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Symphony No.3

London Philharmonic Orchestra , Marin Alsop , Johannes Brahms Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 10.28 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Details


1. Allegro con brio - Un poco sostenuto - Tempo I 13:07
2. Andante 09:06
3. Poco Allegretto 05:52
4. Allegro 08:32
5. Thema, "Chorale St. Antoni": Andante 02:15
6. Variation 1: Poco piu animato 01:25
7. Variation 2: Piu vivace 00:57
8. Variation 3: Con moto 01:59
9. Variation 4: Andante con moto 02:27
10. Variation 5: Vivace 00:56
11. Variation 6: Vivace 01:18
12. Variation 7: Grazioso 03:11
13. Variation 8: Presto non troppo 01:01
14. Finale: Andante 03:54

Product Description

Product Description

The Third Symphony, one of Brahms's most poetic and evocative works, was hailed by the critic Eduard Hanslick as 'artistically the most perfect'equal to the best of Brahms's works'a feast for the music-lover and musician'. Arguably the composer's greatest

Product Description

Symphonie n°3 op.90 - Variations sur un thème de Haydn "St Antoni Chorale" / London Philharmonic Orchestra, dir. Marin Alsop

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Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Audio CD
Brahms's Third Symphony has been the subject of much discussion as to whether the ubiquitous melodic and harmonic occurrences of the sequence - F A (or A flat) F - are Brahms's answer to his friend, Joseph Joachim's mottor F A E. Joachim's F A E stood for 'frei aber einsam' ('free but lonely') while Brahms's F A F presumably stood for 'frei aber froh' ('free but happy'). More likely the this symphony's alternation of F A F with F Ab F is Brahms's way of giving us harmonic complexity altering, as it does, F major with F minor. And not only does he alter major and minor he also alters how 6/8 is divided up: is it three groups of two beats, or two groups of three beats per measure? These two technical matters make up much of the symphony's fascination for musicologists. But, more important, listeners without a smidgen of musicological knowledge are also smitten by this great symphony, with possibly Brahms's most subtle discourse.

The Third had a great success at its premiere in 1883, enough so that Brahms was taken aback, worrying that he would never again be able to equal it. He rushed right into the composition of his Fourth Symphony and on its premiere his worries were allayed.

There have, of course, been many fine recordings of the Third Symphony. And many of them are available at budget prices. So Naxos doesn't necessarily have the price advantage it so often does. However, this performance is one of the better ones around, abetted by wonderfully clear sound and an intelligent, graceful and heartfelt performance led by Marin Alsop. The London Philharmonia plays beautifully here; special mention must be made of the glorious playing of the winds, the horns in particular. One seemingly can hear everything, not always the case with Brahms's sometimes bass-thick orchestrations.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Brahms 'Third' with Subtle Direction, Great Playing and Clear, Warm Sound Jan. 31 2007
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Brahms's Third Symphony has been the subject of much discussion as to whether the ubiquitous melodic and harmonic occurrences of the sequence - F A (or A flat) F - are Brahms's answer to his friend, Joseph Joachim's mottor F A E. Joachim's F A E stood for 'frei aber einsam' ('free but lonely') while Brahms's F A F presumably stood for 'frei aber froh' ('free but happy'). More likely the this symphony's alternation of F A F with F Ab F is Brahms's way of giving us harmonic complexity altering, as it does, F major with F minor. And not only does he alter major and minor he also alters how 6/8 is divided up: is it three groups of two beats, or two groups of three beats per measure? These two technical matters make up much of the symphony's fascination for musicologists. But, more important, listeners without a smidgen of musicological knowledge are also smitten by this great symphony, with possibly Brahms's most subtle discourse.

The Third had a great success at its premiere in 1883, enough so that Brahms was taken aback, worrying that he would never again be able to equal it. He rushed right into the composition of his Fourth Symphony and on its premiere his worries were allayed.

There have, of course, been many fine recordings of the Third Symphony. And many of them are available at budget prices. So Naxos doesn't necessarily have the price advantage it so often does. However, this performance is one of the better ones around, abetted by wonderfully clear sound and an intelligent, graceful and heartfelt performance led by Marin Alsop. The London Philharmonia plays beautifully here; special mention must be made of the glorious playing of the winds, the horns in particular. One seemingly can hear everything, not always the case with Brahms's sometimes bass-thick orchestrations. One can even hear the contrabassoon in its important contribution to the final movement; it is so often barely audible if at all in other recordings.

