Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Franz Crass, Johannes Brahms, Wolfgang Sawallisch|
Johannes Brahms: Choral Works And Overtures
Good Requiem....Excellent overtures
kv581 | Durham, NC United States | 04/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One does not normally associate Sawallisch to Brahms. At the same time, Vienna Symphony Orchestra (not to be confused with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra) is hardly a world-class orchestra. However, these recordings remind us how careful we must be when making such broad generalizations.Unfortunately, Sawallisch's German Requiem faces strong competition from Klemperer, Karajan, and Gardiner (among many others). While Sawallisch's version ultimately falls short among such esteemed company, it is still quite good. Like the Klemperer, Sawallisch's tempi are quite fast. In that sense, I find this recording to be a good addition to the slower, more contemplative versions out there, like the Karajan on DG Galleria. Unfortunately, the weakest point of the recording is its soprano Wilma Lipp, whose wide vibrato does not suit such a glorious choral work well. Another possible flaw lies with the chorus, which sounds a bit too tepid at times. Also, the chorus is a bit inaccurate in some of the more challenging passages. The recording, however, is excellent. I could not detect much distortion (if any) even at climaxes. Incidentally, distortion during loud passages is probably the only thing that keeps me back from recommending the Klemperer recording wholeheartedly. For some reason, these distortions happen more frequently in choral recordings than purely orchestral ones. No matter, Philips did a great job with this recording, and one cannot hear such distortions (though there IS still some audible tape hiss).The 2nd disk is the true bargain here. The two vocal pieces are very good, especially the Alto Rhapsody. The overtures tend to be on the brisk side but are nonetheless convincing. My absolute favorite here is the Haydn Variations. The all-important wind lines are properly highlighted without losing the warmth of the strings. The result is a crystal clear portrayal of the Variations that is yet full of the Brahmsian flavor.In all, this is a great deal. While Sawallisch's German Requiem is not one of the top versions available, treasures from the second CD more than make up for the lapse. At the Duo price, this is one bargain not to be missed."