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Brahms: Symphony No.4
 
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Brahms: Symphony No.4

7 Sept. 1998 | Format: MP3

£4.96 (VAT included if applicable)
Buy the CD album for £7.20 and get the MP3 version for FREE. Does not apply to gift orders.
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Song Title
Time
Popularity  
30
1
12:56
30
2
11:24
30
3
6:09
30
4
9:14
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 5 Jan. 1998
  • Release Date: 7 Sept. 1998
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon (DG)
  • Copyright: (C) 1998 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 39:43
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B0048L1RU4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,142 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By I. Giles HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 18 Sept. 2013
Format: Audio CD
This disc, now successfully remastered form a 1981 digital original, has always been ranked as among the very finest of recent generations. It is always a doubtful idea to suggest that any one performance of such core repertoire is a definitive performance / recording as at that level personal preferences bring inevitable personal prejudices and inevitable conflict. Such a situation is not helpful to collectors or other interested parties.

Brahms wrote this work at the end of his life. It is normal practice to consider him as one of the most important figures of the Romantic period but this view can be open to question when considering the emphasis he placed on structural content of his work, his detailed use of Classical compositional devices and relatively restrained use of the orchestra that he had at his disposal. There is also a marked lack of narrative or nationalist interest beyond his Hungarian dances. The Hungarian elements to be found in his other works are part of the structure and not generally the main focus.

All of this has been mentioned because it is in the Classical period sense that the listener can best appreciate Kleiber's interpretation/performance with the VPO. This is a very strong delivery of the music with enormous emphasis on the structure. Indeed, it could be described as a very tough-minded view with little evidence of softening or yielding to allow for any Romantic period moulding of the lines or of the emotions. The last movement in this performance thus is a study in the delivery of a strictly formal structure placed as the conclusion of a determined and logical musical journey.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Tom MacFarlane on 15 May 2005
Format: Audio CD
At only 39 mins and 41 seconds, this might be thought to be short measure.
Until you hear the performance. Over the years I have tried a number of recordings of this symphony in an effort to find the work I can hear in my head. (Where did that come from?)
Some years ago I bought the Herbert Blomstedt recording on Decca: far too low voltage! I bought Eugen Jochum's, along with Tennstedt's recording of Ein Deutches Requiem. Worth it for the Requiem, but Jochum always pulls the tempi about a bit, and ultimately I felt his performance didn't quite measure up.
The 1972 Boult recording, with Janet Baker's incandescent performance of the Alto Rhapsody, came nearest. At least Boult gets the right voltage for the finale.
Carlos Kleiber has the Vienna Philharmonic which, as you would expect, outmatches Boult's LPO, good though they are. But he also has factor "X" - that deeper undertanding of this ultimately tragic symphony - which, for me, places this performance right out at the top.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A listener and reader on 6 Sept. 2009
Format: Audio CD
I heard this performance a good while ago but for some reason it didn't get to me. I have listened again recently and I can't imagine why not. In fact I can't imagine a greater performance of this symphony anymore. It's so well played, with every part of the orchestra singing and involved but clearly articulated. However the thing that distinguishes the performance is the grasp of structure and overall balance. The effect of the playing and the conducting is an almost volcanic energy and sweep that is really unsurpassed in the many recordings and performances of this symphony that I have heard. It's shattering and exhausting. Somehow when you hear this it seems so obvious that this is one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, and the most complete of the four Brahms wrote.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By fraxinus on 19 May 2014
Format: Audio CD
I have only recently acquired my own copy of this legendary recording. Since reading Jan Swafford's biography I am back into Brahms with a vengeance after a few years 'away' as it were.

And yes, I reckon this IS a great perfomance (and I have some other favourites of this symphony). There are too many individual magic moments to point out - even from the manner in which the strings play the opening theme in the first movement. The golden horns at the end of the Andante; the violin tremolandi as the finale reaches white heat; the occasional touches of expressive portamento from the strings, which here sound so natural and idiomatic; the clarity and precision of the phrasing, which is so clearly articulated yet never draws attention to itself.

But the performance is far more than just the sum of beautiful parts. As so many other reviewers have pointed out, it is unerringly proportioned (saving the really big sound for the moments when it's really needed) and combines a songful line with an intensity that rises to fervour in the codas of the first and last movements. I am not bothered that you only get 39 minutes of music on the CD as you cannot put a price on music-making of this quality.

My only slight caveat is that the string sound occasionally gets a bit fierce and glassy, to my ears at least. Would the LP have sounded like this when first released in 1980, or is this the result of re-mastering and transfer to CD? Whatever the truth, it is not a serious issue for me and doesn't detract from my five-star rating.
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