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Brahms: Symphony 2, 3

Herbert von Karajan Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £7.81 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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1908 Born in Salzburg on April 5. The Karajan family originally came from Macedonia in Northern Greece and bore the name Karajannis. Herbert von Karajan’s great-great-grand¬father emigrated to Saxony but eventually settled as a merchant in Vienna. For his services in the furtherance of trade and industry, Frederick Augustus, Elector of ... Read more in Amazon's Herbert von Karajan Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Brahms: Symphony 2, 3 + Brahms: Symphony No.1 (DG The Originals)
Price For Both: £13.85

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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 Nov 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: DG
  • ASIN: B000W99IJ8
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 127,204 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.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Brahms: Symphony No.2 in D, Op.73 - 1. Allegro non troppoBerliner Philharmoniker15:43£1.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Brahms: Symphony No.2 in D, Op.73 - 2. Adagio non troppo - L'istesso tempo, ma graziosoBerliner Philharmoniker10:54£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Brahms: Symphony No.2 in D, Op.73 - 3. Allegretto grazioso ( Quasi andantino) - Presto ma non assaiBerliner Philharmoniker 5:22£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Brahms: Symphony No.2 in D, Op.73 - 4. Allegro con spiritoBerliner Philharmoniker 9:03£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Brahms: Symphony No.3 in F, Op.90 - 1. Allegro con brio - Un poco sostenuto - Tempo IBerliner Philharmoniker 9:48£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Brahms: Symphony No.3 in F, Op.90 - 2. AndanteBerliner Philharmoniker 7:43£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Brahms: Symphony No.3 In F, Op.90 - 3. Poco allegrettoBerliner Philharmoniker 5:54£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Brahms: Symphony No.3 in F, Op.90 - 4. AllegroBerliner Philharmoniker 8:49£0.79  Buy MP3 


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old Things become New 22 July 2013
Format:Audio CD
CD-wise, this coupling from the Sixties was originally issued in the late Eighties. It featured a wonderful cover - the forest at gloaming - and a god-awful remastering; how it ever passed muster is beyond understanding. In 2008, DG cleaned up the recordings with 24-bit technology. The forest alas is no more, replaced by a photograph of Karajan imitating a Horten Ho 229 Fighter-Bomber. The bass is still somewhat unruly but much less of a distraction than before. Despite reports to the contrary, hiss is minimal. To summarise, the remastering is a success.

This comes from the meridian. Karajan was a master in the Second Symphony - there is no one-better. Every one of his recordings broadcasts mastery: the triumph of narrative over detail, his farsightedness and regard for the mysticism of the first movement. Unlike recent expositions featuring the same orchestra, the tension does not droop when Brahms draws a breath. Here, the Berlin Philharmonic's Klang is in floodtide. Listen to the slow movement: if, as Richard Wilbur asserts, the end of thirst exceeds experience, could one suggest that the American poet-laureate is refuted by the lower strings of the Berlin Philharmonic - as they were then -being an end-in-themselves and immolatory too?

Like so many others, Karajan seems to struggle somewhat with the innate ambiguity of the Third: is it an act of valediction or a forerunner of Ein Heldenleben? Karajan ignores the exposition repeat in the first movement of the Third which is no big deal in itself - it adds nothing. Even so, it is widely recognised that his Third from the '77 cycle is his most persuasive - and to that I would add his live performance from late September 1968 where he comes as close as he ever did to Furtwangler who remains supreme in this work. Whatever: this Third from September 1968 is a herculean achievement and blitzes 99% of the field.

Praised be the scalpel!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good 29 July 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I love Brahms. I like Brahms Symphonies by Karajan, BPO published by DG. The condition of the item is very good.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Brahms from the Sixties, but not a perfect remastering 23 Jan 2008
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
For a long time I've favored Karajan's Brahms symphony cycle from the early Sixties, which DG has taken a long time to remaster, except for Sym. 1, which came out on an Originals reissue with the Schumann First. Now we have an up-to-date remastering of the Brahms Second (from 1963) and Third (from 1964), which are musically superior to Karajan's later versions, even thoough those aren't negligible -- he was a master of Brahms's idiom to the very end.

This new issue comes in cardboard sleeves with minimal notes and sells at mid-range price (cheaper at Amazon Marketplace). The sound is brighter and more forward than before, a big improvement over the muffled budget issue of the past, particularly in taking out the early digital glare from the violins. But DG wasn't making the best orchestral recordings at the time. Both symphonies were recorded in the Jesus-Christus Kirche, the Berlin Phil.'s best venue. However, the master tapes are afflicted with hiss and haze that's still audible, and there's microphone overload and gritch at loud passages. The lowest bass notes are also boomy.

These sonic blemishes disappointed me, but these are such vigorous, technically masterful readings that I was grateful for such improvement as the remastering engineers could make.

