Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 69

Thread: Ideal Brahms symphony cycle

  1. #1
    Senior Member Brahmsianhorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2,591
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Ideal Brahms symphony cycle

    I have been listening to a lot of Brahms symphony recordings over the past month. My desert island choice will always be Furtwangler in the Music & Arts release (though I marginally prefer the 1949 Wiesbaden 4th over the wartime account). However I focused this month mainly on listening to stereo recordings.

    In modern sound, I concluded the following as an ideal cycle of the symphonies:

    Symphony No. 1 - Leonard Bernstein/VPO (1983)



    Probably a controversial choice for many, this came down to Lenny's unbridled passion and the angst he finds in the score. It is so compelling that I found myself forgetting about whether the tempos for certain sections were conventional or not and simply allowing myself to be swept away. I think this particular symphony needs this sort of epic treatment.

    Other choices:

    Karajan/BPO '64
    Horenstein/LSO
    Walter/CSO
    Klemperer/PO
    Bohm/BPO '60


    Symphony No. 2 - Herbert von Karajan/BPO (1986)



    Karajan's lush, softer-edged approach for me works better in the 2nd than in the 1st. In his last digital recording it is pretty ideal in fact. And yet this also represents one of the most inspired recordings he made with the BPO, with a rousing finale.

    Other choices:

    Bernstein/VPO
    Klemperer/PO
    Walter/CSO


    Symphony No. 3 - Claudio Abbado/BPO (1989)



    I have heard this recording derided as sluggish in some quarters, but I disagree entirely. It has a perfect blend between lush, opulent sound and energy. The famous third movement Poco Allegretto is perfectly judged, and the outer movements are wonderfully spirited.

    Other choices:

    Cantelli/PO
    Kempe/BPO
    Van Beinum/RCO
    Jochum/LSO


    Symphony No. 4 - Carlos Kleiber/VPO (1980)



    Revisiting this famous version reminds me why it is considered one of the greatest Brahms recordings of all time. The intensity in the fast sections goes without saying, but there is also an exquisite beauty throughout. I happen to like this even more than Kleiber's acclaimed Beethoven.

    Other choices:

    Abbado/BPO
    Reiner/RPO
    Van Beinum/RCO
    Last edited by Brahmsianhorn; May-07-2019 at 23:15.

  2. Likes Christabel, perempe, Amadea liked this post
  3. #2
    Senior Member MatthewWeflen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    1,577
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    These are all fine choices. I think Karajan's 80s cycle is actually quite excellent from 1-4. The finale of the 1st gives me goosebumps.

    But as far as my listening, the cycle that I return to most has been this 96k/24b high-res rendition of Karajan's 60s cycle:

    00028947982289-cover-zoom.jpg

    It's available on HDTracks for a pretty reasonable price.

    I wonder what people think of Gardiner's renditions. They... hurt my brain a bit.
    Last edited by MatthewWeflen; May-07-2019 at 18:03.

  4. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Posts
    88
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Eschenbach
    Szell
    Chailly
    Kleiber
    Last edited by Rubens; May-07-2019 at 18:07.

  5. #4
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    15,980
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    139

    Default

    Yes, an ideal Brahms symphony cycle would be...(holds breath)

  6. #5
    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Oxford-ish
    Posts
    1,933
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    No.1: Czech PO/Jiří Bělohlávek.......or Szell
    No.2: Vienna PO/Istvan Kertész......or Jochum
    No.3: London PO/Eugen Jochum......or Skrowaczewski
    No.4: Philharmonia O/Otto Klemperer.....or Kleiber

  7. #6
    Senior Member mbhaub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    2,296
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Chailly on Decca (the new recordings).
    Mackerras on Telarc.
    T. Sanderling on Darpro.

  8. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Leeds UK
    Posts
    2,049
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    8

    Default

    My favourite set is Muti and Philadelphia Orchestra. Was hooked when I listened to symphony no 4. One of best recordings I had heard

  9. #8
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Sharon, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,182
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mbhaub View Post
    T. Sanderling on Darpro.
    I prefer his father's cycle with the Dresden Staatskapelle on Eurodisc.

