WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Brahms: Symphony No 2 / Muti, Philadelphia Orchestra


Release Date: 02/05/1990 
Label:  Philips   Catalog #: 422334   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 56 Mins. 

Special Order:  This CD requires additional production time and ships within 2-3 business days.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Muti's skillful handling of the second movement, very sensuous, highly romantic, but finely balanced, achieves a satisfactory marriage between the music's emotional and intellectual elements.

Abbado's fine new DG recording of the Second Symphony is quickly followed by another very satisfying version from Muti and the Philadelphia. In this Brahms symphony, at any rate, there are now at least three modern performances which can hold their head high in the company of classic interpretations from the past.

It was Muti's recording of the Fourth Symphony (Philips 422 337-2PH, 6/89) which suggested that he had achieved a new maturity as a Brahms conductor, and the latest issue more than confirms those
Read more impressions. Here his style is very expressive and very romantic, more so than any of the conductors listed above, but he is experienced and level-headed enough to prevent this from going too far, so that the classical, objective element in Brahms's emotional make-up is faithfully preserved. There are just one or two moments in the symphony where points are made rather too subjectively, but these are so fleeting that they do not disturb a basically well-balanced conception of the score.

Muti conducts the opening of the work in a gentle, reflective, soft-grained fashion, and lets the music's impetus and vigour develop easily and naturally. It's a very finely judged, well-argued, mellow account of the movement, and the Philadelphia Orchestra play with magnificent tonal depth and sonority. The basic tempo of the second movement veers towards being too slow—Adagio non troppo is Brahms's direction—yet Muti's very skilful handling of this movement, very sensuous, highly romantic, but again finely balanced, achieves a satisfactory marriage between the music's emotional and intellectual elements. A clearly stated, still expressive reading of the third movement is followed by a finale where Muti encourages the music's natural drive and high spirits, but is still careful to maintain a good sense of balance and clarity. His disc is completed by an uplifting, but slightly unorthodox account of the Academic Festival Overture where quite marked fluctuations of tempo may unsettle some listeners.

Abbado's performance of the symphony shares with Muti a feeling of spaciousness, but it is just a little more objective, and in the finale there is even a little too much restraint. Both conductors play the first movement repeat, which the other contenders do not. Karajan's DG recording with the BP0 has an attractively lyrical quality, as does his Philharmonia mid-price EMI version, while Klemperer (also on mid-price EMI) brings more strength and character to the score, though he by no means lacks warmth and tenderness. The latter's 1956 recording is somewhat unvarnished, but his is the performance I would choose. The new Muti is probably the most satisfying of the modern versions.

-- Gramophone [3/1990]
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 73 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877; Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/1988 
Venue:  Philadelphia, PA 
Length: 45 Minutes 3 Secs. 
2.
Academic Festival Overture in C minor, Op. 80 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/1988 
Venue:  Philadelphia, PA 
Length: 10 Minutes 28 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In