Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Brahms, Schumann, Levine|
RCA Victor Basic 100, Vol. 31- Brahms: Symphony No. 3 / Schumann: Symphony No. 1
John K. Casey | Palm Beach, FL, USA | 11/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a shame this wonderful performance of Brahms F major symphony is no longer available. I first got to know it when it was on LP. No other rendition comes close to exploiting both the powerful forward momentum of the outer movements and the gentle lyricism of the two middle sections. Levine has conceptualized everything right, and the orchestra follows his lead completely. The only other recording of this piece that is of comparable excellence is George Szell's with the Cleveland Orchestra... and we all know who taught Levine to conduct!
The Schumann "Spring" Symphony is also first class, and the engineers do justice to the beautiful playing of the Philadelphians."
The young Levine at his most spontaneous and thrilling
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 02/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"James Levine has been amply lauded for his talents, but thanks to his long tenure at the Met, he isn't identified with orchestral conducting. but this Brahms Third is wihtout doubt the best ever recorded by an American, and that isn't excluding Leonard Bernsstein, himself a great Brahmsian. Levine is explosive, passionate, and spontaneous to a degree that even Bernstein can't match. The CSO plays with tremendous vitality and commitment -- we tend to forget that Levine was in charge of the Ravinia Festival for a decade beginning in the Seventies, and Solti's orchestra adapts to his more flexible, emotional style with ease. The Third can sound unvaried in other hands, but Levine sharply characterizes all four movements. BMG Sony is crazy not to remaster all of Levine's Brahms with the CSO, of which this Third and the First are the two high points.
Levine is also a great Schumann interpreter, favoring the thrust and power of his mentor Szell, but adding more emotion and heroism. Again, BMG has deleted the complete cycle with Philadelphia, but between this Sym. #1 and a midprice Sym. #2 and #4, you can acquire all but the Rhenish. Given what we hear on this CD, posterity may well look back and declare Levine the equal of Bernstein in the smal pantheon of American-born maestros."