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Brahms: Symphony No. 2; Violin Concerto in D
Johannes Brahms, Charles Münch, Wilhelm Furtwängler
Brahms: Symphony No. 2; Violin Concerto in D
Genre: Classical


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The One Mic Special
Andre Gauthier | 05/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I first read of this recording in John Culshaw's book "Setting the Recording Straight". He talked of a symphonic recording at Kingsway Hall where Furtwangler insisted that there be only one microphone placed "here!". Well, I always wondered what that sounded like and now we can all hear it for the first time on CD (as far as I know). And, I think this recording finally completes my collection of Brahms symphonies conducted by this great man. It is also one of the only if not THE only recordings the conductor made with the LPO. And what a Brahms Second this is!! I love this symphony and have studied it for 40 years.

I can confidently state that literally every important detail has been given its due. The overall style is happily unsentimental and always beautiful. I don't think anyone familiar with Furtwangler could mistake the conductor with another if they heard this performance without knowing the maestro in advance. This performance is that rarest of things: unique.

Furtwangler indicated exact tempi in rehearsals by stomping on the floor! (Note a marvelous rehearsal of the Leonora Overture III with a Scandinavian orchestra.) He does that a few times in this performance. This recording on Dutton goes way up to the top in my collection of Brahms Seconds; had the excellent engineer only been allowed to use the six microphones he originalily wanted!!! Sigh. If you collect performances and don't really care about "hi-fi" this is a great buy!

My second choices amount to a three way tie between Jochum's later version with this same orchestra and Bohm's with Berlin from the early 50s. The Bohm is available as a single CD with a filler as is the Keilberth performance on Orfeo. Keilberth reveals that he was far more than an opera conductor from his performance alone."
Ossy Renardy Violinist
Andre Gauthier | 04/24/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Ossy Renardy died in his late thirties. This recording was made in 1948. I find this to be my favorite Brahms Violin Concerto.
I enjoy both the "dated" Orchestral "sound", and the beautiful feeling with which Renardy plays. It is sweet and sublime. It transports me. I don't have an opinion on the Symphony. But be prepared for an older style and sound on this disc."