Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Johannes Brahms, Otto Klemperer, Christa Ludwig|
Brahms: Symphony No. 1; Tragic Overture; Alto Rhapsody
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This is the one you want
Christopher Smith | Atlanta, Georgia | 01/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Every classical collection should have this Brahms symphony, so it just comes down to which one to buy. Go no further than Klemperer my friend. From the bruising opening (where the relentless percussive beat is placed well out in front of the strings), through to the gorgeously melancholy french horn (THIS is how it should be played, and it took so long for me to find it!) that takes you into the finale, Klemperer never loses his grip on the pathos, drama and ultimate triumph this symphony represents. It's a beautifully paced interpretation, and the sound is incredible for a '50's recording. After you hear it, you'll be unable to imagine it being conducted any other way. With the Alto Rhapsody and the Tragic Overture, it's also an incredible bargain. Brahms's First is one of the foundational pieces of my collection, so I have four (wierd but true) other recordings of this symphony (Karajan, Bernstein, Abbado, and Mackerras), and they all have wonderful features; however, they're all heading for trade-in heaven, since I can't imagine listening to them again without perceiving flaws in their respective conceptions once they're set against Klemperer. Reward yourself; you'll want this one to stay with you a lifetime."
Erquicke sein Herz!
katja_r | 12/31/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an awe-inspiring recording. Dr Otto Klemperer (1885-1973) conducted the Tragische Ouvertüre shortly after his wife, Johanna, had passed away. Perhaps, that is part of what contributes to its powerful emotional statement. The notes written by Robin Golding inform that this and the Academic Festival Overture were written "almost simultaneously." Apparently, Brahms (1833-1897), having written a "very jolly Academic Festival Overture", could not deny his "melancholy disposition the compensation of writing a Tragedy overture." The tragic motif, so severe in its presentation, certainly compensates for anything joyous. Under the steady and sure hand of Dr Klemperer, I am swept away by the broad range of emotions. At about three-quarters through, there is almost a resolution. This, however, is only fleeting as tension and strife complete the overture. I like this interpretation because the strings are balanced by the winds and the rhythm is sharp and precise. The Alt-Rhapsodie was recorded five years later in 1962. It features the highly revered mezzo-soprano Ms Christa Ludwig. The Symphonie Nr.1, according to Mr John Lucas, was performed during the weeks before and after Dr Klemperer's deathbed visit with Johanna. Knowing of this human tragedy only makes the symphony more compelling. If you are familiar with the work of Dr Otto Klemperer, this CD will not disappoint. On the other hand, if you are not, this CD will start your Brahms' collection at the high-water mark."
None better, but one among many fine recordings
Tom Gossard | Los Angeles, CA United States | 12/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Klemperer is among my favorite conductors and his Brahms First is among the best, but I favor owning more than just one recording. Many oustanding ones are available, each with it's strongly individual point of view. Klemperer's for me is a noble reading with astonishing craft, integrity and transparency and great solo and ensemble playing, yet is also classically restrained and sober. His reading may not satisfy everyone. Equally fine is Walter's that for me is more passionately lyrical, lovingly phrased and full of sentiment in the best sense of the word. Toscanini's with NBC Symphony (I haven't heard his other recording, with the same orchestra as Klemperer's) has a taut, tensile lyricism, eloquent and intensely dramatic. Furtwaengler's is characteristically mystical sounding and emotionally compelling. In sum, Brahms is worthy of many points of view. Klemperer's isn't the only possible approach. If it doesn't satisfy you, keep shopping! :)"