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Brahms: Symphony No. 2 - Hungarian Dances

Brahms , Alsop , London Philharmonic Orchestra Audio CD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Price: $11.17 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 12 Songs, 2005 $7.99  
Audio CD, 2005 $11.17  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73: I. Allegro non troppo20:09Album Only
listen  2. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73: II. Adagio non troppo 9:45Album Only
listen  3. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73: III. Allegretto grazioso, quasi andantino 5:14$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73: IV. Allegro con spirito 9:51Album Only
listen  5. 21 Hungarian Dances, WoO 1 (version for orchestra): Hungarian Dance No. 1 in G minor (orch. J. Brahms) 3:16$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  6. 21 Hungarian Dances, WoO 1 (version for orchestra): Hungarian Dance No. 3 in F major (orch. J. Brahms) 2:46$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  7. 21 Hungarian Dances, WoO 1 (version for orchestra): Hungarian Dance No. 10 in F major (orch. J. Brahms) 1:52$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  8. 21 Hungarian Dances, WoO 1 (version for orchestra): Hungarian Dance No. 17 in F sharp minor (orch. A. Dvorak) 3:35$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  9. 21 Hungarian Dances, WoO 1 (version for orchestra): Hungarian Dance No. 18 in D major (orch. A. Dvorak) 1:33$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen10. 21 Hungarian Dances, WoO 1 (version for orchestra): Hungarian Dance No. 19 in B minor (orch. A. Dvorak) 2:39$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen11. 21 Hungarian Dances, WoO 1 (version for orchestra): Hungarian Dance No. 20 in E minor (orch. A. Dvorak) 2:44$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen12. 21 Hungarian Dances, WoO 1 (version for orchestra): Hungarian Dance No. 21 in E minor (orch. A. Dvorak) 1:35$0.89  Buy MP3 

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Brahms: Symphony No. 2 - Hungarian Dances + Brahms: Symphony 3 + Symphony 4: Hungarian Dances
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Product Details

  • Performer: Brahms, Alsop, London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Audio CD (October 11, 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B000B6N67W
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,767 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Here, Marin Alsop follows up her successful recording of Brahms's First Symphony with an equally fine Second. The first movement has great warmth but moves ahead with conviction; the second is devoid of any unwanted density of tone; the third has real class, and the final movement is exciting, with dazzling brass. The selection of Hungarian Dances is varied and handsomely performed. At this price, this is a front-runner. --Robert Levine

Product Description

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
First a couple of stories about the writing of the Brahms Second Symphony. He began it in his first summer at a retreat on Lake Wörth in southern Austria where, he said 'Melodies are so abundant you have to be careful not to step on them.' Certainly, in this symphony he scooped up numbers of them. He must have been in an exuberant mood as he was composing it because he twitted his notoriously prim and humorless musical friend, Elizabeth von Herzogenberg, by writing her that the symphony was basically just a series of F minor chords played first ff and then pp, the joke being that there is not a single F minor chord in the symphony. It is in sunny D major. Some have called the Second Brahms's 'Pastoral' Symphony.

This performance led by Marin Alsop reminds me of a couple of recordings that I know and love well, those by Kurt Sanderling and the Dresden Staatskapelle and by, of all people, Otto Klemperer and the Philharmonia. Largely this is because she takes a leisurely approach that simply revels in the harmonic luxuriance of all four movements, never rushing, never forcing the drama (as in the climaxes of the first movement) but letting the music speak for itself without artificially added histrionics. She is aided immensely by the London Philharmonic's masterly playing. The strings are positively silken; their tone seems to have, particularly in the slower legato sections, an added depth of dark chocolaty tone. The horns, particularly the solo horn, are equally rich and dark. The other winds sound appropriately Germanic, even though this is an English orchestra; I wonder if that is a conscious decision on their part? The brasses, especially the trombones, are mellow but still dramatic when need be.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A delightful new account November 2, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Though not a revelatory version of the 2nd, Alsop's presentation sweeps along beautifully and shimmers in all the right places. Perhaps she meanders a bit in the Adagio, but I find much to relish in Alsop's pacing and lyricism. This is a nice new version of one of my favorite (perhaps my favorite) symphonies, and I have revisited it several times. If you love Brahms, I think you will find much to enjoy in this new recording!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent interpretation September 16, 2010
By Alex
Format:MP3 Music
Alsop provides an extremely clear reading of the score. The balance and delineation between the separate stages of exposition and development in the first movement was impressive. The tempos are appropriately ponderous, and I have never so well appreciated the tonal continuity between this work and the Clarinet Quintet.

