Best modern Brahms symphony 4?

Started by Bruckner is God, May 19, 2011, 03:52:21 AM

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Mn Dave

Quote from: jlaurson on May 23, 2011, 06:34:03 AM
If you really mean MODERN, then there's really only Simon Rattle's that immediately comes to mind.

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/03/dip-your-ears-no-100.html

As players of Concertgebouw (!!) said: "That's how we want sound in Brahms; that's Brahms for the 21st Century."

Merciless, gorgeous, hardened stuff.

I'll wishlist this at Amazon.

DavidW

I think Rattle's Brahms 4 sounds perfect, but emotionless, simply bland. :-\

Florestan

Quote from: haydnfan on May 23, 2011, 07:29:37 AM
emotionless, simply bland. :-\

it's "for the 21st century", remember?  ;D
When I'm creating at the piano, I tend to feel happy; but - the eternal dilemma - how can we be happy amid the unhappiness of others? I'd do everything I could to give everyone a moment of happiness. That's what's at the heart of my music. — Nino Rota

DavidW


Sergeant Rock

Quote from: snyprrr on May 22, 2011, 05:35:57 PM
I've never really listened to Brahms Symphonies. I just got the Eschenbach from the library.

Houston or Schleswig-Holstein?

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

karlhenning


Mn Dave

There's a version conducted by Andrew Davis that I like. It came with some music magazine or other.

Sergeant Rock

the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Mandryka

Rattle's Brahms 4 is really not so bad. I'm glad to have it.

It's on the  slow side. The orchestra sounds very richly upholstered. It doesn't flow quite so well as with the best Brahmsians. There are, I think some lovely bits in the first movement where time stands still. Rattle has something to say with this symphony - I don't think it's just a cynical run through.

Although it's not a real  favourite, I will be keeping it. I prefer a leaner more taught reading. I hate that plush orchestral sound. But of you like Karajan's BPO Sibelius, for example, you may well be more open to the sound.


I just retrieved Gardiner's and I'll listen tonight.


Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

eyeresist

#49
How often is the first movement really done as an allegro?

EDIT: Actually, all his first movements are allegros, but you wouldn't know it by listening.

Herman

Quote from: snyprrr on May 22, 2011, 05:35:57 PM
I've never really listened to Brahms Symphonies. I just got the Eschenbach from the library. What should I do?

return it in due time

Herman

Quote from: jlaurson on May 23, 2011, 06:34:03 AM
If you really mean MODERN, then there's really only Simon Rattle's that immediately comes to mind.

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/03/dip-your-ears-no-100.html

As players of Concertgebouw (!!) said: "That's how we want sound in Brahms; that's Brahms for the 21st Century."

Merciless, gorgeous, hardened stuff.

The Concertgebouw? Where do you get that quote?

The Concertgebouw doesn't even work with Rattle, after one try back in the Eighties.

And merciless and hardened is everything the Concertgebouw does not stand for.

Truth, beauty and justice is the ethos in Amsterdam. Also, Rattle's relentless fussiness doesn't fit the Concertgebouw spirit.


kishnevi

Quote from: Mandryka on May 22, 2011, 09:03:22 PM
I don't know those recordings ccar. The other Brahms by him I like is the first symphony with the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra.

I have that one, somewhere or other.   I bought it secondhand, and the CD turned out to have a scratch that made the second movement unplayable, which is why the CD got put away.    It was coupled with El Amor Brujo that seemed at the time utterly forgettable, which is the other reason the CD got put away.   I ought to hunt it out and burn a playable copy, I suppose. 

[goes off to add one more task to the to-do list]

jlaurson

#54
Quote from: Herman on May 23, 2011, 05:59:37 PM
1.The Concertgebouw? Where do you get that quote?
2.The Concertgebouw doesn't even work with Rattle, after one try back in the Eighties.
3.And merciless and hardened is everything the Concertgebouw does not stand for.
4.Truth, beauty and justice is the ethos in Amsterdam. Also, Rattle's relentless fussiness doesn't fit the Concertgebouw spirit.

...That's what happens if you don't read the associated link.

1.) From said players
2.) That's not at all the point
3.) I know
4.) What B.S.

Herman

Quote from: jlaurson on May 23, 2011, 10:57:22 PM
...That's what happens if you don't read the associated link.

1.) From said players
2.) That's not at all the point
3.) I know
4.) What B.S.


In journalism, which is what you do, this is called an unattributed quote. You're supposed to avoid those. There are at least 125 musicians who can say they are 'in' the Concertgebouw orchestra, if 'several' of these talk to you, and you want to use that for publication you're supposed to ask 'Can I quote you on that?' meaning, with their names. Usually these people will say you can use it as 'background', anonymously, at which point it's best to forget about it.