Alsop apparently has a special affinity for this symphony. Certainly her management of dynamics and tempo adjustments is superior to that in her recording of the First. In the pastoral Second which, by the way, is a superior recording, she doesn't have much opportunity to manage the alternation of dramatic and lyrical passages, but here in the Third she makes much of these contrasts. Although it is often passed over by music lovers in favor of the more consistently dramatic First and Fourth, the Third is my favorite Brahms symphony largely because of its subtle mixture of lyrical and dramatic impulses as well as its spectacularly thought-out construction which continually rewards deep study. Alsop does not let me down here. As I write this it has become one of my favorite recordings along with those of Bruno Walter, Bernard Haitink and Claudio Abbado.

The filler is the ubiquitous Haydn Variations, given an unexceptionable and sonically warm reading.

Scott Morrison
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SIGH Nov. 27 2007
By M. A. Klerx-Hardie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I first heard this recording on my car radio and immediately pricked up my ears. I did not know who was conducting, but the unusual tempo just grabbed me. I said to my husband "Wow--WHO is doing this? It's superb!" And it stayed superb all the way through the symphony, in every way. And I am a professional orchestra musician (Viola, Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland) so it takes something to grab me that way.

When the symphony was over, the radio announcer SIGHED into the microphone and said "That was Marin Alsop conducting the London Philharmonic."

Can you get a better review than that?
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Brahms So Far From Alsop April 2 2007
By JohnL - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Quite interestingly, the general consensus back in the 1930s and 40s was that this Symphony, the Third (of Four) by Johannes Brahms was not only his best, but also the best Symphony of any composer since Beethoven. Of course, some might agree... and others would strongly argue for Dvorak's Eighth or Ninth, or perhaps one or more of Tchaikovsky's final three grand Symphonies. Of course, all four of Brahm's are well-liked, for different reasons. One thing is sure, this latest release by Marin Alsop and the LPO is the best of the first three released thus far. I certainly will not go into great detail about each movement. Suffice to say that the sound quality is superb, the orchestral playing, especially by the woodwinds, is very good indeed, and the tempos are well-chosen. The Haydn Variations make for an attractive coupling, and comes across excellently. Once again, the woodwind playing is very nice. Gramophone magazine, perhaps the most respected of all classical reviewers, gave this a very good review, as well as Classics Today, which gave this recording a 10/10, their highest score. I venture to say, both of these cannot be wrong, and neither am I. This CD is highly recommended, and at a very attractive price.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Brahms from Marin Alsop Feb. 14 2008
By Mark Hennicke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This recording of the Brahms Third Symphony by Marin Alsop has been my introduction to the much acclaimed cycle she has recorded for Naxos. I could not be more pleased with the outcome after listening to this cd. The sound quality is splendid and Alsop's conducting is thuroughly engaging. Her take on the Variations on a Theme by Haydn is first rate, as well, making this disc an all the more attractive purchase. For those listeners who sometimes find the music of Brahms a bit daunting, this recording by Marin Alsop & the London Philharmoic Orchestra is wonderful oppurtunity to develop a greater appreciation for this great master's work. The other releases in this series will quickly be added to my music library. I would be quite surprised if I didn't enjoy them every bit as much as I have this wonderful Brahms Third by Maestro Alsop & the LPO!
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars dedicated but a bit off Nov. 19 2007
By Bob in Santa Monica - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Regarding Marin Alsop's version of Brahm's Third and the Haydn Variations, first the good news. The recorded sound is beautiful and detailed, the orchestral playing is superb, and the interpretation is thoughtful and personal. I found the brisk and detailed performance of the Haydn Variations to be quite enjoyable, displaying Brahms the Classicist in good form. Now, the bad news. The interpretation of the third symphony, while personal and even individualistic, has its exciting moments, but seems somewhat understated at times, and leaves me a bit underwhelmed. While Reiner (my favorite performance), Szell, and even Haitink revel in Brahms' syncopations, Alsop does not, in my opinion, and the performance becomes more soft-edged as a result - a defensible choice, perhaps, but not mine (or theirs). The tempo marking of the first mvmt. is "allegro con brio" not "allegro moderato". Alsop begins with two almost mournful chords and proceeds allegro moderato, although she does whip up some excitement later in the movement. Reiner is definite "con brio", while Haitink is more "maestoso", but solid and granitic in a Klemperer sort of way that works well in spite of the slightly slower tempo. Alsop's second and third mvmts are a bit lightweight (classical?)and quick, and come across similarly as "Intermezzo I&II". This approach does not do justice to the gorgeous melody of mvmt 3. The last mvmt is quite well done, however. This recording will never be my favorite. The other three take precedence. Overall, I give four stars at most.
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