Notes and Editorial Reviews
Englishman James Judd has been music director of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra for more than a decade, and got some deserved notice a few years back for his Harmonia Mundi recording of Mahler's Symphony No. 1 (with "Blumine"). His reading of the Brahms's opening movement is earnest and respectful. This is certainly a valid approach, although I'd not want to be without Bruno Walter's exciting, slightly impatient view of the score or the gentle, dreamy quality that George Szell brought to it. As seems to be the rule these days, Judd takes the exposition repeat—the movement runs nearly 22 and a half minutes but doesn't come close to seeming overly long. The Adagio begins with a restrained dignity and features gorgeous brass
chorales; the Allegretto grazioso provides a relaxed contrast, a breath of fresh air after the solemnity of the first two movements. The tone of the finale is consistent with what came earlier, even as the mood is more celebratory, with a return to weightier textures. Judd's version of the Academic Festival Overture moves along nicely, the conductor relishing the work's tunefulness. The stolid, almost British-sounding presentation of "Gaudeamus Igitur" brings the piece to a rousing conclusion. This disc is a keeper, no matter how much Brahms you have.
– Andrew Quint, Fanfare, reviewing a previous issue of this recording Read less
Works on This Recording
Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 73 by Johannes Brahms
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1877; Austria
Length: 47 Minutes 17 Secs.
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