the surface a relaxed tempo can let new details surface.

Offline NikF

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Re: Revisiting Brahms and his symphonies
« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2019, 10:03:07 AM »
Always happy to spend other people's money.  ;D

Something  I aspire to.  8)


I guess I like "plodding" Brahms. There so so much going on under the surface a relaxed tempo can let new details surface.



Excuse the edit, bro, but  I find such an approach to my taste and in line with a composer who apparently as an individual was less than all 'hearts and flowers'? Then again, who am I to be so presumptuous?
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Offline Herman

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Re: Revisiting Brahms and his symphonies
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2019, 11:32:33 AM »
Recently I spend some nights listening to different recordings of Brhams 3, and I wound up preffering Kubelik and the BRSO on Orfeo and Haitink wit the Boston SO.

What I was looking for was no exactly "light and airy" but I did want to get away from dark and plodding. My search was for melodiousness and an open orchestral sound that makes the colours bloom. I thought Kubelik did that very well.

Offline JBS

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Re: Revisiting Brahms and his symphonies
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2019, 11:39:47 AM »
I have the new Barenboim set in my listening pile, and will report when its turn comes (probably soon).  One thing I can say about it is that it only the symphonies, and each symphony gets its own CD.

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Revisiting Brahms and his symphonies
« Reply #34 on: January 11, 2019, 03:44:25 PM »
Recently I spend some nights listening to different recordings of Brhams 3, and I wound up preffering Kubelik and the BRSO on Orfeo and Haitink wit the Boston SO.

I haven't heard Haitink Boston, but right now on the turntable Haitink/Con'bouw of #2 is playing, an original Philips LP. It sounds very well-balanced, "light and airy" when it has to be but also with the necessary punch at climaxes. And it's got that great 1970s Philips sound!
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Offline Que

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Re: Revisiting Brahms and his symphonies
« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2019, 04:43:19 PM »
I haven't heard Haitink Boston, but right now on the turntable Haitink/Con'bouw of #2 is playing, an original Philips LP. It sounds very well-balanced, "light and airy" when it has to be but also with the necessary punch at climaxes. And it's got that great 1970s Philips sound!

I love Haitink's Concertgebouw cycle...
Other favourites are Klemperer, Walter/NYP and Kubelik (Orfeo).
Also... Weingartner... ( Great transfer on Living Era Classics)

Chailly (Decca) will serve well for those who want the Concertgebouw Orchestra in a superb sound.
Interpretation wise Chailly is surprisingly traditional, transparent and detailed. If a bit detached/ cool.

Q

Offline NikF

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Re: Revisiting Brahms and his symphonies
« Reply #36 on: January 11, 2019, 05:27:48 PM »
I have the new Barenboim set in my listening pile, and will report when its turn comes (probably soon).  One thing I can say about it is that it only the symphonies, and each symphony gets its own CD.

Yeah, perhaps a whimsical, trivial aspect, but appealing all the same.
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Offline Marc

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Re: Revisiting Brahms and his symphonies
« Reply #37 on: January 12, 2019, 12:42:50 AM »
I haven't heard Haitink Boston, but right now on the turntable Haitink/Con'bouw of #2 is playing, an original Philips LP. It sounds very well-balanced, "light and airy" when it has to be but also with the necessary punch at climaxes. And it's got that great 1970s Philips sound!

Yeah… count me in! :)

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Offline Ras

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Re: Revisiting Brahms and his symphonies
« Reply #38 on: January 12, 2019, 12:52:04 AM »
Brahms' 1st symphony is one of my all time favorite symphonies. The other three are far less interesting for me. So these recommendations are first and foremost made with the 1st symphony in mind.

- If you want Brahms to sound like Tchaikovsky try Bernstein with the VPO on DG - I have it on DVD.

- Thomas Dausgaard is doing a complete cycle with The Swedish Chamber Orchestra - I haven't heard it yet, but I like an earlier recording on DVD of Brahms' 1st symphony with The Danish National Symphony Orchestra. (Coupled with Dvorak 9, Nielsen 3 and Sibelius 5)


(With dvds please be ware of picture formats and region codes)

- Barbirolli with the VPO has been re-released in a box:



- Gardiner's 1st is smoking hot. I rarely like period recordings of Romantic music, but this is quite good.

- Charles MacKeerras with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra is HIP, but not on period instruments - also good.

- Kurt Sanderling on RCA is good

- Bruno Walter on Columbia/Sony is great.

- And Otto Klemperer with the Philharmonia Orchestra in the same leauge on EMI now Warner.

- Solti on Decca with the Chicago Symphony orchestra. Very good.

- Eugen Jochum on EMI/now Warner - is good. I also tried the DG recordings, but didn't finish, because I didn't like the recorded sound. But Jochum with Gilels on DG doing Brahms' piano concertos is terrific.

- Sawallisch on Emi/now Warner with the LPO is pretty good

- James Levine on RCA - Yeah!

- Barenboim recorded Brahms' symphonies twice, first on Warner, then recently on DG - they are both good.

- Haitink is excellent - he made a set with the LSO on the orchestra's own label probably ca. 10 years ago, but his earlier Decca recording is a better bargain - Maybe the best Brahms bargain out there  - because it also includes all the concertos with Arrau, Janos Starker and H. Szeryng:



_________________________________
I have all the above mentioned recordings on cd or dvd.

On www.spotify.com  I have 20 playlists with recordings of the Brahms symphonies I haven't heard yet.

Here are some of the names:
- Andris Nelsons with the Boston Symphony Orchesra
- Saraste
- Thielemann with the Staatskapelle Dresden
- Michael Gielen
- Gergiev/LSO live

I've never seen anyone mentioning this newish complete cycle:
Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4, Serenades Nos. 1 & 2
Tapiola Sinfonietta & Mario Venzago :

« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 02:36:33 AM by Que »
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Offline Ken B

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Re: Revisiting Brahms and his symphonies
« Reply #39 on: January 12, 2019, 01:27:21 AM »
I have the new Barenboim set in my listening pile, and will report when its turn comes (probably soon).  One thing I can say about it is that it only the symphonies, and each symphony gets its own CD.

Pffft. In the Celi set each movement does.
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