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Brahms: Symphonies No 1-4 / Antal Dorati

Brahms / London Sym Orch / Dorati
Release Date: 09/27/2011 
Label:  Newton Classics   Catalog #: 8802079  
Composer:  Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Antal Doráti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony OrchestraMinneapolis Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

There are many who believe that, if Beethoven wrote the Old Testament of the symphonic literature, then Brahms was the author of the New. Brahms certainly had a rich and complex relationship with tradition and novelty. ‘You don’t know what it’s like, having that giant at my heels,’ he ruefully remarked to one who was waiting, as was much of musical Europe at the time, for a First Symphony from a man whom Schumann had already proclaimed as Beethoven’s heir.

In fact the giant referred to by Brahms may indeed have been Schumann and not Beethoven, for the First Symphony contains an embedded thematic narrative that links both composers through Schumann’s wife Clara, and the complex relationship between the three was never to be
Read more satisfactorily resolved. Brahms conceived a somewhat desperate passion later in life for one of the Schumann children, and it may be said of him more truly than most creative artists that he subsumed many of his most private and turbulent feelings within his own work.

Turbulence is certainly a keynote of these marvellous, dramatic recordings. Antal Dora?ti may be better known to us now as a Haydn and Stravinsky specialist, or at least pioneer, but the rhythmic spring he insisted upon is at least as germane to symphonies that have often laboured under heavier weights. Indeed his light-footed tempi and incisive articulation are among the reasons why this set, unusually, fits on two CDs.

‘This is about the most extrovert performance of Brahms’s First that I have ever heard. Even I, a devotee of Klemperer and Walter, find the blood stirred by Dorati’s crisp, clean-cut attack and guiltily enjoy some of the outrageously fast speeds.’

-- Gramophone, April 1961
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Works on This Recording

1. Symphony no 1 in C minor, Op. 68 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Antal Doráti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1855-1876; Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1959 
2. Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 73 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Antal Doráti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877; Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1957 
3. Symphony no 3 in F major, Op. 90 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Antal Doráti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; Austria 
Date of Recording: 07/1963 
4. Symphony no 4 in E minor, Op. 98 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Antal Doráti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884-1885; Austria 
Date of Recording: 07/1963 

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