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Brahms: Symphony No.1 (DG The Originals) CD

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Brahms: Symphony No.1 (DG The Originals) + Brahms: Symphony 2, 3
Price For Both: £14.79

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Product details

  • Audio CD (4 April 1995)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B000001GQ5
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 114,869 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Brahms: Symphony No.1 in C minor, Op.68 - 1. Un poco sostenuto - Allegro - Meno allegroBerliner Philharmoniker13:53£1.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Brahms: Symphony No.1 in C minor, Op.68 - 2. Andante sostenutoBerliner Philharmoniker 9:16£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Brahms: Symphony No.1 in C minor, Op.68 - 3. Un poco allegretto e graziosoBerliner Philharmoniker 4:54£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Brahms: Symphony No.1 in C minor, Op.68 - 4. Adagio - Piu andante - Allegro non troppo, ma con brio - Piu allegroBerliner Philharmoniker17:54£2.29  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Schumann: Symphony No.1 In B Flat, Op.38 - "Spring" - 1. Andante un poco maestoso - Allegro molto vivaceBerliner Philharmoniker10:53£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Schumann: Symphony No.1 In B Flat, Op.38 - "Spring" - 2. LarghettoBerliner Philharmoniker 6:18£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Schumann: Symphony No.1 In B Flat, Op.38 - "Spring" - 3. Scherzo (Molto vivace)Berliner Philharmoniker 5:51£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Schumann: Symphony No.1 In B Flat, Op.38 - "Spring" - 4. Allegro animato e graziosoBerliner Philharmoniker 7:25£0.79  Buy MP3 

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richard Howard on 13 Dec. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Despite this combination of the world's best orchestra and conductor over many years, of whom I have many recordings, I was a bit disappointed by the sound quality of this 1972 recording and the slow tempo of the last movement of Brahms S. no. 1. I had particularly wanted a top performance of one of my favourite symphonies.

I realise that my opinion is personal and subjective.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 17 reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Thoroughly enjoyable 13 Dec. 2005
By Derek Lee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
First, I would like to say a few words in case Mr. Hurwitz is by chance reading this. Hasty, extreme words clothed as professional review do no one justice. Clearly he hates these performances, even refering to the Schumann as possibly the worst in history. Really, can't everyone here think of performances that are vastly inferior to these? Every reviewer should distrust both excessive praise and derision, prefering instead a more objective approach, simply listing the positives and negatives and allowing the reader to make of it what he will (I feel the reviewer should assume the reader to be more intelligent than they themselves are). I cannot pretend to be perfectly objective; certainly I have all the faults I've stated, as does every human being, but let me make an attempt here.

Certainly this music is played with great passion and sincerity. Although in the Brahms Karajan is much more restrained than Furtwangler in his use of tempo modulation, he taps into the same atmosphere, very dark, introspective, with every gesture full of meaning. The interpretation of the Schumann is by contrast extroverted and intense, especially for the supposedly "cold" Karajan. To both the Berliners give their deep, rich sound that is unique and instantly identifiable (it's hard to believe there was a time when you could tell the great orchestras apart). On this line and as a side note, I don't really understand Mr. Hurwitz's comments about the winds being inaudible. I was able to hear them very clearly, and I have perfectly ordinary hearing. To sum up, both are beautiful, passionate, and for me very satisfactory. Thoroughly recommended.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Karajan Delivers Absolute Greatness! Beware of David Hurwitz, The Endless Karajan Basher! 5 Feb. 2006
By dv_forever - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The absurd review by the Karajan hating David Hurwitz shouldn't deter you from buying this Brahms 1st which comes with Schumann's Spring Symphony. They are both great performances, in the highest class, so why is Hurwitz prattling off such a nonsensical review? It's not merely an opinion, no, this guy has an axe to grind against Herbert von Karajan. Just read some of his other reviews. Once in a while he'll say something nice but even then it seems like Hurwitz is gritting his teeth. Obviously we all know Karajan was an egotistical jerk who became rich from all his many recordings. And yes, Karajan had a spotty record before and during World War II, for which some people still carry a grudge against him. You have to remember Karajan was a musician, not a politician. Yes, he was ambitious and opportunistic but I prefer to judge the man based on his musical achievements and not on his failings in other areas.

Everyone knows Karajan is one of the best conductors who ever lived, that goes without saying. So how go Karajan's musical achievements here in Brahms and Schumann? How about nearly definitive?! I can only think of Furtwangler and Klemperer rising to such heights as Karajan does here. I also like Claudio Abbado's performance of Brahms' 1st in the 1980's but Karajan is more expansive in the finale, giving the music more warmth than Abbado or Klemperer.

