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  • Brahms: The Complete Symphonies
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Brahms: The Complete Symphonies


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Audio CD, June 9, 1998
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Brahms: Symphony No.1 In C Minor, Op.68 - 1. Un poco sostenuto - Allegro - Meno allegroBerliner Philharmoniker13:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Brahms: Symphony No.1 In C Minor, Op.68 - 2. Andante sostenutoBerliner Philharmoniker 8:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Brahms: Symphony No.1 In C Minor, Op.68 - 3. Un poco allegretto e graziosoBerliner Philharmoniker 4:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Brahms: Symphony No.1 In C Minor, Op.68 - 4. Adagio - Piu andante - Allegro non troppo, ma con brio - Piu allegroBerliner Philharmoniker17:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Brahms: Symphony No.3 In F, Op.90 - 1. Allegro con brio - Un poco sostenuto - Tempo IBerliner Philharmoniker 9:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Brahms: Symphony No.3 In F, Op.90 - 2. AndanteBerliner Philharmoniker 7:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Brahms: Symphony No.3 In F, Op.90 - 3. Poco allegrettoBerliner Philharmoniker 6:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Brahms: Symphony No.3 In F, Op.90 - 4. AllegroBerliner Philharmoniker 8:35$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Brahms: Symphony No.2 In D, Op.73 - 1. Allegro non troppoBerliner Philharmoniker14:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Brahms: Symphony No.2 In D, Op.73 - 2. Adagio non troppo - L'istesso tempo, ma graziosoBerliner Philharmoniker10:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Brahms: Symphony No.2 In D, Op.73 - 3. Allegretto grazioso ( Quasi andantino) - Presto ma non assaiBerliner Philharmoniker 4:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Brahms: Symphony No.2 In D, Op.73 - 4. Allegro con spiritoBerliner Philharmoniker 8:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Brahms: Symphony No.4 In E Minor, Op.98 - 1. Allegro non troppoBerliner Philharmoniker12:47$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Brahms: Symphony No.4 In E Minor, Op.98 - 2. Andante moderatoBerliner Philharmoniker11:04$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Brahms: Symphony No.4 In E Minor, Op.98 - 3. Allegro giocoso - Poco meno presto - Tempo IBerliner Philharmoniker 6:03$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Brahms: Symphony No.4 In E Minor, Op.98 - 4. Allegro energico e passionato - Più allegroBerliner Philharmoniker 9:56$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Frequently Bought Together

Brahms: The Complete Symphonies + Tchaikovsky: Symphonies no 4, 5, & 6 / Karajan, Berlin PO
Price for both: $27.12

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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
  • Audio CD (June 9, 1998)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000007ODY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,471 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

These 1977-78 recordings are Karajan's best Brahms--better than his somewhat mannered digital set. The Berlin Philharmonic, as ever, is amazingly smooth and accomplished, playing with great class without losing any power--as an example, just listen to the finale of the second symphony. DG's engineers have turned this always-good recording into something truly magnificent to hear, and, at the price, this is a sure bet. --Robert Levine

Customer Reviews

This set is the best example of the first side of Brahms' symphonies.
William J. Coburn
The digitally remastered sound quality of these analog recordings is excellent.
Mike Powers
I would recommend this CD to anyone who is serious about the quality of music.
Paul H. Eggold

