Simone Young / Philharmonic Orchestra of Hamburg

Brahms: Sinfonien 1-4

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Simone Young and the Hamburg Philharmonic have specialized in recording late Romantic repertoire for the Oehms Classics label, with a strong focus on the Viennese symphonies of Anton Bruckner and Johannes Brahms. While this might seem paradoxical to partisans who find no common ground between the two composers, the old Romantic wars have no place here, and Young has conducted their works with a clear understanding that shows no preferential treatment but an appreciation for the depth, richness, and originality of their music. Young's Bruckner cycle was released between 2007 and 2015, and the Brahms symphonies appeared intermittently between 2010 and 2013, and both have been released in box sets. This package contains Brahms' Symphonies, Nos. 1-4 and the Tragic Overture on three CDs, which is a change in format from the original releases on hybrid SACDs. The Hamburg Philharmonic's full sound gives a majesty and power to Brahms that traditionalists expect, in contrast with the leaner sound offered by historically informed interpretations, and while to some listeners Young's readings may seem conventional and predictable, her performances are full-blooded and energetic, and they are compelling for their passion, intense lyricism, and drama.

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