(I agree with some previous reviews, that this interpretation may not be suitable to someone looking for a racy interpretation. But I strongly dislike Karajan's interpretation of this particular symphony. To readers looking for a more exciting interpretation I also recommend Eugen Jochum on DG).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alsop & LPO: Mellifluous Brahms is Hearty Musical Fare December 23, 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I approached this second disc in the Marin Alsop series on Naxos with some caution, given my mixed reactions to the first symphony on SACD, as well as some of the down sides of the comments the Amazon posted reviewers have made. My objections to the Alsop First Symphony involved mostly the dislocated sonics that came from using that markedly unwise venue, the Watford Colosseum. I like Alsop's approach to the composer well enough to actually wish to be able to hear it, well. Her tendencies to bring out Brahm's polyphony without unraveling the larger melodic/harmonic forward motion only makes sound and aural staging more pertinent concerns. So as a happy starting note, one can see this Second Symphony has been recorded in another, much better venue, London's Blackheath Concert Hall. Catching this break, one immediately wishes we had another go at SACD. (So I waited and waited before trying this second out. What is Naxos thinking these days? Do any of the company people actually listen to their own catalog?) On the disc filler of eight of the orchestrated version of the Hungarian Dances, we return to the Watford. Oh well, give that venue another chance I suppose, so long as it doesn't get to sabotage one's potential enjoyment of the Second Symphony.

My steadfast standard in the second has involved an old, wonderful stereo recording, led by Pierre Monteux with the Vienna Philharmonic. Some day it may get remastered again, and if Universal Classics lets Sony BMG lead the way, we might even get an SACD hybrid disc like the BMG Living Stereo series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Alsop's reading is a very tight, cozy, safe-sounding one that should play well over the years, radiant and amiable, with plenty of lyrical sentiment expressed throughout. Comfy sound, too.

John J. Puccio
Classical Candor
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a lively and well-recorded Brahms Second August 11, 2013
Format:Audio CD
This is a fine account of the Brahms Second from Alsop and the LPO, and I particularly want to draw attention to it because the recorded sound is as good as I've heard from Naxos -- plenty of presence, texture, and warmth, with no claustrophobic closeness. There's plenty of "air" around it. All that wouldn't mean much if the performance weren't good, but this one is. The timings are very similar to Abbado's, and one might prefer Abbado because his recording team captures a bit more bass in their aural picture, but the Naxos engineers get a more "open" sound overall, and where Abbado's sound gets a bit bright in the loud high passages, Alsop has warmth and no lack of energy. In the transitions between the sections of the third movement, one could argue too that Alsop is a bit more deft. But that's nit-picking. Abbado's is a fine account -- and so are accounts by Karajan (1970's), Klemperer, Jochum, Haitink, and (my personal favorite) Bohm (also from the 1970's). Naxos and Alsop are up there with these accounts. At Naxos's price, a real bargain. Oh -- and the selection of Hungarian Dance fillers (with Brahms's and Dvorak's orchestrations) are lively and warm and energetic too!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Marin meets Johannes
As Oregonians, we were privileged to see and hear Marin Alsop at the start of her career. Even though we already own a recording of Brahms Symphony #2, we were anxious to hear what... Read more
Published 12 months ago by J. Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars great performance
Female conductors get more criticism than they deserve, and being a lesbian doesn't help -- it just seems to fan the flames, but the performance of the orchestra nevertheless is a... Read more
Published 21 months ago by David F. Kloman
3.0 out of 5 stars Too lyrical
Alsop's interpretation of Brahms #2 is sensitive and nicely phrased, but it is almost too lyrical. What that means in musical terms is that she does not allow for any pauses... Read more
Published 22 months ago by e. verrillo
2.0 out of 5 stars If you like it slow...
...then this is the contemporary Brahms' Second for you. A worthy heir to the Bernstein tradition. Quite ponderous. Don't listen late at night and expect to make it to the end. Read more
Published on March 29, 2010 by Gullible
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Enjoyable
Johannes Brahms (1833 - 1897): Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73. Hungarian Dances Nos. 1,3,10 and 17 through 21 (orchestrated by Brahms himself or by Antonin Dvorak). Read more
Published on August 6, 2009 by Leslie Richford
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Leisurely Account of Brahms's 2nd Symphony....
Marin Alsop's glowing interpretation of the Brahms 2nd Symphony has been earning accolades ever since it was issued last year. Read more
Published on January 7, 2006 by John Kwok
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor Brahms
Sorry. Her 1st was OK, not great. This one is even less likable. There is no tension or style. She takes it so slow it just about falls apart. This is a second to avoid. Read more
Published on October 28, 2005 by Martin R. Lash
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