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Brahms - Symphony No 1; Tragic Overture (LSO, Haitink) Live

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Brahms - Symphony No 1; Tragic Overture (LSO, Haitink)
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Product details

  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
1
30
13:42
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2
30
8:38
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3
30
4:43
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4
30
17:17
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30
15:11
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Product Description

Product Description

Bernard Haitink follows his critically acclaimed recording of Brahms's Second Symphony, released on LSO Live in January 2004, with an extraordinary account of Brahms's Symphony No 1.

Review

'a fine, full-blooded performance ... hard to beat' -- Mail on Sunday (UK)

'This was the LSO surpassing even themselves ... inspired by the man on the podium, Bernard Haitink ... this was an exceptional reinvention of the work.' -- The Times (UK), 24 May 2003

'a performance of resplendent virtuosity, in which every movement and every gesture, was part of a gripping journey ... [Haitink] animated each movement with a fiery energy.' -- The Guardian (UK), 23 May 2003

'polished playing and finely judged phrasing made everything fall into place' -- The Independent (UK), 27 May 2003

'a revelatory re-interpretation' -- The Observer (UK)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Brahms is a composer who asks for interpreters are willing to go far beyond the written notes, and into a world of dark beauty that's always personal. But there's always the temptation to get too caught up in the roughness and fate that can be present in his music. That's not to say that those elements don't exist. Rather, they need to be kept in proper balance, and they should never be emphasized to the point where one misses the Brahms that tugs at your inner being. That's true even in the 1st symphony, where Brahms is still young and full of fiery passion and determination.

How does Haitink do in giving us Brahms that sees the whole picture? Well, he certainly does a fine job, and he has one of the greatest of orchestras to help him out. At the same time, I don't sense anything in his interpretation that is remarkable or novel. It's all played very well, but could we ask for more than good playing? That's not to say that Haitink merely runs through the work. He does know how to deliver strong orchestral playing that is saturated in power. Perhaps my complaint is that he is too rough, unable to ever surround me with heartbreaking beauty. And while the LSO is a great orchestra, it doesn't come close to rivaling the sound that the Berlin Philharmonic can give this music. I can't help but compare this to Rattle's recent recording of this symphony with his Berliners. Not only does Rattle succeed in delivering more excitement and a far bigger sound, but he's inwardly touching, allowing the beauty of the music to flow out in a way that is deeply moving. And while Haitink maintains interest, he simply isn't on the same level.