P.S. -- DG has remastered the Brahms Fourth from this Sixties cycle, making it available in a commemorative package called Karajan: The Music, the Legend. Having heard all his versions, I think this one is the most vigorous and successful.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great Brahms #2's available, solid #3 as well 28 Oct 2009
By Joey Joe Joe Jr. Shabadoo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This recording is from the 1964 Brahms cycle, which to my mind (and apparently many critics) was Karajan's best Brahms cycle. Considering most of Karajan's work from the 60's tends to be a cut above his more mannered and fussy later recordings, it makes sense the same would hold here. Karajan submits a truly exceptional performance of Symphony No. 2, radiant and sunny as is befitting this lyrical, pastoral work, shining in particular during the neo-Beethovenian finale. Karajan's famous tautness of grip and sense of line is on full display here, as are his unwavering and immaculate orchestral forces, the BPO in its heyday. This is the finest 2nd I have heard, although Monteux' account is another performance I'd not be without. Symphony No. 3 on this disc is also quite good but may be the weakest entry of this particular cycle, which is hardly an insult at all as his accounts of 1, 2 and 4 are some of the best available. Karajan simply seemed to better understand this work in his mid-70s traversal, and to be fair this is a difficult beast to pull off and he nevertheless exceeds all but the best of interpretations. As an alternative for the 3rd, fine versions are available from the cycles put forth by Rafael Kubelik & the BRSO and Antal Dorati & the LSO, the Dorati 3rd being one of the all-time greats in my opinion.
Those unfamiliar with Karajan's Brahms should know that his textures are lush and dense. His readings compare favorably with other conductors that view these works in a similar light, such as Giulini, Kubelik and Walter to name a few. If you favor a leaner approach, like that of Szell, or Dorati, you may want to look elsewhere. But be advised that many critics agree that Karajan was a master of interpreting Brahms' language, and that is evident on this disc.
In general, what I've come to understand about Karajan is that he very rarely submits what you might call "the best" interpretation of any given work (his Strauss, Bruckner, and 1962 Beethoven 9 excepted, and this Brahms #2). What you are assured of though, are consistently very good interpretations - such as the Brahms #3 on this disc - flawless playing and plenty of drama and rhythmic drive. He may miss certain insights and lack the individuality of other conductors but his struggle for sonic perfection is not without its fruits. His full-bodied, yet smooth and streamlined approach works especially well for Brahms in my humble opionion.
The sound is fine. Considering this was recorded near the advent of Stereo, the sound is quite clear, if slightly distantly recorded. There is a touch of graininess in spots and DG's characteristic lack of bass, but then these recordings are more than 40 years old. DG has done what they can to restore the sound with their Image Bit Processing technique, and the results are more than adequate. Liner notes are well-written, albeit brief.
I would recommend this disc to the Brahms fan, but also the Karajan fan who has yet to be exposed to Karajan's earlier recordings, which as I said are by and large a cut above his 70s and 80s recordings, but until recently were much harder to come by. I would also recommend rounding out the cycle by purchasing Brahms #1/Schumann #1 and Karajan: The Music, The Legend, which has the 4th symphony.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Richly Lyrical 7 July 2009
By Karl W. Nehring - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
These recordings from 1963-64 have been released in various formats over the years. When I was first discovering classical music back in the `70s, I loved my LP version of Symphony No. 3, which also contained the Variations on a Theme by Haydn. After all these years and all the different Brahms recordings I have owned and auditioned, I am still delighted that DGG has released this newly remastered CD in a package that recreates the look of the original LP release. The interpretations are richly lyrical and deeply beautiful. The sound quality may not be audiophile-grade, but it is serviceable. This is a truly wonderful release that you will want to grab before it disappears.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old Things become New 22 July 2013
By Bernard Michael O'Hanlon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
CD-wise, this coupling from the Sixties was originally issued in the late Eighties. It featured a wonderful cover - the forest at gloaming - and a god-awful remastering; how it ever passed muster is beyond understanding. In 2008, DG cleaned up the recordings with 24-bit technology. The forest alas is no more, replaced by a photograph of Karajan imitating a Horten Ho 229 Fighter-Bomber. The bass is still somewhat unruly but much less of a distraction than before. Despite reports to the contrary, hiss is minimal. To summarise, the remastering is a success.

This comes from the meridian. Karajan was a master in the Second Symphony - there is no one-better. Every one of his recordings broadcasts mastery: the triumph of narrative over detail, his farsightedness and regard for the mysticism of the first movement. Unlike recent expositions featuring the same orchestra, the tension does not droop when Brahms draws a breath. Here, the Berlin Philharmonic's Klang is in floodtide. Listen to the slow movement: if, as Richard Wilbur asserts, the end of thirst exceeds experience, could one suggest that the American poet-laureate is refuted by the lower strings of the Berlin Philharmonic - as they were then -being an end-in-themselves and immolatory too?

Like so many others, Karajan seems to struggle somewhat with the innate ambiguity of the Third: is it an act of valediction or a forerunner of Ein Heldenleben? Karajan ignores the exposition repeat in the first movement of the Third which is no big deal in itself - it adds nothing. Even so, it is widely recognised that his Third from the '77 cycle is his most persuasive - and to that I would add his live performance from late September 1968 where he comes as close as he ever did to Furtwangler who remains supreme in this work. Whatever: this Third from September 1968 is a herculean achievement and blitzes 99% of the field.

Praised be the scalpel.
5.0 out of 5 stars best on record. 22 Jan 2014
By stephen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
You will not be disappointed with this CD.
Herbie is best when he can be great ... this music is his alone.
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