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Brahms: Symphonies no 3 & 4 / Gielen, SWR SO


Release Date: 08/08/2006 
Label:  Hänssler Classic   Catalog #: 93136   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Michael Gielen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 14 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

"Gielen’s reading of the Third Symphony...strikes me as one of the best Thirds I’ve heard. Again, tempos are on the brisk side, but this time there is an underlying sense of structural unity. Of Brahms’s four symphonies, the Third, I’ve long believed, is the most difficult in terms of finding an interpretive solution that works. Flirting freely with cyclic form, the piece presents the listener with a succession of four movements that are closely related thematically and that tend to be less contrasted in color, mood, and tempo than is the norm. Exaggerating what contrasts there are plays havoc with the work’s formal coherence; downplaying them leads to a certain blandness born of uniformity. Gielen hits upon a fascinating formula for Read more success. Recognizing the interlocking cyclic nature of the score, he delivers the second and fourth movements in precisely the same timings—8:18—and the first movement at almost exactly double the timing of the third movement—12:11 and 6:02, respectively. In so doing, he achieves an inner balance for the work as a whole, while simultaneously achieving sufficient contrast between successive movements to keep the momentum going. If not for the exposition repeat, which Gielen does observe, this balance would not be possible. Obviously, we can credit Brahms for knowing what he was doing, but beyond that I think the whole subject of repeats, and just how and why they can be so crucial to structural integrity, is one that warrants more serious consideration. In this, Brahms’s most difficult symphony, Gielen scores a knockout punch."

Jerry Dubins, FANFARE
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 3 in F major, Op. 90 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Michael Gielen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; Austria 
2.
Symphony no 4 in E minor, Op. 98 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Michael Gielen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884-1885; Austria 

Sound Samples

Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90: I. Allegro con brio
Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90: II. Andante
Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90: III. Poco Allegretto
Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90: IV. Allegro
Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98: I. Allegro non troppo
Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98: II. Andante moderato
Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98: III. Allegro giocoso - Poco meno presto
Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98: IV. Allegro energico e passionato - Piu allegro

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