Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Christian Thielemann|
Brahms: Symphonie Nr. 1; Beethoven: Ouvertüre Egmont
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Big, lovely sounds, but where's the inner drama?
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 05/15/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The first cut on this CD, Beethoven's Egmont Over., is played with gorgeous sonority, very well engineered, but after the stirring first chords, Thielemann allows the dramatic tension to droop. This has been my main objection to his conducting and the reason I can't get behind him as the next great German maestro. His readings too often lack inner vitalaity. I find the same problem with Karl Bohm, although Bohm's approach tended to be curt and abrupt at tis worst whereas Thielemann gained fame as a neo-Romantic (the sacred name of Furtwangler was even invoked.)
What he's turned into is a skilled technician who can marshall forces well but has no great insight that I, at least, can hear. The Egmont proceeds neatly and tamely to its conclusion without raising goosebumps the way it should. The main work here is the Brahms First, which is also notably laid back. The opening bars, with their fateful tread and sense of expectation, are played almost nonchalantly, and soon Thielemann lets the rhythmic impulse dawdle. He does manage to conduct on the grand scale so far as big sound goes, but my attention wandered.
Amazon reviews are mainly a cheering section, so I'll have to take my lumps for not calling this the greatest Brahms First ever. To my ears, it's a good performance with sensitive details and nice sound. Greatness eludes Thielemann by quite a distance, however."
Sparkling intelligence and prodigious sense of drama
Michael Waldstein | Ave Maria, Florida | 11/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Thielemann's recording of the Brahms First Symphony combines features that rarely come together in other conductors. A sparkling musical intelligence illumines each phrase and balances it carefully with the overall context, creating a sense of inevitable logic in the whole. At the same time, a powerful sense of dramatic emotion and depth pulses through the piece from beginning to end. The Brahms rendition that most closely resembles this achievement is Carlos Kleiber's Brahms Fourth. I put great hopes in the fruits of Thielemann's future work with the Staatskapelle Dresden."