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

95 of 107 people found the following review helpful By R. Lane on March 14, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Herbert von Karajan made many dearly beloved recordings of some or all of Brahms symphonies several times in his lifetime. Two complete sets are worth noting more than the others though. The recordings heard on the set reviewed here, and the recordings made in the 1960s. The set reviewed here was made in the late 1970s. At that time, DG was in the habit of using very close microphone techniques. Someone there thought "the more the merrier" and placed microphones as close to the orchestra as possible. The result is a sound that is very dry, almost entirely lacking in accoustic reverb. I dread listening to these recordings. They seem one dimensional. There is no depth. For example, the listener cannot tell if the timpani is right in front of the conductor, or in the back of the orchestra. The 1960s recordings are entirely different matter. They sound warm, three dimensional, lifelike in comparison to the 1970s. The 1960s recordings are not completely available as a set, to my knowledge. You can get #2 and #3 together (Amazon asin # B000001GBU) , but that CD is s very early remastering done in the mid 1980s, and is marred by digital graininess. For a good example of the 1960s set though, get the recording of #1 that is coupled with the Schumann #1 in DGs more recent "The Originals" series (Amazon asin # B000001GQ5). If you love Karajan's Brahms, this is the pinnacle to aim for. If only DG would issue all of the early 1960s Brahms recordings Karajan made, we who love his interpretations would be in heaven.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 12, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I'm a big fan of Karajan, and even though he was recently voted the #1 conductor of the century by a major classical magazine, it seems that he didn't work wonders with Brahms as consistently as I would hope. These aren't bad recordings, but with the many fine Brahms cycles that are now available, I would not recommend this set. The first symphony is not as crisp and clearly articulated as Karajan's 1964 version, which is perhaps the best on record. The second symphony lacks grace, even though it has plenty of fire. You just feel like the Berlin group is churning away in the finale. The third and fourth symphonies did not make much of an impression either. Like I say, I love Karajan--but these recordings just don't do it for me! Claudio Abbado's digital recordings with the same orchestra are fabulous, and I love Solti's version of the second--so maybe the rest of the works in his set are equally enjoyable. I have not heard Karajan's earlier versions of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Maybe they are better. I hope so!
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67 of 80 people found the following review helpful By John Kwok HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 26, 2001
Format: Audio CD
To his credit, Herbert von Karajan obtained a lush, warm sound from his Berlin Philharmonic that was almost as fine as the Vienna Philharmonic's. A sound which is absent in today's Berlin Philharmonic. No where is it heard better than on this two CD set from Deutsche Grammophon. However, I wouldn't rate it as one of the truly great Brahms symphony cycles. Bernard Haitink, Kurt Masur, and Kurt Sanderling have offered more inspired, more riveting accounts of Brahms' symphonies with orchestras in Amsterdam, Boston, New York and Dresden. Even Harnoncourt's recent Brahms symphony cycle with the Berlin Philharmonic sounds more dramatic - as well as innovative - than Karajan's. Karajan gives us technically perfect readings of this music that lack much of the drama associated with Brahms' scores. Perhaps his best account is of the 4th Symphony; only here does he give a riveting, dramatic interpretation of Brahms' last symphony. Unless you are a fan of Karajan's, I recommend skipping this set and acquiring any of the ones I mentioned above, with highest praise going to Haitink's, Masur's, and Sanderling's versions.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Dougal on December 12, 2001
Format: Audio CD
If you like your Brahms in a melancholy mode, lushly recorded and nuanced to the max,(and I do!), this Brahms is for you. Karajan's approach is to these four symphonies so unified as to perhaps be regarded and overdetermined and sterile, but for me they evoke a variety of emotions that few other recordings do, and there are times when I listen to both CD's at a sitting, finishing, with the peerless Third. It's a fine experience.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Kirk Haberman on July 12, 2001
Format: Audio CD
One gets the sense with these recordings that something is wrong. Now my tastes have always ran more towards the Weimar school (Liszt, Wagner, Bruckner, Mahler) than the Liepzig school (Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms) when it comes to Romantic and post-romantic music. As a result, I trust my critical abilities less with a Brahms or Schumann performance than a Bruckner or Wagner performance. Nevertheless, upon first hearing, something was wrong with these performance. The hesitant timpani strike at the openning of the 1st symphony, the rush to get through the difficult opening movement of the 2nd symphony, and the liner notes that apologized for Karajan's approach( "one senses that Karajan is finally able to relax in the 2nd symphony" which I interpret as apology for the smooth and sterile 1st symphony) all suggest that something is amiss. Though the curmudgeon Brahms certainly lacked Schumann's Dionysian side, I can't get over the hunch that Brahms did not have in mind these slick and smooth performances that Karajan hands us. Not that these performances lack drama. The opening movement of the 3rd and the final movement of the 2nd certainly show drama. What they lack is the consuming intensity and fury that Brahms tempermentally shared with Beethoven. Perhaps what deprives the music is the nagging sense that every passage is played legato, or Karajan's tyrannical need to be in control, or even more, his fear of slipping into vulgarity. The liner notes go out of their way to assure us that Karajan's polished product is the farthest thing from vulgarity. Though Brahms performed garishly can be blush-inducing, one wishes nevertheless that Karajan would lighten his grip a bit let the more agitated elements and churning passages written into the score come to the forefront a little more.
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