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Brahms: Symphony No 1, Etc / Gielen, Et Al


Release Date: 03/14/2006 
Label:  Hänssler Classic   Catalog #: 93134   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Michael Gielen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 58 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Michael Gielen's slow tempo for Brahms' un poco sostenuto opening of the First Symphony deceptively predicts a solemn and weighty reading in the manner of Giulini and Tennstedt. But come the allegro just the opposite happens, as Gielen drives bracingly forward in a manner that typifies the rest of the performance. In a way Gielen's rendition is similar to that of Mackerras, who also makes the work sound closer to Brahms' chamber music rather than to his German Requiem, as some conductors are wont to do. Of course, Gielen uses a fuller orchestra than Mackerras' period-scaled ensemble, and the SWR Symphony plays handsomely, even if it doesn't quite equal the polish and brilliance of the Boston Symphony, whose classic Munch-led recording this Read more version also recalls.


After a fiery first movement, the Andante flows as if sung and the scherzo sparkles thanks to lively playing by the SWR winds, while in the finale Gielen's urgency and discipline makes the movement sound cogent and concise, not tiresome and repetitive as it can in some hands. Also like Mackerras, Gielen doesn't belabor the climactic chorale, instead letting it flow naturally into the coda.


The Tragic Overture is even finer--you'd have to go back to Bruno Walter to find the kind of fierce intensity that Gielen exhibits here. The orchestra's focused, exceptionally responsive playing will have you on the edge of your seat, especially as Hänssler presents it all in vivid, dynamic sound. Highly recommended.
--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 1 in C minor, Op. 68 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Michael Gielen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1855-1876; Austria 
2.
Tragic Overture, Op. 81 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Michael Gielen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Austria 

Sound Samples

Tragic Overture, Op. 81
Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68: I. Un poco sostenuto - Allegro
Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68: II. Andante sostenuto
Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68: III. Un poco allegretto e grazioso
Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68: IV. Finale: Adagio - Piu andante - Allegro non troppo, ma con brio

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Good stuff September 7, 2014 By William L. (Lake Charles, LA) See All My Reviews "Excellent CD." Report Abuse
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