Simone Young / Hamburg State Philharmonic Orchestra

Brahms: Sinfonie Nr. 1

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Following a spate of exceptional super audio recordings of the symphonies of Anton Bruckner, this 2010 release of Johannes Brahms' Symphony No. 1 in C minor finds Simone Young exploring more familiar ground. While her previous performances hold interest chiefly because they presented Bruckner's music in the somewhat less established "Urfassung" or original versions, this recording of Brahms' First is as standard as any famous piece of classical music can be, and therefore it may not attract the attention that her Bruckner SACDs did. All the same, the depth of Young's interpretation and the high quality of the Hamburg Philharmonic's playing should draw listeners to this classic, because both combine to make it an exceptional listening experience. Young doesn't fall back on any predecessor's readings but comes to the music with fresh ideas of pacing and phrasing, and offers her personal grasp of the First's intellectual and emotional development. Add to this the fine clarity, glowing colors, depth of ensemble, and the richness of Oehms' reproduction, so this recording is in many ways a continuation of Young's outstanding work in the field of late Romantic symphonic music. Highly recommended.

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