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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arguably the best option of this symphony, a view supported by a recent 'Gramophone' magazine survey, 30 Nov. 2012
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I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brahms: Symphony No.3 (Audio CD)
Of the various versions I have owned of this work, this by Abbado is my favourite.

There are several reasons. Quite apart from the interpretive considerations I find the playing of the BPO to be ideal in Abbado's hands. Just as well disciplined as in Karajan's day but with just a little more warmth. The recording quality is simply superb. This is not always achieved in Brahms where so much depends on a firm foundation building upwards sonically. The program is both generous and imaginatively varied, although I should be honest and confess that I rarely play the Schicksalslied.

Moving on to the two main orchestral pieces. Both of these receive strong yet sensitive interpretations as stated at the beginning. This is immediately apparent with the opening bars of the overture which opens the disc. The same can be said of the opening statement of the symphony which reminds me of Bohm's strength years age with the first recording I bought of the work. There is no autumnal feeling involved with the overture of course - this is just a strong piece of orchestral argument and performed to perfection in this case. The symphony is a different matter, changing its character over its duration to conclude in the most gentle of reflective ways. Once more, Abbado has this precisely and in this he is aided to a considerable extent by an orchestra known for its tonal reserves and which was particularly fond of its chief conductor. It should be mentioned that Abbado observes the first movement repeat.

There is only one way to improve on buying this disc and that is to buy the whole set of symphonies etc. in the boxed edition. A very satisfying disc on its own or as part of the set.

Further developments:

Since writing this review it was interesting to read a comparative survey of some depth of discs of the third symphony. The view taken by the magazine, having gone right back to mono days and up to the present, was that this was not just the best of recent versions but also the best ever presented on disc.

To that I would also add that the two disc survey of the four symphonies (1 & 2; 3 & 4 available separately) conducted by Bychkov in 2002/3 is a serious competitor with the added advantage of visuals and DTS 5.1 surround sound of good quality.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ... particularly for Symphonie No 3 and this did not disappoint. I have not had time to listen to ..., 7 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Brahms: Symphony No.3 (Audio CD)
I bought this particularly for Symphonie No 3 and this did not disappoint. I have not had time to listen to the other two works but the combination of Brahms, the Berline Philharmonic and Claudio Abbado I cannot fail to enjoy them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brahms Symphony No. 3, 26 May 2013
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This review is from: Brahms: Symphony No.3 (Audio CD)
Wonderful music. Highly recommended. The Poco Allegretto track has such a hauntingly emotional tune, it makes you feel so sad.
A great addition to my collection.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Version Of The Difficult Third Symphony, 9 Jun. 2010
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Philoctetes (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brahms: Symphony No.3 (Audio CD)
I think this is the best performance in Claudio Abbado's generally impressive Brahms cycle. The comparative emotional reticence, the dying away of each movement of the symphony, suits Abbado's manner best. In the other symphonies he has the annoying habit of holding onto the final power chord of a movement for that little bit too long. You know the sort of thing: DA! DAAA! DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

The recording and playing by the BPO are superb, and the accompanying overture and Song of Destiny suitable fill-ups. If Karajan hadn't been stingy with the first movement repeat, I'm sure his Third Symphony would be my first choice, even above the towering performances by Furtwangler, but unfortunately he never played the repeat and that irks me.

You won't regret this CD purchase.
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Brahms: Symphony No.3
Brahms: Symphony No.3 by Johannes Brahms (Audio CD - 2000)
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