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Brahms - Tragic Overture; Reger - Variations & Fugue [Original recording remastered]

London Symphony Orchestra , Johannes Brahms , Ludwig van Beethoven , Max Reger , Carl Schuricht , et al. Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Orchestra: New Philharmonia Orchestra
  • Conductor: Carl Schuricht, Adrian Boult
  • Composer: Johannes Brahms, Ludwig van Beethoven, Max Reger
  • Audio CD (4 Jun 2007)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: BBC Legends
  • ASIN: B000PY4Y76
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 447,370 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.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Tragic Overture, Op. 81London Symphony Orchestra14:15Album Only
Listen  2. Variations and Fugue on a Theme of J.A. Hiller, Op. 100: Theme: Andante graziosoLondon Symphony Orchestra0:280.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Variation 1: Piu andanteLondon Symphony Orchestra 1:020.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Variation 2: Allegretto con graziaLondon Symphony Orchestra 3:040.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Variation 3: VivaceLondon Symphony Orchestra 2:270.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Variation 4: Poco vivaceLondon Symphony Orchestra 2:030.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Variation 5: Andante sostenutoLondon Symphony Orchestra 3:410.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Variation 6: Tempo di minuettoLondon Symphony Orchestra 2:290.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Variation 7: PrestoLondon Symphony Orchestra 3:290.59  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Variation 8: Andante con motoLondon Symphony Orchestra 2:350.59  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Variation 9: Allegro con spiritoLondon Symphony Orchestra 1:440.59  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Variation 10: Allegro appassionatoLondon Symphony Orchestra 2:400.59  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Variation 11: Andante con motoLondon Symphony Orchestra 5:180.59  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Variations and Fugue on a Theme of J.A. Hiller, Op. 100: Fugue: Allegro moderatoLondon Symphony Orchestra 9:18Album Only
Listen15. Grosse Fuge in B-Flat Major, Op. 133 (arr. for orchestra)New Philharmonia Orchestra18:56Album Only

Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A marvellous memento of a short-lived partnership 15 July 2011
Format:Audio CD
The other review concentrates on Boult's performance of the Beethoven and says that the rest of the disc may be as good. In fact, it's even better. I acquired the Schuricht concert on tape many years ago (it also included Mozart's Haffner Symphony) and was very surprised to find that the recordings were in stereo (my tape was very definitely mono and I don't think the BBC were broadcasting in stereo to any extent in January 1964 when the recordings were made) and the sound is very good indeed, much better than the Beethoven and fully the equal of most commercial recordings of the time. The prize is the performance of the Reger. He was one of Schuricht's teachers and generally gets a terrible press in this country, couldn't write a tune to save his life, thick and heavy orchestration, and terminally addicted to all the most boring and academic musical forms like, well, variations and fugues. In short he's regarded as the musical equivalent of a particularly stodgy German sausage and it must be said that quite a lot of his music tends to bear that out (I've never been able to get on with the Piano Concerto, of which Rudolf Serkin made a famous recording, which lasts for nearly an hour and where the pianist seems to need at least three hands and when it's all over I've always wondered if it's been worth the effort.) But there are some pieces which don't merit the caricature, principally the two great sets of orchestral variations, this one and the one on a theme by Mozart. Of course, if you can't write a tune yourself it helps if you write a set of variations on a tune by somebody else and in both cases the tunes are not only good in themselves but very suitable for variations. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hear this Grosse Fuge! 8 Jan 2010
By Mr. Ian A. Macfarlane TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Let me say at once that I'm cheating - I don't have this disc and have not heard the Schuricht (i.e. the larger) part of it. But for years I have loved this very well structured 'Grosse Fuge' conducted by Boult, and I'd like to draw attention to it. It was previously available on an Italian Intaglio CD. It is such a difficult piece to get right, but here, in a live performance, it has great strength and a finely judged balance between the contrasting sections. It never becomes stodgy (the orchestral version easily can and often does) and it never loses its sense of direction. There is a most satisfying climax at the end, even if one or two of the Philharmonia violins anticipate the first phrase of their last statement (that is undoubtedly messy, for a moment or two). It's excellent to see this re-emerging, and for me, it justifies the whole CD - the rest of which may, of course be just as good!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Brahms and Reger 29 Dec 2013
By Ronald D. Pemstein - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I got this recording to get a copy of Brahms Tragic Overture which I love. I did not know Reger's music but the surprise on this recording is his Variation of the Theme of Hiller which is most pleasant.
4.0 out of 5 stars Two veterans in old age recall the ethos of German romanticism that nurtured them 12 Jun 2012
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on
Here's an unusual, and not very marketable, pairing of two conductors. The Brahms Tragic Over. and Max Reger's Hiller Variations - one of the few orchestral pieces that this post-Brahmsian conservative once survived by - are conducted by Carl Shcuricht from a January, 1964 concert with the London Sym.; the aged Schuricht was 84 at the time. The orchestration of Beethoven's Grosse Fuge is under Adrian Boult with the Philhamronia (briefly rechristened the New Philharmonia) in August, 1968, when he was 79. So it's two old masters giving their late thoughts on the Austro-German tradition. With all due respect, one wonders sadly if anyone is really interested?

Schuricht belongs in a class of thoroughly assured German traditionalists like Joseph Keilberth (who unfortunately did not survive past sixty), not to be classed among the greats but capable of very fine performances. This Tragic Over. isn't remarkable but is so confident and echt-Brahmsian that one would be hard-pressed to find its equal today. There's not enough drive or intensity to make it truly memorable, however. Better is the Reger (he was Schuricht's teacher), a work rarely played today that is reminiscent in its high spirits of the youthful Brahms's two Serenades, not a bad recommendation. An astute online reviewer points to a resemblance with Weinberger's 'Schwanda the Bagpiper,' once a staple of classical pops concerts. There are eleven variations with a big (9 min.!) fugue to cap the proceedings, and Schuricht so believes in this music that he imparts a good deal of vibrancy to it. A score that could come off as more Teutonic than jolly is quite rollicking, even if the overlong fugue almost deflates the souffle.

The fugal form is the rationale, no doubt, for including the Grosse fuge, but I've never really bought the various orchestral transcriptions, because this grueling finale to Beethoven's Quartet Op. 133 is so demanding that four string players are hard-pressed to keep it sounding coherent, in tune, and even playable. It is one of Beethoven's most peculiar and in its way awe-inspiring creations. Perhaps for reasons of scale his titanic conception needs to break the bounds of chamber music, yet hearing an entire string orchestra attempt the nearly impossible has its own hazards. the issue is moot given that Boult's reading comes in remote Albert Hall sound that is also muffled. Bernstein's DG reading is more intense, yet in a way Boult's relatively relaxed, no-pressure approach is easier to absorb - if only it sounded better.

As a memento of a lost age of conducting this odd CD is welcome. I enjoyed every performance, especially the Reger.
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