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Symphony No. 1 [Hybrid SACD]

Brahms Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 34.14
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3.0 out of 5 stars Solemn and ponderous June 1 2004
Format:Audio CD
I don't understand why Klemperer's readings are described as "granitic" and "monumental". Slow and ponderous are better descriptions. I used to find Brahms 1 too solemn a work till I discovered Eugen Jochum's recording on EMI. Jochum with his flexible phrasing and tempi makes the music sing. I suggest all those who thing this is great to listen to Jochum. All one gets from Klemperer is a headache.
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5.0 out of 5 stars otherworldly ! May 20 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
arguably the finest recording of Brahms 1st, utterly sweeping and majestic yet with unbelievable foundation and architecture which Klemperer is noted for. now reissued under EMI's great recordings of the century series with the rest of Klemp's Brahms. a must have period!
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5.0 out of 5 stars None better, but one among many fine recordings Dec 10 2003
Format:Audio CD
Klemperer is among my favorite conductors and his Brahms First is among the best, but I favor owning more than just one recording. Many oustanding ones are available, each with it's strongly individual point of view. Klemperer's for me is a noble reading with astonishing craft, integrity and transparency and great solo and ensemble playing, yet is also classically restrained and sober. His reading may not satisfy everyone. Equally fine is Walter's that for me is more passionately lyrical, lovingly phrased and full of sentiment in the best sense of the word. Toscanini's with NBC Symphony (I haven't heard his other recording, with the same orchestra as Klemperer's) has a taut, tensile lyricism, eloquent and intensely dramatic. Furtwaengler's is characteristically mystical sounding and emotionally compelling. In sum, Brahms is worthy of many points of view. Klemperer's isn't the only possible approach. If it doesn't satisfy you, keep shopping! :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Among the elite May 23 2003
Format:Audio CD
Over the years, the terms monumental, Olympian and granitic have been used to describe Klemperer's performance of the Brahms First Symphony. These impressions are literally hammered home immediately when one hears those titanic timpani strokes rendered by the Philharmonia Orchestra under Klemperer's baton. It is difficult for me to imagine how anyone could not be swept away by the manner in which the entire first movement is presented. It almost seems as if Hercules himself is hauling and vaulting the massive chords. In the second and third movements, the Klemperer/Brahms esthetic yields a satisfying incandescence. In the beginning of the final movement, the conductor wastes no time in returning to the kind of grandeur he brought to the first movement. The music proceeds on its inevitable path, but one senses, all the while, a great conductor at work, imposing his stamp of authority on the music. Some see this view as an overwhelming one, and perhaps this is as it should be. It clearly matches the scale of the symphony. I literally shake my head in awe every time I hear Klemperer churning the gears that build to those final climactic moments. Truly, one of the greatest Brahms Firsts ever made. It stands in the Pantheon with Van Beinum/Concertgebouw and Bohm/Vienna.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Deliberate and Majestic April 4 2002
By Clement
Format:Audio CD
Klemperer's recording of the Brahms First Symphony is notable for its majesty and deliberate tempo. The first movement is authoritative and yet gathers enough momentum for the symphony to move. Sure the tempo is deliberate and I often get frustrated by the tempo after listening to Bohm but while tempo is the main driving force in Bohm's still excellent recording, Klemperer gives the music time to breathe and yet allows it to move on. The 2nd movement is very beautiful, beautiful wind solos and elegance of phrasing are notable. The 3rd movement is so relaxed and contrasts the 4th so well that this recording is nothing short of exhilarating.
The Tragic Overture is beautifully weighted and is finer than Bohm's recording.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Tenth Symphony July 15 2001
Format:Audio CD
The great 19th century conductor Hans von Bulow called the Brahms First Symphony in C Minor "the tenth symphony" to indicate his belief that it was a worthy successor to the nine by Beethoven. It took Brahms decades to summon up the courage to make his first essay into symphonic form, haunted as he was by the shadow of his great predecessor in the German classical tradition. But when the C Minor Symphony premiered in 1876 it was immediately clear that Brahms had not let his idol down. He had created a titanic, tragic masterpiece that ends on a note of hard-won triumph; the final movement quotes famously from the final movement of Beethoven's Ninth. It was the tenth symphony indeed. Klemperer's version with the Philharmonia Orchestra (1956-57) is itself a masterpiece, to my mind one of the few renderings worthy of comparison to Karajan's first version with the Berlin Philharmonic on DG. Recorded at a time of great personal grief for the conductor (his wife had recently died), Klemperer's performance captures the intensity of feeling and the stateliness of Brahms's musical structure with unique insight and empathy. The tempi are slower than what we are used to; the listener feels that the conductor has unrolled every phrase and examined it from every angle to extract the last element of truth. The EMI recording and re-mastering are excellent, making for a powerful and moving experience that lingers in the mind long after the last notes have died away. A must-have for the collector!
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