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Ancerl Gold Edition 9 - Brahms: Symphony No 1; Beethoven

Release Date: 10/29/2002 
Label:  Supraphon   Catalog #: 3669   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johannes BrahmsLudwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Karel Ancerl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: n/a 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Karel Ancerl recorded Brahms' first two symphonies (and various other orchestral works) for Supraphon, and both performances are excellent. This version of the First offers an interesting combination of the old and new. In the opening movement, Ancerl prefers a measured basic tempo, with such tight rhythmic control and top-to-bottom transparency of texture that the piece emerges as something interestingly different. The slow movement flows beautifully, while the glorious winds of the Czech Philharmonic fill the ensuing Un poco allegretto with rustic character. The finale offers plenty of excitement in the allegros, again as much a function of rhythm as of tempo, while the coda takes off like a shot only to dwell on the final appearance of Read more the triumphant choral theme in vintage Romantic fashion. There's no other performance quite like it.

Similar virtues of rhythmic exactitude and superior ensemble balance characterize Ancerl's mono recording of Beethoven's First. He makes no apology for the composer's brilliant trumpet writing, and the entire performance radiates unaffected freshness and joy. In addition, Supraphon's remastering cleans up the sound very successfully: it's now good, honest mono with only some tubby timpani betraying the age of the original tapes. In the Brahms, which is stereo, nothing comes between you and Ancerl's highly personal interpretation. These may not be "first choice" renditions in this repertoire, but they certainly hold their own among the finer options available, and they do the performers (and composers) proud.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Symphony no 1 in C minor, Op. 68 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Karel Ancerl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1855-1876; Austria 
Symphony no 1 in C major, Op. 21 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Karel Ancerl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800; Vienna, Austria 

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