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Brahms: Complete Symphonies [Box set]

Johannes Brahms, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Georg Solti Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £17.61 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Brahms: Complete Symphonies + Beethoven: The Symphonies
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Product details

  • Composer: Johannes Brahms
  • Audio CD (12 Mar 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B0000041Z5
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 116,131 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

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


Disc 1:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No.1 in C minor, Op.68 - 1. Un poco sostenuto - Allegro - Meno allegro16:46Album Only
Listen  2. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No.1 in C minor, Op.68 - 2. Andante sostenuto 9:48£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No.1 in C minor, Op.68 - 3. Un poco allegretto e grazioso 4:40£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No.1 in C minor, Op.68 - 4. Adagio - Piu andante - Allegro non troppo, ma con brio - Piu allegro17:30Album Only


Disc 2:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No.2 in D, Op.73 - 1. Allegro non troppo20:42Album Only
Listen  2. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No.2 in D, Op.73 - 2. Adagio non troppo - L'istesso tempo, ma grazioso10:29Album Only
Listen  3. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No.2 in D, Op.73 - 3. Allegretto grazioso ( Quasi andantino) - Presto ma non assai 5:27£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No.2 in D, Op.73 - 4. Allegro con spirito 8:41£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Johannes Brahms: Tragic Overture, Op.8113:26Album Only


Disc 3:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No.3 in F, Op.90 - 1. Allegro con brio - Un poco sostenuto - Tempo I13:52Album Only
Listen  2. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No.3 in F, Op.90 - 2. Andante 9:42£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No.3 in F, Op.90 - 3. Poco allegretto 6:26£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No.3 in F, Op.90 - 4. Allegro 8:50£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Johannes Brahms: Academic Festival Overture, Op.8010:34Album Only


Disc 4:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No.4 in E minor, Op.98 - 1. Allegro non troppo12:40Album Only
Listen  2. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No.4 in E minor, Op.98 - 2. Andante moderato12:52Album Only
Listen  3. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No.4 in E minor, Op.98 - 3. Allegro giocoso - Poco meno presto - Tempo I 6:12£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No.4 in E minor, Op.98 - 4. Allegro energico e passionato - Più allegro10:18Album Only


Product Description

4CD Chicago So; Solti

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Dr. H. A. Jones TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
This would have to be narrowly my favourite performance of the Brahms symphonies for both the passion of the interpretations and the magnificent playing of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. These performances, and those by the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Muti, manage to combine the impressive power of the full orchestra with tender lyricism in the quieter sections, like the adagio 2nd movement in the 1st Symphony and the `andante' 2nd movement of the 3rd Symphony - so lyrical it was made into a popular song that Mario Lanza recorded. This 4 CD set also includes the intense Tragic Overture and the Academic Festival Overture that date from 1880, composed between the 2nd and 3rd Symphonies. This is a fine, uplifting account of Brahms' orchestral music.

Brahms: The 4 Symphonies
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking! 3 July 2013
By Lakmé
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The Brahms Symphonies are, of course, in and of themselves simply breathtaking. Add the well articulated direction of Sir George and the marvelous sound of the orchestra and you have a fantastic recipe for utter bliss!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  44 reviews
156 of 161 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bass-ically Superb 16 Sep 2000
By Rich Yampell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I used to like Brahms a lot. Lately I've been listening to this set, particularly the 1st Symphony, and my opinion has changed. Now I am in absolute awe of him. Why has this collection changed my mind? In one word: bass. The low register instruments, especially the basses and cellos, stand strongly in these recordings, and the result is I'm discovering a *lot* of depth to the composition that had escaped me before. Brahms turns out to be a much better composer than other recordings had let me discover before. In certain passages, I focus totally on the low strings, just to see what they're up to, and I'm richly rewarded. Then I go back to some of my previous Brahms' recordings, and I can barely hear the same wonderful passages. Very disappointing!
Aside from the wonderful mix, everything else is quite fine. The tempos are crisp, the orchestra sounds magnificent, just right on.
Finally, Solti should NOT be commended for including the exposition repeats. Instead, other conductors should be cursed and shunned for ever omitting them.
58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get This Set!!!! 17 Jan 2002
By DWPC - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
There may be argument among Brahms aficionados whether these Solti/Chicago sessions were the pinnacle of the performing of the Brahms Symphonies, but as a package, this 4 disk set is a superb investment for any Brahms lover. The performance is solid and Solti uses the orchestra's full dynamic range masterfully. What sets this set above others is the high quality of the recording. Excellent soundstage and dynamics. All sections are well balanced. Background noise is totally absent; the orchestra comes out of a black velvet silence. I don't know whether this was studio or auditorium recorded, but the acoustics are first rate. Its a great example of the "golden days" of recording.
69 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Recordings of the Man Brahms 20 Feb 2001
By Trevor Gillespie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
As with most of my reviews, I must comment on the sound. London/Decca has nearly perfected how to make great sounding recordings. These discs, recorded in the late 70s are a great demonstration of the "Decca Sound" which I am such an adamant fan of. For a recording to be great, it has to start off with adequate sound to detail the music. Here the recorded sound is excellent--has good presence, full detail from highs to lows, and spacious.
Two factors go into my rating of 5 stars. First, the price. Seeing that this is an affordable box set, it instantly becomes favorable. Full price box sets of 4 discs are around $60. The favorable price of the set coupled with the performances make this box set attractive enough to rate it 5 stars. Solti turns in some great performance of Brahms' symphonies. Solti favors a full orchestra with thicker textures rather the lighter and thinner orchestras of say a Mackerras recording. I enjoy the full orchestra with a beefier string section. The tempos of the symphonies are well within range of most other recordings. There aren't really any big surprises in these recordings, which can often make them not stand out in a crowded bin of Brahms recordings. However, that doesn't mean they are bad performances. Now, if one was to buy individual recordings of each symphony, there are performances which truly stand out, but this set has to be seen as a collective and overall this set is great. Whether you're a fan of the symphonies of Brahms, or the conducting style of George Solti, you'll find that these are fine recordings with enough flair to keep you interested. One note for comparison, all 4 Brahms symphonies are available on 2 discs recorded by Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic. They are cheaper and a little bit more spirted than this box set if you're all about price.
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This set deserves more credit than it usually gets. 18 July 2000
By Into - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Yes, much of Furtwangler's Brahms is amazing, as is Walter's, and Klemperer's First and Second. But this Solti Brahms set has been unfairly maligned ever since it was released. Like this wonderful cycle, itself, the Solti/Chicago recordings of the Brahms symphonies deserve more credit than they get. All things considered, this is one of the best Brahms cycles going, especially as a budget-priced offering. Those looking to purchase an inexpensive Brahms Symphony cycle without having to buy individual discs cannot go wrong with this set. The performances are solid and not lacking in excitement, especially in thrilling moments like the final codas of the First, Second, and Fourth.
The recordings have been maligned for being too "boomy," but I disagree. I think that the full, weighty, well-rounded, bass response of these recordings is just right for Brahms, whose orchestral sound starts from the bottom, up. The fullness of these recordings gives weight and fullness to the brass, timpani, and low strings, but the "late analog" sound still has enough clarity to give plenty of crispness in climactic moments. I think that people who think these recordings are too "bass heavy," have become to used to hearing ineffectively thin recordings of Brahms symphonies: for example, while I enjoy many of Karajan's recorded performances (and his 1978 Brahms' Second might be my favorite recording of that symphony) I will concede that most of his Brahms' recordings sound too thin to give full weight to Brahms' orchestral sound. Brahms' wonderful symphonies are warm, passionate, full-blooded works, and they need well-rounded recordings to fully reveal their beauty. Furtwangler knew that Brahms' sound needed to have a firm foundation of bass, and while Solti's phrasing may not be as flexible as Furtwangler's, the orchestral sound on these recordings seems to have exactly the right depth and fullness for Brahms.
I found the depth of these recordings to be a pleasant surprise in an era when the Chicago SO's sound was known for being on the "blary" side. I don't always like Solti's recordings, but I don't think these performaces can be faulted, unless one doesn't like his observance of the exposition repeats in these symphonies. Furtwangler's Brahms is undoubtedly great but I think that most people - who haven't been listening to Brahms for 20 years - may not respond very positively to the "vintage" of his recordings, or his somewhat histrionic style.
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Solti's better recordings in Chicago 13 Oct 2005
By Alan Majeska - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This Brahms Symphonies set with Sir Georg Solti/Chicago Symphony is one of Solti's better recordings in Chicago. Recorded in 1979, just before the Digital age and technology took over, these are beautiful, smooth and creamy recordings with rich bass and nice mid range. Solti is intense but never driven, and he knows just how much intensity to put into Brahms without over-driving him and making the music become melodramatic or vulgar. The sound London's engineers got in these recordings is better than for the Solti/Chicago Beethoven Symphonies recorded earlier that decade, 1972-74.

The Chicago Symphony under Solti was "HOT" in recording sales during the 1970s. I was in college from 1977-81, and all the brass and woodwind players raved about Chicago's recordings of Strauss, Mahler, and other composers which were currently being released. I especially recall a flute player who was estatic because she received three Solti/Chicago LPs for Christmas gifts one year. The brass and woodwinds are often emphasized in many Solti/Chicago recordings, with the strings less prominent than some orchestras; but here the balance is very equal where needed, and the brass do yeoman service in the passages most needed, such as the running figures at the end of Symphony 2:IV.

Solti does take alot of repeats, especially in Symphony 2:I, which makes this movement several minutes longer than most recordings. And he isn't afraid to take his time - tempos aren't too fast, and never feel driven: not always the case in a Solti recording. I of Symphony 1 and Symphony 3 also have repeats, thus making these movements longer than in recordings of Bruno Walter or George Szell.

The companion works, Academic Festival Overture and Tragic Overture are also excellent in every way, recalling Bruno Walter/Columbia Symphony (Sony), who recorded these works in stereo 20 years before Solti/Chicago.
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