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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yet again, Profil messes up the editing ..., 23 Sep 2010
Raymond Clarke (near Cardiff, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Brahms Symphony No. 1; Beethoven Symphony No. 1 (Wand) (Audio CD)
Prospective purchasers should be aware that there is a major editing fault which detracts significantly from the performance of the Brahms symphony. Two bars in the finale have been omitted (not noticed by the 'Gramophone' reviewer of course - do their critics even bother to listen to the CDs which they are assigned to review nowadays?) Although two bars may not seem serious, the omission occurs during the bars leading to the final C major resolution of the finale, and the effect is ruinous, as it destroys one of the most dramatic moments in the symphony, where the composer juxtaposes a rising phrase ending in E flat major with a similar phrase ending in E minor. The first of those phrases is omitted here.

The Brahms recording has been compiled from more than one performance, so it's odd that Profil has included a bad orchestral mishap in the slow movement, where some of the violins get completely out of time with the others. If more than one performance was used, it's almost certain that the same passage was played better in the other version, so why didn't the editing technician use that instead?

There is another recording of this symphony by Gunter Wand on Profil which overall is more compelling than this one; there are also his three versions for BMG (1982, 1989 & 1996). The performance of the Beethoven is very fine. But the main purpose of this post is not to attempt to review the recording, but simply to warn about the editing fault, which for me is enough to rule this issue out of consideration when there are four other recordings of Wand conducting the symphony, all of them artistically superior to this one.

Profil is a company which has given us many fine recordings, but it is high time that their incompetent technicians' editing mistakes stopped: one of Profil's recordings of Wand conducting Bruckner Symphony No. 5 has half a bar missing on the first page, and one of Profil's recordings of Wand conducting Bruckner Symphony No. 9 omits the opening string tremolo, starting instead with the entry of the wind. Their issue of Kurt Sanderling conducting Bruckner Symphony No. 4 also has a chunk of music missing in the opening section of the first movement. And these are just the Profil recordings which I have heard, there are probably other mess-ups in other Profil recordings which I haven't listened to.

It's good to rant ...
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Brahms Symphony No. 1; Beethoven Symphony No. 1 (Wand)
Brahms Symphony No. 1; Beethoven Symphony No. 1 (Wand) by Brahms/Beethoven (Audio CD - 2007)
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