  10. Likes Triplets liked this post
  11. #9
    Senior Member mbhaub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    2,296
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    I prefer his father's cycle with the Dresden Staatskapelle on Eurodisc.
    Yes, that's a fine one, too. And it comes with the Haydn Variations.

  12. Likes Triplets liked this post
  13. #10
    Senior Member WildThing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    788
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    In stereo? I guess off the top of my head my ideal cycle would be something like:

    Symphony No. 1: Otto Klemperer/Philharmonia Orchestra
    Symphony No. 2: Bruno Walter/Columbia Symphony Orchestra
    Symphony No. 3: George Szell/Cleveland Orchestra
    Symphony No. 4: Carlos Kleiber/Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

  14. #11
    Senior Member Brahmsian Colors's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    9,009
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Where there is more than one version mentioned, no necessary order of preference. All stereo unless otherwise indicated*:

    Symphony No. 1: Klemperer/Philharmonia and Van Beinum/Amsterdam (Royal) Concertgebouw
    Symphony No. 2: Walter/Columbia Symphony (though I do prefer the Walter/New York Philharmonic interpretation in mono*); Kertesz/London Symphony and Klemperer/Philharmonia
    Symphony No. 3: Kempe/Berlin Philharmonic
    Symphony No. 4: Walter/Columbia Symphony; Van Beinum/Amsterdam (Royal) Concertgebouw; Klemperer/Philharmonia and Kurt Sanderling/Dresden Staatskapelle
    Last edited by Brahmsian Colors; May-07-2019 at 23:48.

  15. #12
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    2,570
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewWeflen View Post
    These are all fine choices. I think Karajan's 80s cycle is actually quite excellent from 1-4. The finale of the 1st gives me goosebumps.

    But as far as my listening, the cycle that I return to most has been this 96k/24b high-res rendition of Karajan's 60s cycle:

    00028947982289-cover-zoom.jpg

    It's available on HDTracks for a pretty reasonable price.

    I wonder what people think of Gardiner's renditions. They... hurt my brain a bit.
    Couldn't find it. Could you provide a link?

  16. #13
    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Oxford-ish
    Posts
    1,933
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jegreenwood View Post
    Couldn't find it. Could you provide a link?
    I can only find that on vinyl. These CDs are the 60s recordings if that's what you're after?

    116453692.jpgMI0003160228.jpg

  17. #14
    Senior Member MatthewWeflen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    1,577
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jegreenwood View Post
    Couldn't find it. Could you provide a link?
    https://www.hdtracks.com/brahms-the-four-symphonies

  18. #15
    Senior Member Brahmsianhorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2,591
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Haydn67 View Post
    Where there is more than one version mentioned, no necessary order of preference:

    Symphony No. 1: Klemperer/Philharmonia (stereo) and Van Beinum/Amsterdam (Royal) Concertgebouw (stereo)
    Symphony No. 2: Walter/New York Philharmonic (mono)
    Symphony No. 3: Kempe/Berlin Philharmonic (stereo)
    Symphony No. 4: Walter/Columbia Symphony (stereo); Van Beinum/Amsterdam (Royal) Concertgebouw (stereo) and Kurt Sanderling/Dresden Staatskapelle (stereo)
    Good call on the Kempe 3rd. That is one of the most solid stereo sets around, right up there with Abbado, Jochum, Karajan, Walter, and Klemperer. Van Beinum is also great, though I think the 2nd is in mono.

    The greatest pre-stereo sets I know are Furtwängler (Music & Arts), Weingartner, Toscanini’s 1942-43 NBC cycle (Music & Arts), Jochum/BPO (DG), and Walter/NYPO.
    Last edited by Brahmsianhorn; May-07-2019 at 23:22.

  19. Likes wkasimer liked this post
Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •