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Brahms: Symphonies Nos 1 & 2, Tragic Overture, Variations on a Theme of Haydn (LSO/Gergiev) [Double CD, Hybrid SACD, SACD]

London Symphony Orchestra , Johannes Brahms , Valery Gergiev Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £10.54 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Brahms: Symphonies Nos 1 & 2, Tragic Overture, Variations on a Theme of Haydn (LSO/Gergiev) + Shostakovich: Symphony No. 8 (Mariinsky Orchestra/Gergiev) + Shostakovich: Symphony No.4 [Vasily Petrenko] [Naxos: 8.573188]
Price For All Three: £25.65

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Product details

  • Conductor: Valery Gergiev
  • Composer: Johannes Brahms
  • Audio CD (30 Sep 2013)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Double CD, Hybrid SACD, SACD
  • Label: LSO Live
  • ASIN: B00EO7XP02
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 87,777 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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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:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No 1 in C Minor, Op 68: I. Un poco sostenuto - AllegroValery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra16:57Album Only
Listen  2. Symphony No 1 in C Minor, Op 68: II. Andante sostenutoValery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra 9:50£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Symphony No 1 in C Minor, Op 68: III. Un poco allegretto e graziosoValery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra 4:52£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Symphony No 1 in C Minor, Op 68: IV. Adagio - Allegro non troppo, ma con brioValery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra17:20Album Only
Listen  5. Tragic Overture Op 81Valery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra14:33Album Only

Disc 2:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No 2 in D Major, Op 73: I. Allegro non troppoValery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra20:13Album Only
Listen  2. Symphony No 2 in D Major, Op 73: II. Adagio non troppoValery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra 9:34£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Symphony No 2 in D Major, Op 73: III. Allegretto grazioso (quasi andantino)Valery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra 5:17£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Symphony No 2 in D Major, Op 73: IV. Allegro con spiritoValery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra 9:31£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Variations on a Theme of Haydn Op 56a: I. Thema - Chorale St. Antoni - AndanteValery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra 1:52£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Variations on a Theme of Haydn Op 56a: II. Variation I, Poco più animatoValery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra 1:15£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Variations on a Theme of Haydn Op 56a: III. Variation II, Più vivaceValery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra0:57£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Variations on a Theme of Haydn Op 56a: IV. Variation III, Con motoValery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra 1:38£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Variations on a Theme of Haydn Op 56a: V. Variation IV, Andante con motoValery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra 1:57£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Variations on a Theme of Haydn Op 56a: VI. Variation V, VivaceValery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra0:53£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Variations on a Theme of Haydn Op 56a: VII. Variation VI, VivaceValery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra 1:20£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Variations On A Theme Of Haydn Op 56a: VIII. Variation VII, GraziosoValery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra 2:30£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Variations On A Theme Of Haydn Op 56a: IX. Variation VIII, Presto Non TroppoValery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra 1:08£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Variations on a Theme of Haydn Op 56a: X. Finale, AndanteValery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra 3:27£0.69  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Valery Gergiev begins his Brahms symphony cycle with recordings of the first two symphonies, 'Tragic Overture' and 'Haydn Variations'. The 'Haydn Variations' was Brahms first orchestral piece, and was the first set of independent variations for orchestra by any composer. His epic first symphony, portraying dignity and grandeur, was ecstatically received at its premier in 1876, and Brahms was soon heralded as one of the great symphonic masters. His second symphony, with its joyful melodies and pastoral beauty, portrays a more relaxed tone than its predecessor. The Tragic Overture, on the other hand, is turbulent and tormented, with a powerful and magnificent energy.

Product Description

LSO 0733; LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA - Inghilterra; Classica Orchestrale

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gergiev's Brahms 21 Oct 2013
Format:Audio CD
Brahms is not a composer hitherto identified with Valery Gergiev, and he very much puts his idiosyncratic stamp on these performances. The First Symphony, whilst losing nothing of its epic grandeur, feels lighter on its feet than normal. There are some wonderful moments - I especially liked the brass and flute passage before the "big theme" emerges in the final movement. There are many examples of superb solo playing from the woodwinds throughout the symphony. The strings play ardently and there is plenty of power when it's called for. The performance of the Tragic Overture is powerful and dramatic. The 2nd, Brahms's sunniest symphony, gets an appropriately affectionate performance. Again there are many beautiful contributions from the woodwind, especially the oboe solo in the Allegretto grazioso. The performance of the Haydn Variations is very successful, with each variation strongly characterised. The recorded sound is bright and clear throughout. These performances were recorded live in London's Barbican Hall, but I did not hear any audience "contributions".
This is a two-CD set for less than the price of a regular CD, which makes it a considerable bargain.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Amazon requires 1 star. 16 Nov 2013
By S. Baird - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
It really rates ZERO stars. I had purchased some other Gergiev recordings some years ago but found them disappointing. Some of the top Amazon reviewers had been praising the maestro, saying that he was, perhaps, the greatest conductor alive today. I chose to buy this and his Rachmaninov Symphony #2 to determine whether I had been mistaken previously. Well he's just not my cup of tea; a bit pompous, not very imaginative or original as a conductor as I see him.

