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Brahms: Symphony No.1 Import

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Composer: Johannes Brahms
  • Audio CD (1 Oct. 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001G8T
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 217,892 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Receded well and performed magnificently
Enjoyed it very much
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oomph! 29 Oct. 2002
By Kakistocracy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This may be the fiercest, most intense performance of this symphony in modern sound, and that description tends to apply to the other performances in Karajan's last Brahms cycle. No. 4 is equally relentless (the first movement coda is astonishing), and 2 and 3 are not far behind. The orchestral playing is super, and while the sound is somewhat opaque (also, a characteristic of this composer) and stereophonically (but not dynamically) compressed, all the details register.

If this approach does not fit your conception of these works, then by all means avoid these performances; but they do present a valid and masterfully executed artistic perspective. Beware of fashionable Karajan bashing.

Addendum: Since I posted this review an even more intense performance and recording (from October 1988) by these forces in London has been issued on the Testament label. Check it out: Brahms: Symphony No. 1; Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful orchestra playing beautiful music 29 July 2002
By E. Swanepoel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is indeed a good recording of this lovely symphony. I must agree with one of the reviewers that it might be short measure, but then again it is digital, Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic! It is well played all round and the sound that the orchestra makes is autumnal and refined, a very Brahmsian sound. There is nothing aggressive about this interpretation only excitement and fire when the music calls for it. Highly recommended.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Karajan late-in-life recording of the Brahms 1st Symphony 9 Sept. 2013
By jt52 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Johannes Brahms' dramatic, very personal 1st Symphony demands a very intense interpretation. Herbert von Karajan's 1987 recording done with the Berlin Philharmonic was the last of several commercial releases, done two years before the esteemed's conductor's demise. It is generally a good recording, with some excellent moments, but doesn't rise to the level of certain other great recordings.

The best part of this disc is the "Allegretto" scherzo-like movement (track 3) especially the "mittel-Europa" second theme in the scherzo, with its mournful klezmer-like quality brought out by the clarinets. Karajan and the BPO seem to take flight starting here, following up with some inspired playing in the finale. But there are "dead spots" as well. One particularly beautiful moment in this symphony is the flowing second subject in the Andante (mm. 30ff, about 2 minutes into the recording), played with a straight-forward neutrality that doesn't do justice to the music.

Keeping track of Karajan's different Brahms recordings is a task. By my count, Karajan made three recordings of the 1st symphony on DG with the Berlin Philharmonic alone. Karajan's earlier Berlin Phil. Brahms 1st from 1977/78 is maybe more inspired than this one. Sound quality of this 1987 recording is OK - a typical 1980s digital recording. In sum, this is a solid version from a conductor and orchestra who know how to play this music like the back of their hands. You can well enjoy this impassioned work through this CD, but there are better, more inspired versions. That said, the Allegretto is excellent.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great conductor and a great piece of music 29 Mar. 2005
By Eric Schultz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Karajan draws out the passion and the thunder that are meant to be experienced in Brahms' first Symphony. Contrary to other reviewers, I think that Karajan's baton evokes the power and the energy that this piece is meant to display - it is not supposed to be dry and crisp, like something you might listen to in the background. This symphony is supposed to be raw emotion, which cannot be dry and crisp. It is one of my favorites, along with Beethoven's 9th and 5th, and Mendelssohn's 3rd and 4th.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Symphony 24 Dec. 2013
By Cao Yong - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When I first listened Brahms' Symphonies twenty and more years ago, I was so moved by his rational emotion diffusing from his symphonies. Especially, his first symphony strikes me so deeply. And I preferred Karajan's versions. This CD will also be added into my collections.
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