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Brahms: Symphony 4 / Strauss: Death and Transfiguration [Import]

Johannes Brahms , Richard Strauss , Victor de Sabata , Berlin Philharmonic Audio CD

Price: 24.95
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Haunting 18 May 2011
By Bernard Michael O'Hanlon - Published on Amazon.com
This CD should be titled: Darkness over Europe. Asking the Berlin Philharmonic to record both of these angst-ridden works in late 1938 / early 1939 was always going to be a foreboding affair. The Zeitgeist hangs heavily over both performances. The evil that took an entire world to extinguish almost materialises before one's eyes . . . . .

De Sabata is a first class Brahmsian: this Fourth is just as memorable as offerings from Furtwangler, Herbie and Kleiber. Mind you, he trangresses the law to get to the spirit, tempo-wise - but we are the beneficiaries. The last movement is the quintessence of drama - even Attic drama. And it is a damn fine recording: sure, the timpani is a little bit recessed, but for all its limitations, it is a far more natural sounding affair than the Kleiber from 1980. The Death and Transfiguration is masterly. Even so: the Brahms is the greater work and this particular performance makes one wonder if old Johannes belonged to the ranks of Isaiah, Nahum & Jeremiah when he penned the Fourth . . . . .

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