Making things worse, the sound quality on both of these LSO recordings is not very good at all.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Real Gergiev 2 April 2014
By Don A. Mele - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Russia’s Ministry of Culture recently called leading artists and intellectuals to suggest that they endorse a petition hailing President Vladimir V. Putin’s annexation of Crimea, sparking impassioned accusations from the literati that the Kremlin was resurrecting repugnant Soviet methods.

Boldface names immediately signed: Valery Gergiev, the director of the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg and the principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra; the pianist Denis Matsuev; and Vladimir Urin, the director general of the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.

But even as Russia’s leaders employed a tactic that harked back to Stalin, pressuring its cultural elite to kowtow, the effort was not without problems. At least one artist whose name appeared was dead. Several more protested that their signatures had been added without their knowledge. And opponents of the Crimea venture responded with a mixture of derision and outrage, issuing their own diatribe against the Kremlin’s Ukraine policy titled “Don’t Bend, Don’t Yield to Lies.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars *** 1/2 Clean, sensitive readings that don't show much involvement on Gergiev's part 4 Oct 2013
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on
As soon as he took over the reins at the LSO, Gergiev defied expectations with a spectacular Mahler cycle, music that is barely identified with Russian music-making. After two world wars against Germany, Wagner and Brahms didn't stand in good stead, either, so we can expect raised eyebrows over this two-fer of the Brahms First and Second. Gergiev is a stranger to Brahms on disc except for accompanying Nikolaj Znaider in the Violin Cto. on RCA/BMG, which for me wasn't a huge success on his part. but I belong to the camp that considers Gergiev one of the greatest living conductors, and I was eager to hear his Brahms in a way I hadn't felt since hearing Mravinsky's Brahms cycle decades ago.

Brahms is one instance where the division between Toscanini and Furtwangler actually holds good, and Gergiev's steady beat and forward momentum in the first movement of sym. 1 tells us that he's not going to side with Furtwangler. But he's not impatient and driven enough to be toscanini, either, which leaves open the possibility that he will wind up being rather ordinary. It's also not favorable that the LSO's playing is fairly nondescript and the recorded sound is lacking in depth. Gergiev, like almost every Russian conductor, is essentially a Romantic, and perhaps he's at pains not to smother the Brahms First by leaning in too hard. The result is clean, smooth, musical, and direct - not ordinary but breaking no new trails. I only wish that the conductor had found more struggle and heroism in this monumental work. We've been having too much Brahms lite already (in case John eliot Gardiner is listening). No one since Simon Rattle and the Berliners (on EMI) has given us a very memorable Brahms First.

Since Gergiev is often strongest in slow, soft music, the first movement of Sym. 2 is unusually delicate and light - a nice way to begin. The surging second subject in the lower strings is soft-pedalled, and it becomes apparent that Gergiev isn't aiming for high Romanticism or sharp dramatic contrasts. He does succeed in giving us a change of mood and pacing in the second movement, where his understated approach is at its best. the Scherzo is lightly handled and not fussed over. The finale is quick, with no explosive contrast between the sotto voce opening and the sudden jolt of forte that follows. Again the surging second subject is understated.

In the end, these two readings are a couple of notches better than what you'd hear at any good subscription concert. Perhaps the LSO wanted to capitalize on their departing chief's huge reputation. Whatever the motive this isn't exceptional Brahms. It's often downright tame, which isn't the right way to approach such masterpieces.
5.0 out of 5 stars Turn up the volume for greater enjoyment 28 Jan 2014
By Yak and Dak - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Gergiev's partnership with the LSO is rather unique in that their collaborations result in some very fine live recordings released by their own record label. Their Mahler series was underrated. A constant complaint is the coarse sound quality. In reality, the sound quality is on par with Gergiev's Kirov recordings. He doesn't put a sheen on the orchestra and works with the natural sound of the instruments.

With these LSO Live discs, a simple turn of the volume knob yields greater bloom from the instruments without any ear pain.

Gergiev and the LSO are very well rehearsed for these Brahms' symphonies. Since the performances are live, the concentration level of the players is very high. They play the music at a tempo more like Karajan and Haitink or Toscanini than the epic drawn-out versions of Giulini or Asahina. While Brahms sounds good at either measure, Gergiev and the LSO are completely at one with the symphonies during these performances.

The percussion and low basses are never distorted and the higher notes from the piccolos and flutes never jar the ear.

The Tragic Overture is very good. One of the best I've heard. It, too, has a fast pace and a very natural orchestral sound when played back a higher volume level.
3.0 out of 5 stars Routine readings 28 Nov 2013
By J. K. Davis MD - Published on
Verified Purchase
While I've generally enjoyed Gergiev's LSO Live recordings, there is nothing inspiring here. The sound and orchestral playing are more than acceptable, but the grandeur of the 1st and the 'smiling' of the 2nd don't come through. I can't say I could identify 'the best' recordings of these symphonies, but you could start with Bernstein, Szell, Karajan etc and do better than these.
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