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Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3 (Royal Edition No. 20)

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Audio CD, July 28, 1992
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Sym No.2 in D, Op.73: I. Allegro Non Troppo
  2. Sym No.2 in D, Op.73: II. Adagio Non Troppo
  3. Sym No.2 in D, Op.73: III. Allegretto Grazioso
  4. Sym No.2 in D, Op.73: IV. Allegro Con Spirito
  5. Sym No.3 in F, Op.90: I. Allegro Con Brio
  6. Sym No.3 in F, Op.90: II. Andante
  7. Sym No.3 in F, Op.90: III. Poco Allegretto
  8. Sym No.3 in F, Op.90: IV. Allegro

Product Details

  • Orchestra: New York Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Composer: Johannes Brahms
  • Audio CD (July 28, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0000027M5
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,130 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

In his time, Johannes Brahms managed to compose four symphonies, each of which has had a solid place in the repertoire. Though it may seem like a fairly low number, the fact that he was even able to create one is a miracle in and of itself, given how much the shadow of Beethoven and that composer’s nine symphonies fell on him—harder for him than any other. It took Brahms twenty years (1856-1876) of fits and stops to create his magisterial First Symphony; and then, just a year later, in the summer of 1877, there came his D Major Second Symphony, with the F Major Third to follow six years later. It is these two symphonies that are paired on this 20th CD in the Leonard Bernstein Royal Edition released during the 1990s.

Both symphonies were recorded during Bernstein’s mega-popular tenure as the New York Philharmonic’s music director in the early 1960s, with the Second being recorded in May 1962, and the Third in April 1964. The Second Symphony is regarded as a fairly tranquil work, though the heroic measures of the finale in my opinion kind of belie that notion. The first movement contains a grain of a theme that would sound familiar to anyone, namely that of the composer’s famous “Wiegenlied” (Lullaby); the second movement is a fairly pastoral Adagio; and the third movement is more of an intermezzo than the expected Scherzo (Brahms still felt the shadow of Beethoven in this department).

The Third Symphony is probably the most overtly “pastoral” of Brahms’ symphonies, and strangely the least performed, despite its many examples of dramatic orchestration.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Saemann VINE VOICE on March 29, 2009
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Lenny's 1962 Brahms 2nd, the first recording ever made in what was then called Philharmonic Hall, has long been my favorite version on LP. This CD is very faithful to the sound of the LP, minus the surface noise. This is a muscular performance, with a string sound that digs in with a beautifully proportioned balance. Lenny takes the 1st movement exposition repeat, which was rather uncommon in 1962. Throughout, the wind and horn soloists offer playing of wonderful nuance and color, clearly taking inspiration from their leader. And he doesn't rush the coda of the finale, either. The 3rd was recorded in Manhattan Center 2 years later. Here the sound engineering is just as detailed, but with more bloom overall. The opening virtually explodes out of the orchestra. Once again, Lenny takes the first movement's exposition repeat. The third movement is more passionate than usual, with yearning string sound. And Lenny hits the second subject of the finale with an absolutely perfect tempo for the cellos, as the whole movement flows naturally to its conclusion. There are other great recordings of these works--I'm very fond of Cristian Mandeal in the 3rd--but I doubt there are any that are better.
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By Richard Rabicoff on July 10, 2015
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Fantastic performances.
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