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Legendary Conductor 1930-2004

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Sept. 21 2004)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B0002QXRM0
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,920 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Tribute to a Unique Artist: Carlos Kleiber - Brahms / Schubert / Wagner

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A very heart-warming account of Schubert's; Brahms's truly refreshing and the Isolde's aria is sublime with Price's rendition and Kleiber's conducting.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value for a selection of outstanding performances Dec 25 2013
By Phil (not) in Mågnoliá - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is one of those occasions where a recording company has given classical music lovers an unusually generous disc, in this case by packaging several of Carlos Kleiber's performances together into one very full disc (with a total 79 1/2 minutes), and very well-regarded performances they are at that.

First, the contents (since they are not fully detailed here by Amazon):

- Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D 759 "Unfinished" -- Carlos Kleiber conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; recorded Sept 1978
- Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98 -- Carlos Kleiber conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; recorded March 1980

In addition to the two symphonies above, the disc includes two excerpts from Kleiber's recording of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde:

- Richard Wagner: Tristan und Isolde: Act 3, scene 3, "Tod und Hölle" -- Carlos Kleiber conducting the Dresden Staatskapelle, with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone), Wolfgang Hellmich (Baritone), Brigitte Fassbaender (Mezzo Soprano), Werner Goetz (Baritone), Kurt Moll (Bass); recorded February 1981
- Richard Wagner: Tristan und Isolde: "Mild und leise wie er lächelt" (Isoldes Liebestod) -- Carlos Kleiber conducting the Dresden Staatskapelle, with Margaret Price (Soprano); recorded February 1981 (this is the very final track of the opera)

These performances have received great praise over the years. ClassicToday.com said that this release "winningly pairs two of the late conductor's finest performances", going on to comment to the Schubert performance: "rarely has the first movement been done with such dramatic sweep in the more turbulent passages, while the Vienna strings adorn the lyrical second subject with a beguiling sweet tone. This is an Unfinished that even jaded listeners will hear with fresh ears." To the Brahms: "Kleiber's vital and stirring yet immaculately transparent conducting, along with the Vienna Philharmonic's highly alert and virtuosic playing, make this one of the finest versions ever recorded. DG captures both works in vivid, high-impact sound". My copy of the The Penguin Guide to Recorded Classical Music 2008 lists this as one of the recommended recordings for these pieces, saying about the Brahms "Carlos Kleiber's famous CD version is a performance of real stature and much strength", and to this recording overall "with its generous new couplings, this carries the strongest recommendation at mid-price". Gramophone praises this recording as well, in the Classical Music Guide 2012 stating "Kleiber's charismatic Vienna recording, a classic of sorts and still sounding exceptionally well, continues to stand its ground".

The Wagner pieces are barely enough to give a sampling of Kleiber's interpretation, and Margaret Price's performance is vibrant (Penguin recommends this performance, and says that "Kleiber directs a compellingly impulsive reading, crowned by the glorious Isolde of Margaret Price, the most purely beautiful of any complete interpretation on record").

Finally, as a reference since the performances compiled on this disc have been released previously, and to see other reviews to those specific recordings, you can go to the following pages on Amazon:

- Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98
- Schubert: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 8
- Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde

The main attraction to this disc is Kleiber's Brahms 4, and for anyone seeking out that recording then the choice is clearly this disc, with the additional material included and for practically the same price. with all of the performances worth including in any classical music collection.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Aug. 20 2016
By djslopezisl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Very well done.
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Tribute To Carlos Kleiber Nov. 7 2006
By dv_forever - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Kleiber brings the same insights of his classic recording of Beethoven's 5th to bear on Brahms's 4th symphony. This is an all-time great recording, probably the most furious and passionate performance since Furtwangler's transcendental account during World War II.

The entire first movement is played wonderfully and the coda is astonishing in it's drama. In the second movement Kleiber is perhaps not as warm as other conductors but overall he's a success. The glitter and gold of the scherzo is brought out in full and the finale, the passacaglia is truly masterful, rising to a magnificent close. Kleiber surpasses all of Karajan's performances here as well as any other competitor except the great Furtwangler.