If you love classical music or Brahms, you must own this CD. You even get a near perfect performance of Schumann from Karajan's terrific cycle from the 1970's. The sound in both symphonies is weighty and well detailed, perfectly remastered by Deutsche Grammophon. Buy this today and find out for yourself!
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Not as bad as Hurwitz makes out 2 Aug. 1999
By Tom Gauterin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The only thing Hurwitz has got right in the review above is that the Brahms performance is better than the Schumann. It would seem that he has let his obvious anti-Karajan bias(see some of his other reviews!) get the better of him here and, given that the Brahms is perhaps one of the best accounts of the symphony to have appeared, this bias should not dissuade potential buyers. The Gramophone review is far closer to the mark on this occasion. The Berlin Philharmonic under Karajan became noted for the smoothness of its playing,not always ideal,but in the Brahms, this approach works extremely well. Brahm's symphonies are remarkable for the way in which the germ of an idea is allowed to expand and, in this recording, the Berlin Philharmonic's playing complements the smoothness of Brahms's thematic development. The booklet notes draw attention to the way in which the various instruments blend to perfection within ensemble sections but can still sound suitably individual when necessary. This, really, all makes this disc very recommendable simply on accout of the Brahms and, while Karajan (of whom I am not an ardent fan) did have an irritating habit of recording 'standard' German repertoire several times(4 Beethoven cycles, 3 Brahms), he did get it right sometimes. This Brahms recording is one such example. As Hurwitz notes, the Schumann is less successful. Although this is far from being high on the list of recommended recordings, however, it still is not as bad as Hurwitz makes out. It is simply the kind of performance that one would expect from a large, modern symphony orchestra and, as a result, the textures do sound pretty stodgy in places. If you want to hear Schumann in the best way, try John Eliot Gardiner's recent cycle on Archiv. For this, he significantly reduced the number of players he used, particularly in the string sections, with the result that Schumann's frequently criticised orchestration was shown not to be inept, but simply unsuited to the modern orchestra. if you must have modern instruments, Christoph von Dohnanyi's set on a Double Decca is more than satisfactory. Despite the problems of a modern orchestra and the rather deliberate tempi which Karajan adopts, the Berliners still manage to convey the delicate shifts in Schumann's orchestral colouring but this still doesn't improve the Schumann very much. Really, this recording demonstrates the problems of playing Schumann with a modern orchestra rather than any particular ineptitude on Karajan's part. This CD is undeniably worth buying just for the Brahms and, rather than yet another Tragic Overture or Haydn Variations to fill it up, the Schumann is a useful pointer to the difficulties that Schumann presents.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Karajan in the Brahms First--early or late? 2 Nov. 2005
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Critics like to complain that late Karajan was too polished and sleek compared to his earlier self. Here we have a Brahms First from 1964 (Karajan recorded all four Brahms symphonies that year, and all can be found on budget DG issues, though not as a set) that can be compared with his last, digital version from 1987, two years before he died.

Sound: The remastered 1964 analog recording has very natural, wide-ranging sound; the perspective is a bit closer than mid-hall. Although from the same vintage as Karajan's first Beethoven cycle, the microphones never overload; one can hear no obvious engineering flaws. The 1987 sonics are closer and much richer, but with less air around the orchestra. Bass is noticeably fuller; there is more impact in loud passages. Contrary to the Amazon reviewer, the winds are quite prominent in the 1964 recording; strings dominate in 1987.

Tempos: More or less the same for both recordings, although the later version is a minute faster in the second movement. These are moderate tempos throughout, with no exagerrations either on the fast or slow side.

Interpretation: Quite often Karajan settled on an interpretation and kept to it for decades. That's certainly true here--early or late, these readings sound fairly identical. One can detect that Karajan, if anything, became more urgent in the 1987 recording--compare the very openning of the first and last movements. In any event, neither reading is slack or glib.

For its time, the 1964 interpretation, as with Karajan's Beethoven, diverged sharply from Furtwangler's highly personal approach. Karajan sets a tempo and holds to it; he doesn't aim for spontaneous self-expression, and above all, he prefers streamlined Brahms, not to Toscanini's extreme but ahead of German tradition. (Mackerras and Thomas Sanderling have become even more streamlined in the years since, but not necessarily better.)

Overall, this is magnificent, very large-scaled Brahms on both recordings. To me, Karajan stands as the best postwar Brahms ocnductor, along with Bernstein and Klemperer. I would give the edge to 1964 for its more natural sonics, to 1987 for its greater musical impact.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Karajan's best recording of Brahms's 1st. 10 Aug. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This version of Brahms's first symphony is considered by many folks (including Penguin and Grammophon) to be one of the best on record. I haven't heard the Schumann on this disc, but the Brahms symphony is worth the price of the CD by itself. The musical phrases are sharply defined, and while there is great energy, you don't feel pushed around and bullied like you do by Karajan's last recording, made in the '80s. The timpani at the opening are not drowned out by the strings, as on Karajan's '70s recording. Basically, Karajan had a special connection with this work, but--like his interpretations of Beethoven--his first try was the best. I'm very impressed with the gentle strokes and humane touches in the middle movements. This is not a thick and mushy performance--it is big and symphonic, but rich with clearly articulated details. The fourth movement opens with great mystery--nothing is rushed, nor held back. The beauty of the orchestra's playing is allowed to flow in each bar, while an underlying control is always evident. The final bars are the performance's finest moment! Everything is so crisp and alert, so bold without being heavy, you know that only a true genius could pull off a finale so splendidly! Abbado's digital version with the same orchestra is perhaps warmer and more epic, but Karajan's version (which sounds great in this "Originals" series release) has more punch to it. I hope I've said enough to convince you to buy it.
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