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  • Brahms: The Complete Symphonies; Tragic Overture; Haydn Variations
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Brahms: The Complete Symphonies; Tragic Overture; Haydn Variations


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Audio CD, May 31, 2011
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Product Details

  • Conductor: Carlo Maria Giulini
  • Composer: Brahms
  • Audio CD (May 31, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Label: Newton Classics
  • ASIN: B004RRW4J2
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,557 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68: 1. Un poco sostenuto - Allegro - Meno allegro
2. Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68: 2. Andante sostenuto
3. Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68: 3. Un poco allegretto e grazioso
4. Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68: 4. Finale: Adagio - Più andante - Allegro non troppo, ma con brio - Più allegro
Disc: 2
1. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73: 1. Allegro non troppo
2. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73: 2. Adagio non troppo - L'istesso tempo, ma grazioso
3. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73: 3. Allegretto grazioso (Quasi andantino) - Presto ma non assai
4. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73: 4. Allegro con spirito
Disc: 3
1. Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90: 1. Allegro con brio
2. Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90: 2. Andante
3. Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90: 3. Poco allegretto
4. Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90: 4. Allegro
5. Variations on a Theme of Haydn for orchestra in B flat major (St. Anthony Variations), Op. 56a: Theme: St Antony Chorale
See all 14 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98: 1. Allegro non troppo
2. Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98: 2. Andante moderato
3. Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98: 3. Allegro giocoso
4. Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98: 4. Allegro energico e passionato
5. Tragic Overture, in D minor, Op. 81

Editorial Reviews

If the Four Symphonies have their own personalities, ranging from the exuberance of the First to the brooding of the Fourth, then Giulini fills out such facile summaries with the fullest possible sense of these works as human dramas, sun and shade from bar to bar, in which the middle two symphonies must rank among his greatest achievements on record.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By RJAdams on April 26, 2012
In comparing four accounts of the first symphony by Giulini/Vienna, von Karajan/Berlin, Klemperer/Philharmonia, and von Dohnanyi/Cleveland, the Giulini is the kindest to Brahms. All accounts of this epic are beautiful, serious, and weighty, but only Giulini goes outdoors and puts a Brahms often rendered fustily in the sunshine. And he does it without resorting to brisk tempos or the energizing ploys of our current crop of conductors (think Harnoncourt, Norrington, Gardiner, Maazel). Nor does he succumb to the enervating but faux monumentality of Furtwangler wannabees (Barenboim, Haitink, Eschenbach). Giulini achieves his energy with expansion not contraction, and with strong rhythmic statement, not a faster waving of his arms. His beautifully spun orchestral textures are simply not heard anywhere these days and are abetted by the kind of sonics I prefer, delivering a solid, powerful bass without boominess, honey-crisp not blousy brass, round and impassioned strings, and richly grained not wiry woodwinds. While von Karajan(1964) strives for monumentality, Klemperer(1958) shoulders and overcomes the agony of existence, and Dohnanyi(1987) shines a laser into the score (undone by a boomy acoustic), Giulini(1991) brims with nobility and joy.

Giulini's Brahms speaks to us from the heart, not from Olympus. Unlike certain Italians a generation younger (Abbado, Muti), who sometimes seem to have gained nordic power and discipline at the expense of Italianate warmth, Giulini is unceasingly expressive. Giulini's luminosity combines Furtwangler's nobility of utterance, Walter's fresh humanity, and Stokowski's orchestral and tonal magic, qualities present throughout this set. Giulini's approach is most revelatory with symphonies 1 and 3.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Music Lover on May 6, 2013
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This Brahms is not for the faint of heart. And there is, in my opinion, little better on planet Earth. It is Giulini's farewell set done over time with the Vienna Philharmonic. Arguably the best orchestra in the world. Arguably the best Brahms orchestra in the world. Having played well for Bohm, then von Karajan, and here Carlo Maria Giulini. In a city that gave him the Key. This set is very special. They are very mature performances and a lover's vision of the world's greatest and most technical composer (think of all the layers in a Brahms symphony) of melancholia. Problem is, one has to have generally a little age and experience to appreciate Brahm's melancholy. I did. Now he is my very favorite composer. Since you are reading this, I assume you love his music too.

Giulini continued to conduct Brahms until he was about 90, doing Brahms' 1st with a Spanish Youth Orchestra before his death. He died at 93, if I remember the biography, Serving Genius. He did an early 60's set with the Philharmonia that I wish EMI would make available today. I have the truly outstanding 2nd and 3rd of that set, but wish to have the 1st and 4th. (If you know where I can get them, let me know.) He also recorded excellent performances of the 1st and 2nd with the LAPO and had numerous singles, e. g. #1 with Bavarian Radio Symphony (Best performance of it in the world, to me), #4 with the CSO (another best performance) and the LPO (equally good). His biography says he conducted Brahms 1st 85 times. Did he love this music?

Carlo Maria Giulini was also one of the great conductors of the 20th Century. Not the only one, but certainly one of them, belonging alongside the Toscaninis, the Beechams, the von Karajans, etc. In addition to his Brahms, get his Verdi. He grew up with the two.
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By Mike Fain on August 15, 2013
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I am no expert, but I have heard various live and recorded performances of the Brahms symphonies, and I think these are the best I have heard. Giulini uses a slightly slower tempo than I am used to, and I think it catches the beauty and majesty of these scores to perfection.
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Are these the same recordings Giulini/VPO recorded in the early 90's?. Released individually with Haydn Variation, Academic Festival Overture, Tragic Overture?
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. R. Schryer on February 16, 2012
In my opinion, Carlo Maria Giulini was one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century. And I can think of no conductor who surpassed him as a conductor of the symphonic works of Brahms. This is great music, superbly conducted by someone who excelled at it. Highly recommended.
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