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Symphony No. 1 Hybrid SACD


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Product Details

  • Composer: Brahms
  • Audio CD (Feb. 22 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD
  • Label: Nvdv
  • ASIN: B0007ACVD2
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #161,922 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Jeffrey Lee on 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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By bibliomane01 on 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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By "katja_r" on Dec 31 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is an awe-inspiring recording. Dr Otto Klemperer (1885-1973) conducted the Tragische Ouvertüre shortly after his wife, Johanna, had passed away. Perhaps, that is part of what contributes to its powerful emotional statement. The notes written by Robin Golding inform that this and the Academic Festival Overture were written "almost simultaneously." Apparently, Brahms (1833-1897), having written a "very jolly Academic Festival Overture", could not deny his "melancholy disposition the compensation of writing a Tragedy overture." The tragic motif, so severe in its presentation, certainly compensates for anything joyous. Under the steady and sure hand of Dr Klemperer, I am swept away by the broad range of emotions. At about three-quarters through, there is almost a resolution. This, however, is only fleeting as tension and strife complete the overture. I like this interpretation because the strings are balanced by the winds and the rhythm is sharp and precise. The Alt-Rhapsodie was recorded five years later in 1962. It features the highly revered mezzo-soprano Ms Christa Ludwig. The Symphonie Nr.1, according to Mr John Lucas, was performed during the weeks before and after Dr Klemperer's deathbed visit with Johanna. Knowing of this human tragedy only makes the symphony more compelling. If you are familiar with the work of Dr Otto Klemperer, this CD will not disappoint. On the other hand, if you are not, this CD will start your Brahms' collection at the high-water mark.
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Format: Audio CD
This is my favorite piece of classical music, and Klemperer is my favorite conductor. So what do you expect me to say? I've heard almost all of the best-known and most highly praised recordings of this work (except the Horenstein), and there are none better than this one. The sound, which is about 40 years old, is fine. And if you are familiar with Klemperer's conducting, you already know what this interpretation will sound like: firm, architectural, and thrilling in its integrity. Every phrase, every thread of the music, is thought through and presented transparently to the listener. The music seems to be consciously progressing toward its magnificent climax from the very first measure. Particularly fine is the fourth movement, in which Klemperer gives the famous theme a flowing, majestic character which seems to escape all the other conductors - even the greatest of them. The only recording of Brahms First which rivals this one is the Bruno Walter. You can't go wrong with either of them.
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