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Brahms: Symphony No. 1 & Tragic Overture

Brahms: Symphony No. 1 & Tragic Overture

April 5, 2005

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2004
  • Label: LSO Live
  • Copyright: 2004 London Symphony Orchestra Ltd
  • Total Length: 59:32
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B000QQRT7K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #455,715 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Kwok HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 27, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This fine recording, among the latest in the LSO Live series, marks the beginning of a Brahms Symphony cycle with Bernard Haitink conducting the London Symphony Orchestra. With regards to ambience and warmth, I have a slight preference for his 1990's Boston Symphony Orchestra recording, which sadly Philips has deleted from its catalogue. And yet, Haitink still offers a compelling interpretation of Brahms' 1st Symphony with the London Symphony Orchestra in excellent form, which ranks as among the best performed and recorded I have heard. His latest interpretation is one which seems a bit less restrained than his earlier versions, but still replete with strict adherence to Brahms' tempi. His latest interpretation is, in some respects, more exciting than his earlier Philips recordings, emphasizing the rich sonorities and complex architecture of Brahms' score. This CD closes with Brahms' Tragic Overture, which was performed during the same concerts as the 2nd Symphony. Fans of Bernard Haitink and the London Symphony Orchestra will not be disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By William Ellis on June 30, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I hate to have to say that this performance is disappointing. I have been one of Haitink's biggest admirers since the 70s, and especially love his Brahms orchestral works with the Concertgebouw. The LSO Symphony #2 was good if not thrilling. But I have to disagree with the other two reviewers: I find this performance uninspired, and the LSO's sound unsuited to Brahms. Worse yet, the Tragic Overture is fatally dull. The tempo is too slow and thus instead of a cohesive argument, I hear all the separate parts. Things may improve with the coming releases of Symphonies 3 and 4. As it stands now, Haitink's Concertgebouw recording and Ormandy's from Philadelphia, both budget-priced, are much better bets than this ordinary reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rudy Avila on May 21, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This recording of the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maestro Bernard Haitink is exceptionally good. You can never go wrong with the London Symphony Orchestra and certainly not with this program- Brahms' first symphony and his Tragic Overture. This is a great recording, even if it's live and worth getting. Bernard Haitink is a great conductor, beautifully capturing the essence of Brahm's music. In his first symphony, Brahms was hailed as the successor to Beethoven, so much that his first symphony was dubbed Beethoven's 10th. The classical restraint and balance of his harmony, with the new Romantic dramatics, made him the 19th Century new Beethoven. Like Beethoven, Brahms was a master of theme and variations. His symphonies harked back to the classical symphony. It's extremely beautiful to hear, his first, especially the final movement. After a long cadenza for clarinet, the orchestra plays a melody that people instantly recalled the Ode To Joy of Beethoven's 9th. "Any idiot can see that" was Brahms comment. The Tragic Overture is like its title tragic and dramatic as was the Romantic style. The one movement, sonata form overture is orchestral magic. This is a great cd if you're a fan of the music of Johannes Brahms. Look also for his 4th Symphony and Tragic Overture as well as his famous Lullaby. He wrote many great works.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Santa Fe Listener HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 25, 2006
Format: Audio CD
With the lasting memory of Haitink's first Brahms cycle in my head--it's with the Concertgebouw on Philips--I know he can be a great Brahms conductor. Over the years, however, he's become slower, less emphatic, more reflective. Brahms fits that model, too, but you have to be in the mood for 'autumnal' interpretations, as critics like to call them. This Brahms First is extremely well recorded, and the LSO plays with real commitment--the vibrancy in the string playing is very convincing.

On the other hand, the musicians aren't really being stretched. We get more inner drama than from Sawallish, Jochum, Muti, Eschenbach, and Chailly. Since those cycles are admired by ohters, I must give Haitink four stars for climbing to a higher standard but after a great beginning, he lets the second motto in the first movement slide into dulness, and the Scherzo feels too ordinary. It's like that throughout, wonderful moments followed by unconvincing lapses; that's true of Celibidache, too. Losing the inner tension of a Brahms symphony is never good, but even though Haitink doesn't soar to the heights he set for himself in his first cycle, this is the best of his third one.
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