The other thing you do (as a reporter and or critic) is ask yourself the question: 'How is this relevant? Or is it, perhaps, that I like this recording and / or Rattle, and just want to bolster this by an unattributed quote from an anonymous authority figure?' In that case: Don't. Or do it this way:

"I don't listen much to Brahms symphonies, but I really like Simon Rattle's new recording with Berlin Philharmonic. And I was pleasantly surprised, when I was in Amsterdam recently, to meet several Concertgebouw musicians who did so too."

This way, it's all yours, and you've still divulged, without giving it undue prominence. An unattributed quote coming from a large organisation has a habit of speaking for that entire organisation. It's not about player X with this or that history as a musician; it's 'the Concertgebouw', and in that case it becomes really weird that you seem to want the Concertgebouw to say 'we would like to play Brahms the way the BPO and Rattle do' while the Concertgebouw has rejected Rattle as a guest conductor, way back in the Eighties (after one gig with Mahler 10, Cooke), and they haven't changed their mind about it. Rattle has since worked with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, when in the Netherlands. If you had spoken to more Concertgebouw musicians you would have met a lot who don't have a copy of that recording (not all musicians listen to music at home extensively), and some who reject Rattle's way with Beethoven and Brahms. Would you have 'quoted' those, too?

And if you add qualifications as 'hardened' and 'merciless' it becomes even weirder, because that is not at all what the Concertgebouw does.

And lastly 'truth, beauty and justice' (with a big emphasis on the latter) has for generations been the motto of Concertgebouw musicians and artistic leadership. It's the route via which decisions have been made about whom they work with. You call that bullshit; they don't.

I know several performing arts internet groups where posts are thrown out immediately if they are about unattributed backstage gossip. This is mainly to avoid stagedoor groupies venting badly distorted stuff. As a journalist one should be aware of this anyway. The above sample is the way to use the information you got, without giving it undue relevance.

Herman

And as for 'modern' recordings of the Brahms 1 - 4:

After the valedictory eighties recordings by Giuilini (Vienna) and Bernstein (Vienna):
Charles Mackerras / Scottisch National
Haitink / Boston
Haitink / London Symphony
Harnoncourt / Berlin
Eschenbach / Houston
Van Zweeden / Netherlands Phil
Marek Janowski / Liverpool and the aforementioned Rattle / Berlin

Bruckner is God

Quote from: Dancing Divertimentian on May 21, 2011, 09:48:09 PM
We CAN have the best of both worlds: greatness in performance mated to greatness in recorded sound (modern).

To me that's Jansons/Oslo (live). 







I love how rich and burly the sound is here, with wide dynamics and top-to-bottom symmetry. I'm guessing the acoustics of the Oslo Concert Hall contribute to the overall results as even what Jansons/Oslo there is on EMI (that I've heard) is fantastically recorded.

I heard that one on spotify. I really liked it, especially the last movement.
I am also going to check out the Rattle/Berlin and the Janowski recording.

eyeresist

Using quotes attributed to unnamed orchestra members is standard in classical music reporting, as you should have noticed if you read any of the music press. The musicians often prefer to be anonymous, to avoid possible damage to their standing. The main qualification to remember is that it is usually a very small minority of the orchestra expressing their opinion (most symphony orchestras are quite large, after all).

Xenophanes

Quote from: kishnevi on May 22, 2011, 08:48:24 PM
I think that's too extended a time period.    You're going back almost sixty years now;  literally more than a lifetime for most of the people now alive on this planet (including myself, although not by much). 

I'd define modern a little more flexibly (ie, without referring to a fixed date),   but with a shorter time period: a modern recording is one produced by artists still active, or recently active. or if you want to stretch it a little further, artists still alive or very recently deceased.    But the time period still reaches back pretty far: for instance, Haitink's 60s recordings would qualify there.  And depending on how you define "recently deceased' or "recently active", Solti as well.

That said, I don't remember any recording of the Brahms 4 that stands out for me .  I have Solti, Rattle, Muti, Eschenbach. and Haitink, and will be shortly ordering Gardiner's (I have the first three in his series already). 
None of them seem worse than any of the others, either.   

In  a pinch, if forced, I might pick Eschenbach, but that's partly for the simple reason that he's the one I've listened to most recently.

Of course, you are using a different criterion, artists currently or recently active.  You may have your reasons for choosing that.

I go back to the beginning of the stereo era because I think the main reason for looking for modern recordings is likely to be sound quality, and even some of the older stereo recordings are of very high quality.  As well, the longer period provides a wide variety of recordings.

Some terrific performances were recorded earlier, but on the whole, for symphonic material, I usually find it hard to enjoy the older recordings because the sound is often pretty awful. I like a number of old recordings of solo singers, and single instruments such as violin, cello, or piano, and even some small ensembles.