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.