- Audio CD (13 Oct. 1997)
- Number of Discs: 3
- Format: Box set
- Label: CLASSICAL
- ASIN: B000000S8T
- Other Editions: Audio CD | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 105,952 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Brahms: The Symphonies etc Box set
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a shame because in terms of performance there is a plenty think about. Harnoncourt's No.1 easily trumps my Karajan, insofar as he doesn't succumb to the temptation to discharge the work's entire dramatic potential in the first 30 seconds. But also there is a good balance between the works narrative unfolding and it's underlying unity.
No.2 is new for me. A beautiful hymn to nature with clear references to Beethoven's Pastoral. For me however, the tender and dreamy delivery of the first three movements doesn't quite balance the intensity of the admittedly superbly swaggering finale.
Harnoncourt's No.3 is probably the one I have most difficulty with as it conflicts with expectations set up by my beloved James Levine version, Brahms: Symphony No. 3; Tragic Overture; Alto Rhapsody.Read more ›
"The Berlin Philharmonic has declined as an outfit exponentially since 1989. It was bankrupt when Rattle took over - indeed one must give (Sir Simon) credit for insisting that the musicians were paid before he took up tenure. The nadir was reached with the Dudamel’s Also Sprach Zarathustra. It is no coincidence that the Berlin Phil actually has no recording contract for the first time ever!"
For that and more I blame Abbado. What Valens was to Adrianople, what Heraclius was to Yarmouk, what Romanos IV Diogenes was to Manzikert, Uncle Claudio was to the Klang of the Berlin Philharmonic – and Sir Simon was never going to be the man to deliver redress. Hitherto, there had been two recordings that broadcast its decay like nothing else: Abbado’s Posthorn Serenade (Sony) from 1992 where the BP sounds like a glorified Chamber Orchestra of Europe; and Mehta’s bone-lazy tone-poems of Liszt from the middle of the decade. A triumvirate is now evident: Harnoncourt’s tubercular, unheroic, near-metronomic survey of Brahms from 1997 - and those are its good points!
First and foremost: I defy anyone to identify this orchestra as Karajan’s warhorse of yesteryear. Abbado and Rattle – among others – progressively untaught the BP to play Beethoven to the point that nowadays, it doesn’t know whether it’s Arthur or Martha or something in between when it’s asked to step up to the plate. The same is true of Brahms (and in saying this, I do not rate Rattle’s 2009 cycle with the BP). Here, the My Little Pony opening of the First Symphony – which is humorous in its own way – is a farewell to arms (don’t purchase this cycle until you’ve sampled it!).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
this is the best recording of the Brahms cycle I have ear.
As I am not a musician, so I could only say the recording-work it is really the best I have.
Nikolaus Harnoncourt's Brahmsian archaeological excursion into classical music is a mixed blessing, but one where its virtues outweigh its flaws. Read morePublished on 12 Aug. 2008 by John Kwok
Everyone babbles on and on abouth Harnoncourt's Brahms symphonies and, ahem, they are right! Excuse the analogy, but it's like hearing this music after it has been through the car... Read morePublished on 9 May 2008 by Mr. Mark A. Meldon
I own several performances of the Brahms symphonies and I have to say this one is head and shoulders above the rest: it's the one I keep returning to because it offers something... Read morePublished on 16 May 2006 by Eric Hulley