Notes and Editorial Reviews
Serious music taken seriously--that's the first impression you might glean from this magnificent performance. Tempos are deliberate, but never unduly so. The first loud outburst offers an object lesson in how to balance Brahms' orchestration so that it never sounds too thick and gummy. The same holds true for the coda of the finale where, at a comparatively steady tempo, Giulini creates a tornado of excitement through careful textural layering and by letting us actually hear the violins as they rise into the stratosphere in the final bars. In the Adagio non troppo, Giulini explores every nook and cranny of the harmonically ambiguous main theme, but without ever losing the overall sense of flow.
Throughout, the Los Angeles Philharmonic plays spectacularly, with a warmth and precision certainly not matched by the Vienna Philharmonic in Giulini's later, less interesting remake for this same label. This earlier version also enjoys cleaner, more natural sonics. Because that later complete cycle still exists, this is exactly the sort of release likely to get overlooked for reissue, and it's exactly for this reason that Arkivmusic.com's "on demand" program is so valuable.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 73 by Johannes Brahms
Carlo Maria Giulini
Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1877; Austria
Featured Sound Samples
Symphony no 2: I. Allegro non troppo
Symphony no 2: IV. Allegro con spirito
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