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25 Reviews
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious music making...
The long awaited 'new' set of the Brahms symphonies from Chailly and the Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestra are finally here! Having lived with them for a fortnight now I can confirm the wait has been well worth it. Of course, one takes the musical and technical virtuosity of the orchestra for granted but, here, the Gewandhaus Orchestra surpass themselves.

So what...
Published 12 months ago by Robert Roy

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One way of doing Brahms
The first thing to say is that this recording sounds tremendous, thanks both to wonderfully lucid engineering that allows you to hear almost everything and to the sound of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Those who heard the orchestra at the 2014 Proms will not be surprised to be told this. The principal oboe plays ravishingly, if with rather a lot of notes not fully...
Published 29 days ago by Fred Porlock


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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 26 Aug 2014
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very good though I haven`t heard it all yet
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear modern recordings, pulse and beat perfect, revealed inner detail of the music., 13 July 2014
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This review is from: Brahms: The Symphonies (Audio CD)
This set immediately strikes you with the following attributes:

1 There is a very powerful and beautiful distinction between loud and soft passages. In loud we get a nice clear and powerful orchestra on full charge. In soft we nice delineated spacious acoustic orchestra with distinction of the various orchestral forces in play

2 The dynamics of the recording revealed very clearly the working of the beautiful orchestral that Brahms has created. Further enhanced is the clearly engineered Decca recording, and the point of details that Chailly has fully revealed.

3 The pulse and pushing forward of the Brahms symphonies on this recordings i consider to be perfect, there is no lag, its very dynamic with constant ebb and flow.

I own many set of Brahms recordings including Karajan 60, 70 and 80s, Klaus Tennstedt Sym 1, Klemperer 1-4 and Rattle 1-4, Kleiber 4. I would rate the Chailly in front of all the whole batch, three main reasons:

1 the clear modern recordings
2 pulse and beat of the music conducted by Chailly
3 the inner detail[s] that i had not spotted on other recordings

I have not mentioned CD 3 as i have not yet listened to that.

Conclusion based on Symphonies 1-4 only.
I love this set and would be prepared to dispense with all other sets and keep this one only. It has everything going for it. I note the CD's [3] come in a booklet form package type packaging, practical and very nice.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lean not Lite, 2 Jun 2014
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Lance Edwards (derbyshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brahms: The Symphonies (Audio CD)
On the basis of earlier recordings I rather rated Chailly as a perfectionist who tended to miss the wood for the trees. However, while I am still getting to know these new recordings, first impressions are that this set may be the up to date replacement for Jochum or Walter. (Like most modern conductors he keeps to a more rigid tempo than either of them.) Certainly, as an admirer of Walter's attack on the first movement of the Third, this is the first recording I have encountered which matches it. (Wand's recording of 3 and 4, recently re-released, is also fast in general but I found the recording or remastering disappointing on my equipment.) These new recordings sound outstanding if the playback level is adjusted carefully (turn it up a little above 'normal' and it is too in your face) and Chailly opens up the textures and lets the light in.
No.1 is fine and it is a relief after Jochum not to have the timps confusing the texture of the opening. In no. 2 the speeds are a touch faster than the fine performance by Haitink with the LSO but there is plenty of warmth and an exciting conclusion. The first 2 movements of no. 4 could possibly have a little more intensity here and there, but the third movement is charming and the last builds up to a formidable ending.
If you like your Brahms to be played like Barbirolli's Elgar you won't like this set. I do!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ah, at Last, Brahms' Delightful "Liebeslieder" Waltzes in Instrumental Garb, and the Symphonies as Well, and even More!, 24 Aug 2014
By 
Celil Parker "Jerry Parker" (région de l'Abitibi, QC) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Brahms: The Symphonies (Audio CD)
I have longed, for many years, to find a CD of Johannes Brahms' own orchestral arrangement for orchestra of excerpts (to perform with or, better, without voices) from his two sets of the "Liebeslieder" waltzes. Here is one, at last! For most buyers, the presence of these waltzes as "fillers" on a complete set of the composer's symphonies would be a mere detail. For me, those waltzes are the very reason to obtain this set of the symphonies and various other music for, or arranged for, orchestra.

These dances work somewhat better as Brahms arranged them instrumentally for piano duo, but they delight best of all as recast for orchestra (without the option of having voices to sing along). Decades ago, Boyd Neel made an LP disc that included these waltzes. I kept it for many years, indeed, still have it somewhere lost in my basement.

