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Brahms: Symphony No 2, Tragic Overture / Solti, Chicago So

Release Date: 01/07/2010 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 414487   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

An outstanding performance. This account of Brahms's mellowest symphony is as warm and relaxed as anything Solti has done, while still having the necessary tension and excitement.

An outstanding performance. Solti, often a conductor whose good intentions are marred by an excess of tension in his character, is here as mellow as I ever remember and this account of Brahms's symphony (arguably his mellowest) is as warm and relaxed as anything I ever remember hearing from him. Not that it lacks tension when necessary nor excitement, as Giulini on DG seems to me to do-the passage in the first movement from bar 137 or that in the slow one from bar 51 are just two examples of Solti's gifts. The finale is tremendously jubilant,
Read more with splendid brass at the end; and I am always glad when a conductor does not drop the dynamic level at bar 391, for none is marked, but they often do it merely to make a more effective crescendo from a singleforte to the if later. The Chicago orchestra is as good in the slow movement as it is brilliant in the finale and everything is well recorded. My complaints are so small that they will seem pernickety. The solo flute in the first movement (bar 432) is for some reason remote and I'd like to hear the violins' movement from 457 more clearly and each entry started with a slight accent on the E, even though it is a tied note-the phrase needs 'pushing off'; and in the third movement should not the oboe at bar Ill soar out like the horn before it? But these, as I say, are terribly small points. All three conductors needless to say these days, observe the repeat in the opening movement.

I rate Bernstein on DG slightly below Solti largely because the recording is not quite so naturally balanced; and surely the playing of the cello tune in the slow movement is over-romantically expressed (though the VPO cellos must offer a great temptation in this direction) and the finale has some occasional mannered touches. As to Giulini, frankly I do not enjoy him for his performance is so slow as often to be lethargic. What is more, there is no fill-up on his record and this symphony is short measure for a CD, even though he makes it last longer than any of the others. Both of these do offer at least an overture, Bernstein the Academic Festival and Solti the Tragic, taken at a broad tempo that I much like. There is again marvellous playing; and I only wish the horns were more ben marcato in their fortes from bar 320 (the double bar at the change of key).

-- Gramophone [8/1985]
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Works on This Recording

Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 73 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877; Austria 
Tragic Overture, Op. 81 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Austria 

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