Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Johannes Brahms, Adrian Boult, Janet Baker|
Brahms: Serenades Nos. 1 & 2; Haydn Variations
Listen to Samples
Not muddy, boxy
Wayne A. | Belfast, Northern Ireland | 12/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"... and typically EMI semi-boxy, when EMI recordings got semi-boxy, which was a far worse problem with their domestic US LPs than ever on CD. The detailing otherwise is fine--no "mud" here. I doubt many listeners familiar with older recordings would notice or complain. If you've been raised on Technicolor digital then you shouldn't be listening to anything recorded before 1980 anyway as it will trouble your delicate ears and probably give you hives.
The selling point is the performances, which are marvelously Brahmsian in the old-school manner, meaning warm and humane, meaning far less straight-faced and titanic than, say, Klemperer's classic takes. This is easily my favorite set of the Serenades, and the other performances of Brahms standards are equally enjoyable. Boult had a knack for bringing out detail without being pedantic, which is the new-style of playing Brahms: as if he were Bach (in a funereal mood) trying to write Beethoven's symphonies for him.
Romantic without sentimentality is the way someone once put it (Condie Rice, in fact). That's what Brahms should sound like."
Lovely Brahms, more than adequate sound
Merlyn | St. Louis, MO USA | 01/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Boult's way with Brahms belongs to an older conducting tradition. It was romantic without being Romantic, expressive without being idiosyncratic. The Serenades are the highlight here, but the other music is really just as well performed. They will likely fill out holes in a Brahms collection. If the couplings please, you cannot do better than this at any price.
The sound. I believe these recordings date from circa 1970, plus or minus a few years. No, they are not digital quality. Yes, the sound is better than a lot of 1960-70 recordings. Were other sound engineers doing better quality during the same time? Yes.
For myself, I find the sound perfectly adequate. Considering the huge amount of repertoire in this set, the wonderful conducting, and the price, this is a competitor for first choice.
If you are really looking for only the Serenades, and don't mind higher prices, you can look for more recent recordings by a favorite conductor. But you will be missing out on Boult.
Many classical collectors concentrate on a list of repertoire, checking off the boxes as they add compositions. But I believe even a modest collection should also represent a variety of performance traditions. Boult's Brahms belongs there."