Never have I heard any vocal recording of these waltzes that really satisfies me, although, strangely enough, some choral performances of these dances tend to fare better than renditions by solo classical vocalists do so. The singing, on any of the recordings, just is too heavy-going, with viscous textures resulting which are unsuited to these fluffy and utterly beguiling dance melodies. The almost disconcertingly light and airy textures of the orchestration which Brahms himself provided as this particular option for instrumental performance would seem to point to the advisability of rendering these waltzes with something less than rotundly galumphing overemphasis. If they are to be sung, what really is required is fine voices of quite another kind than of the usual operatic heavy artillery, but rather of impeccable musicianship, yes, but of non-classical timbre and of less density as well. How about, for a celestial "would-be" recording, on featuring genuinely idiomatic operetta vocalists, as one alternative. Another would be with performers from the folk-revival or popular (even county-western) idioms. Such (trans-generational) vocal pop luminaries as Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell, or Joan Baez, to take the upper female part, and like Roy Orbison, Ricky Skaggs, or Chris Isaac as tenor, could participate, and so it would go up and down the vocal registers of the vocal quartet's four voices, entailing vocalists who could sing the music just as Brahms himself composed it, but without the glutinous and cloying texture of the classically-formed voices which one hears in previous recordings of the work. Whether together they would attempt to sing in German or would resort to singing in English translation would leave me relatively indifferent. Such a line-up of vocalists together at one time, of course, only is going to happen "up there" in the Heavenly Realms, with Brahms himself looking on, listening with an appreciative smile.

Short of that, give me the composer's orchestral arrangements of some of those waltzes! Well, Riccardo Chailly now, and no longer perhaps only Boyd Neel so long ago, have done that. Goody! As for Brahms' four symphonies, I'll keep on listening to van Beinum's, Walter's, and Jochum's recordings conducting them, but this set will remain there on my shelves and in my CD player for the sake primarily (but not only) of these lovely waltzes!

Riccardo Chailly, too, is among the conductors whose work these days I savour, so I'll give a listen now and then, as well, to the rest of his Brahms orchestral CD set (even if Chailly's tempi and approach in some of Brahms' works on the set seem unnervingly peculiar in places), all the more since it is the Gewandhaus orchestra which Chailly conducts, the reputation of which had become more illustrious than ever in the early LP era under the direction of the great Franz Konwitschny, of blessèd memory. That ensemble remains one of the world's finest orchestras anywhere. Chailly is one of the few conductors nowadays worthy to lead such an exceptionally fine aggregate of musicians.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What incredible value, 30 Nov 2013
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Miss Nina Buchan (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I am discovering Brahms and had a little knowledge of the second symphony before this purchase. I'm absolutely delighted with it, I have learned so much about Brahms from it, and consider it incredibly good value.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 17 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Brahms: The Symphonies (Audio CD)
Excellent
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars WAILING WALL OFSOUND, 6 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Brahms: The Symphonies (Audio CD)
Everybody said this was the best thing since sliced bread (or even toast -- what a cd player that would be...)
I bought it to replace my 1970s remastered Haitink set. Performance-wise, I've no quarrel with Chailly; he stacks up well against Haitink.
But the recording is very strange.
It's as if the music is written on a large wall, without any ambience or hall sound. Granted, the Haitink may be over-resonant, but my system seems to like that (it always responds well to the Chandos house sound.)
But this Chailly recording is totally without any "feel". I discovered that playing it at a much lower level that my other discs at least stopped it shrieking at me above mf -- but then, of course, it meant I couldn't actually hear a lot of the body of the symphonies.
Disappointing, then.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and alluring, 25 Oct 2013
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Dr. M. Scott (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brahms: The Symphonies (Audio CD)
A superb traversal of the Brahms symphonies. The dark lustre of the Leipzigers coupled with the penetrating genius of Chailly is perfect. Excellent recording with dark burnished colours.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am hearing Brahms like I never heard it before, 20 Sep 2014
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T. Watkins (North Queensferry, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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Warm and passionate. I am hearing Brahms like I never heard it before.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best, 16 Dec 2013
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These performances are among the best I have heard of these works. Clear and brisk with reduced forces, apparently, but with no reduction of climax when it counts.
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Brahms: The Symphonies by Gewandhausorchester Leipzig (Audio CD - 2013)
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