Brahms: Symphonies Nos 3 & 4
Valery Gergiev conductor
Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra bring to a close their celebrated Brahms’ cycle with the release of Brahms Symphonies No 3 and 4.
Brahms is often associated with the idea of abstract music, free of literary models or autobiography, but with the third the composer wrote in many ways his most personal symphony.
Composed at a mountain retreat in 1884, about a year after
completing the third, Brahms’ architectural musical skill is nowhere more evident than in his fourth and final symphony, employing Baroque contrapuntal techniques and chromatic labyrinths and described by Hans von Bülow as having the feeling of ‘being given a beating by two incredibly intelligent people.’
- Brahms Symphonies Nos 3 & 4 (pdf, 598kB)
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‘This pairing of Brahms’s Third and Fourth conducted by Gergiev is a great example of how a recording can have both focus and a live ambience.’ Gramophone (High Fidelity - Month Test Disc)
‘The total package is quite seductive; in fact, both of these are among my favourite recordings of the Brahms symphonies.’ Fanfare
‘When passion and logical forms collide he (Gergiev) inevitably rises to the occasion.’ Audiophile Audition
‘Gergiev’s powerful performance of the Brahms 3rd Symphony is quite impressive with some notably fine wind and brass playing throughout from the LSO and his division of violins antiphonally helps to keep the textures of Brahms’s more densely scored passages clear.’ Classical CD Choice
‘…the Third demonstrates resilience and muscularity, and in the vaulting and all-important theme of the first movement an undeniable sweep, relaxing most invitingly into the mellifluous clarinet of the second subject.’ Gramophone
***Performance ***Recording BBC Music Magazine
‘Brahms is another composer that needs a fine balancing act between restraint and passion, and the Symphony no. 4 is the most perfect example of this duality in his orchestral music. If performed as it was by the Gergiev and the LSO, it sounded strangely reminiscent of Wagner or Bruckner, but with many fewer of the former’s longueurs or the obsessive “logic” of the latter. It certainly put paid to Britten’s insistence that Brahms’ music was “dull”, “stolid”, “pretentious”. There was not, as you might be forgiven for expecting, a touch of
Tchaikovsky or even a Russian accent.’ Bachtrack.com
Valery Gergiev conductor
London Symphony Orchestra
SACD/digital LSO0737 (822231173724)
James Mallinson, producer
Jonathan Stokes for Classic Sound Ltd, engineering, mixing & mastering.
Jonathan Stokes & Neil Hutchinson for Classic Sound Ltd, editing
DSD recording, live at the Barbican, Symphony 3 11 & 18th December 2012, Symphony 4 12 & 19 December 2012
2.0 Stereo and multi-channel 5.0
Total playing time 76m
Jewel case with clear tray. 16pp booklet. Notes in English, French and German.