Brahms: The Symphonies

Riccardo Chailly

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Brahms: The Symphonies Review

by Blair Sanderson

For most listeners' purposes, Riccardo Chailly's set of Johannes Brahms' four symphonies will seem standard-issue, with respectable and uncontroversial interpretations from an esteemed conductor, and rich and resonant performances by the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Even in the choice of filler pieces, the set includes the three orchestral works that are usually packaged with the symphonies: the Tragic Overture, the Haydn Variations, and the Academic Festival Overture. However, this set offers welcome suprises and extra value for the purchase. Two orchestral arrangements of the Interludes, Opp. 116 and 117 for piano, are included, along with instrumental versions of a handful of Liebeslieder Waltzes and three of the orchestrated Hungarian Dances, which may be incentives to listeners who are looking for a little more. Also included are Brahms' original version of the Andante of the First Symphony and the alternate opening of the Fourth. But no one should invest in a set solely on the basis of these extras, however unusual they may be. Since first recording the cycle with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, where he offered a rather heavy-handed modern take on the symphonies, Chailly has gone back to an older, more historically informed style of playing Brahms that was familiar to conductors of the early 20th century. The music is lighter and more transparent, so in some ways, his recordings are sometimes reminiscent of classic performances by Bruno Walter, George Szell, and other revered conductors. For traditionalists, this is a fine set to own, especially if a fresh digital recording is needed.

Track Listing - Disc 3

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Riccardo Chailly 12:46 SpotifyAmazon
2 Riccardo Chailly 04:41 SpotifyAmazon
3 Riccardo Chailly 04:49 SpotifyAmazon
Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56a
4 Riccardo Chailly 01:54 SpotifyAmazon
5 Riccardo Chailly 01:14 SpotifyAmazon
6 Riccardo Chailly 00:54 SpotifyAmazon
7 Riccardo Chailly 01:39 SpotifyAmazon
8 Riccardo Chailly 01:55 SpotifyAmazon
9 Riccardo Chailly 00:51 SpotifyAmazon
10 Riccardo Chailly 01:05 SpotifyAmazon
11 Riccardo Chailly 02:31 SpotifyAmazon
12 Riccardo Chailly 00:59 SpotifyAmazon
13 Riccardo Chailly 03:45 SpotifyAmazon
14 Riccardo Chailly 01:12 SpotifyAmazon
15 Riccardo Chailly 00:44 SpotifyAmazon
16 Riccardo Chailly 00:43 SpotifyAmazon
17 Riccardo Chailly 02:40 SpotifyAmazon
18 Riccardo Chailly 01:42 SpotifyAmazon
19 Riccardo Chailly 01:25 SpotifyAmazon
20 Riccardo Chailly 00:52 SpotifyAmazon
21 Riccardo Chailly 01:26 SpotifyAmazon
22 Riccardo Chailly 02:15 SpotifyAmazon
Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68
23 Riccardo Chailly 08:23 SpotifyAmazon
24 Riccardo Chailly 09:24 SpotifyAmazon
Hungarian Dances
25 Riccardo Chailly 02:53 SpotifyAmazon
26 Riccardo Chailly 02:09 SpotifyAmazon
27 Riccardo Chailly 01:54 SpotifyAmazon
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