Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Johannes Brahms, Claudio Abbado, Michael Steinberg|
Brahms: Symphonie No. 4; Haydn-Variationen; Nšnie
This last installment in Claudio Abbado's fine Brahms cycle has the same virtues as the previous recordings: excellent playing, fine recording, and an intensely lyrical response to the music that never precludes a healthy ... more »
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This last installment in Claudio Abbado's fine Brahms cycle has the same virtues as the previous recordings: excellent playing, fine recording, and an intensely lyrical response to the music that never precludes a healthy dose of energy where required. The high point of the cycle is the Third Symphony, followed by the Second. If you have those and wish to collect the others, they are not far behind in quality and you can buy this disc (and the one with the First Symphony) with complete confidence. The couplings are also very well done. --David Hurwitz
Spontaneous, exciting and beautiful performence
Po-yu Sung | Tauyuan, Taiwan | 07/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Brahms' 4th is an interesting work: very emotional atmosphere with a serious style. Abbado's reading successfully get balance of these two elements; the 1st mv. is beautiful, but also strong enough for the structure; BPO gave benefit to Abbado a lot in 2nd and 3rd mv., but they play incredibly in 4th mv. which is exciting and glorious. BPO proved again that Brahms symphonies are just a part of her.This piece is highly valued in Japen recently, and replace Kleiber's distinguished recording as the first one on the critics voting list; the critics also referee this piece the best among Abbado's high quality Brahms series. Before Abbado's, Furtwaengler's sentimental live performance was admire in oriental world; than Kleiber's resolute but vivid(even a little frenzied in 3rd mv.) digital recording became Bible of the 4th. Abbado's 4th may not be so characterful like those two, and therefore is not so "extreme" like them. That might easily direct to ordinary, but I think Abbado avoid this kind of danger successfully. If you start listening to Brahms recently, I personally recommend Abbado's recording as your first choice."
The slickest Brahms Fourth you can get.
Mark Decker | New York, NY | 12/11/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Abbado's reading is sleek and slick. The tempi are about perfect, though the third movement is a little slow. The fourth movement is amazingly strong, though the strings overpower everything else. One would wish for more brass. The biggest flaw of this recording is not Abbado's or the BPO, but the sound engineers. It suffers from severe digitis. The Digital recording turns what should be crackling timpani into a thudding muddle. You'd think they weren't pitched instruments. Any bass instruments tend to get melded into an amorphous bass sound. Hopefully remastering can fix this. In spite of that, the reading is thrilling in nearly every aspect, and the playing of the BPO has rarely been finer. This is a clean performance."
Great Way To Cap Off A Terrific Cycle!
dv_forever | Michigan, USA | 03/29/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have to say that this Brahms symphonic cycle is the best thing Abbado has done in Berlin and this Brahms 4th is top of the line in nearly every respect. In all seriousness, since Karajan and Carlos Kleiber there haven't been too many great performances of Brahms, nice of Abbado to fill the gap.
I give this 4 stars because I think that Carlos Kleiber's famous version is still better than Abbado, even though Abbado gets much more beautiful playing from the BPO, more beautiful than Kleiber received from the Vienna Philharmonic. You should own both to compare and contrast.
The ultimate Brahms 4th, in my opinion and I think this can be backed up by the opinions of many, is Furtwangler's cataclysmic performance during World War II. You can find that baby in a Brahms set on the Music and Arts label. The final Passacaglia under Furtwangler is soul wrenching, something that Abbado, Karajan or even Kleiber simply can't deliver. But you do need a digital, modern recording and Abbado easily fills that spot, the sound Deutsche Grammophon gives him is better than the sound they gave Carlos Kleiber just a few years prior to Abbado's recording.
The fill-ups are great too, especially the rarely heard choral piece Nanie. So grab this CD, just don't forget about Furtwangler if you want to here transcendental Brahms."