To summarize, this is a fine reading, even if it doesn't say anything out of the ordinary. Those wanting a solid, interesting reading of this symphony won't be disappointed, although you can certainly do better elsewhere.
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Excellent recording.Beautiful music very well played. If you like to feel involved with your music this is for you.Buy with confidence.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x931cc96c) out of 5 stars 7 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x931d94bc) out of 5 stars disappointed in my favorite maestro 1 July 2004
By William Ellis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I hate to have to say that this performance is disappointing. I have been one of Haitink's biggest admirers since the 70s, and especially love his Brahms orchestral works with the Concertgebouw. The LSO Symphony #2 was good if not thrilling. But I have to disagree with the other two reviewers: I find this performance uninspired, and the LSO's sound unsuited to Brahms. Worse yet, the Tragic Overture is fatally dull. The tempo is too slow and thus instead of a cohesive argument, I hear all the separate parts. Things may improve with the coming releases of Symphonies 3 and 4. As it stands now, Haitink's Concertgebouw recording and Ormandy's from Philadelphia, both budget-priced, are much better bets than this ordinary reading.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x931d9510) out of 5 stars A compelling Brahms 1st Symphony from Haitink, LSO 27 April 2004
By John Kwok - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This fine recording, among the latest in the LSO Live series, marks the beginning of a Brahms Symphony cycle with Bernard Haitink conducting the London Symphony Orchestra. With regards to ambience and warmth, I have a slight preference for his 1990's Boston Symphony Orchestra recording, which sadly Philips has deleted from its catalogue. And yet, Haitink still offers a compelling interpretation of Brahms' 1st Symphony with the London Symphony Orchestra in excellent form, which ranks as among the best performed and recorded I have heard. His latest interpretation is one which seems a bit less restrained than his earlier versions, but still replete with strict adherence to Brahms' tempi. His latest interpretation is, in some respects, more exciting than his earlier Philips recordings, emphasizing the rich sonorities and complex architecture of Brahms' score. This CD closes with Brahms' Tragic Overture, which was performed during the same concerts as the 2nd Symphony. Fans of Bernard Haitink and the London Symphony Orchestra will not be disappointed.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x931d9948) out of 5 stars The Beauty Of Brahms 21 May 2004
By Rudy Avila - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This recording of the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maestro Bernard Haitink is exceptionally good. You can never go wrong with the London Symphony Orchestra and certainly not with this program- Brahms' first symphony and his Tragic Overture. This is a great recording, even if it's live and worth getting. Bernard Haitink is a great conductor, beautifully capturing the essence of Brahm's music. In his first symphony, Brahms was hailed as the successor to Beethoven, so much that his first symphony was dubbed Beethoven's 10th. The classical restraint and balance of his harmony, with the new Romantic dramatics, made him the 19th Century new Beethoven. Like Beethoven, Brahms was a master of theme and variations. His symphonies harked back to the classical symphony. It's extremely beautiful to hear, his first, especially the final movement. After a long cadenza for clarinet, the orchestra plays a melody that people instantly recalled the Ode To Joy of Beethoven's 9th. "Any idiot can see that" was Brahms comment. The Tragic Overture is like its title tragic and dramatic as was the Romantic style. The one movement, sonata form overture is orchestral magic. This is a great cd if you're a fan of the music of Johannes Brahms. Look also for his 4th Symphony and Tragic Overture as well as his famous Lullaby. He wrote many great works.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x931d9d14) out of 5 stars Haitink can be great at Brahms, but not here 26 Nov. 2006
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
With the lasting memory of Haitink's first Brahms cycle in my head--it's with the Concertgebouw on Philips--I know he can be a great Brahms conductor. Over the years, however, he's become slower, less emphatic, more reflective. Brahms fits that model, too, but you have to be in the mood for 'autumnal' interpretations, as critics like to call them. This Brahms First is extremely well recorded, and the LSO plays with real commitment--the vibrancy in the string playing is very convincing.

On the other hand, the musicians aren't really being stretched. We get more inner drama than from Sawallish, Jochum, Muti, Eschenbach, and Chailly. Since those cycles are admired by ohters, I must give Haitink four stars for climbing to a higher standard but after a great beginning, he lets the second motto in the first movement slide into dulness, and the Scherzo feels too ordinary. It's like that throughout, wonderful moments followed by unconvincing lapses; that's true of Celibidache, too. Losing the inner tension of a Brahms symphony is never good, but even though Haitink doesn't soar to the heights he set for himself in his first cycle, this is the best of his third one.
HASH(0x931d9df8) out of 5 stars Fine Brahms, but not very personal 12 Nov. 2011
By Andrew R. Barnard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Brahms is a composer who asks for interpreters are willing to go far beyond the written notes, and into a world of dark beauty that's always personal. But there's always the temptation to get too caught up in the roughness and fate that can be present in his music. That's not to say that those elements don't exist. Rather, they need to be kept in proper balance, and they should never be emphasized to the point where one misses the Brahms that tugs at your inner being. That's true even in the 1st symphony, where Brahms is still young and full of fiery passion and determination.

How does Haitink do in giving us Brahms that sees the whole picture? Well, he certainly does a fine job, and he has one of the greatest of orchestras to help him out. At the same time, I don't sense anything in his interpretation that is remarkable or novel. It's all played very well, but could we ask for more than good playing? That's not to say that Haitink merely runs through the work. He does know how to deliver strong orchestral playing that is saturated in power. Perhaps my complaint is that he is too rough, unable to ever surround me with heartbreaking beauty. And while the LSO is a great orchestra, it doesn't come close to rivaling the sound that the Berlin Philharmonic can give this music. I can't help but compare this to Rattle's recent recording of this symphony with his Berliners. Not only does Rattle succeed in delivering more excitement and a far bigger sound, but he's inwardly touching, allowing the beauty of the music to flow out in a way that is deeply moving. And while Haitink maintains interest, he simply isn't on the same level.

To summarize, this is a fine reading, even if it doesn't say anything out of the ordinary. Those wanting a solid, interesting reading of this symphony won't be disappointed, although you can certainly do better elsewhere.
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