The Schubert 8th is a very dignified and strikingly dramatic traversal of this perennial favorite. Some people won't take to the forceful accents but it's great to hear Schubert played this way from time to time. The excerpts from Kleiber's recording of Wagner's Tristan and Isolde are a nice compliment to Brahms and Schubert. Kleiber's soprano in the Liebestod is the fresh voiced Margaret Price and she sounds great but hardly approaches the depth and power of Birgit Nilsson or Jessye Norman in this spectacular end to Tristan and Isolde.

Not everything is perfect, the sound on this CD is still somewhat edgy in climaxes, lacking lushness and warmth as to be expected in the early digital recording of the Brahms symphony and the Wagner excerpts. These date from 1980 or thereabouts. The analogue Schubert is also similiar sound wise, typical Deutsche Grammophon stuff from the 1970s. All of these performances were previously part of several CDs in the DG Originals series and they are all remastered using Original-Image Bit-Processing, DG's signature remastering technique. This CD is a great purchase even though the sound is not the greatest by modern day standards, the performances are exceptional and must be a part of any serious collection.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest bargains in the entire classical catalog April 9 2006
By Robert Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
One in a while one of the classical labels does something a bit more than right. I owned Kleiber's famous version of Brahms's 4th back in the heady days of the LP and would have bought just that on CD. But to commemorate the career and extremely limited recording career of Carlos Kleiber they repackaged Brahms's 4th with Kleiber's nearly as excellent version of Schubert's Unfinished Symphony along with excerpts from Wagner to produce a horn of plenty for music lovers. Kleiber produced fewer recordings than any other great conductor of his generation, but despite his rather meager output will be remembered for generations to come on the basis of the amazing quality of a few of these discs. There are several candidates for the best recording of Brahms's Fourth, but this is one of them and is certainly one that one has to take into account when evaluating the finest versions on record. All Kleiber's recordings will, of course, always take a bit of a back seat to his very famous recording of Beethoven's Fifth and Seventh symphonies.

Even if one already owns multiple versions of both the Brahms and Schubert this is a disc that any classical music lover should get. Rarely will you see two such classic version of major orchestral works coupled together on at a bargain price. This disc truly should be in the library of everyone who doesn't already own the works on their original CD releases.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kleiber in Exceptional Form for Two Pillars of Classical Music April 14 2015
By Frog - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Carlos Kleiber was a conductor who was highly enigmatic. He had a relatively small repertoire. He had a propensity for failing to show up for performances. He disliked microphones and recording in general. That explains why there are relatively few Kleiber recordings extant. He certainly was no Ormandy or Karajan when it came to the recording studio. Yet, what he did produce is generally considered the equivalent of jewels. He never recorded a complete set of Brahms symphonies. Do not look for a complete set of Schubert symphonies, either. Here, we have two exemplars of what might have been the result had he engaged in recordings of the complete sets.

Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony is one of the crown jewels of the music of the last 500 years. There are disputes as to whether he left it as is, considering it to be complete with just two movements, or whether he put it aside for a while and simply neglected to add the traditional last two movements to what had been put on paper already. Personally, after what he did write, I would not be surprised if he came away with the belief that he could not top what had been penned, so rather than being "unfinished," it was simply a symphony in two movements. In any event, it was lost for a couple of decades before being discovered over 30 years following Schubert's death. There is no doubt whatsoever as to its status as a genuine masterpiece. Kleiber conducts it with a high regard for its greatness----solid without being stolid. There are other performances which I hold even dearer than Kleiber's---Klemperer's and Szell's---but Kleiber is high up the peak in exalted company.

The Brahms Fourth is also extremely well played. I would rate this just below Dorati, which to me means just below the paradigm. In addition, there is a snippet of Wagner. However, it is for the symphonies that this disc holds the attention of its listeners.

With two excellent performances of two of the most beloved symphonies that have ever been produced, this disc should be in the collection of anyone who loves music.