Brahms 1 – Still Looking

Following my previous post, I was thinking to myself, what if somebody asks you for a recording in stereo? Not everybody is willing to put up with a mono recording. Well, my recommendation goes to Otto Klemperer in this case (Philharmonia on EMI).

Next question: what if I want a recording that is less than 50 years old? And here I get in trouble. While there are decent contemporary recordings out there of the Brahms Symphonies, like the recent cycles from Chailly (very straightforward, but some excellent insights) to Thielemann, none of them get it fully right for no.1. Same goes for Gardiner and Dausgaard, that I admire on so many other recordings, e.g. Schumann. Both relatively recent Berlin Phil recordings with Rattle and Abbado leave me cold.

In the end, I’m hoping one of my current favorite next generation conductors will pick this up and just hit the same level of energy as now 64 years ago in Berlin. Good candidates for this are Nezet-Séguin (although he tends to be speedy) and Paavo Järvi, who’s Beethoven cycle with the Bremen Kammerphilharmonie is outstanding. Or Andris Nelsons with the BSO. Well, fingers crossed.

In the meantime, I’ll just live with a mono recording.

 

P.S. (October 2016), somebody pointed me to this live recording by Klaus Tennstedt with the LPO. Still, no replacement for Furtwängler, but at least getting the idea:

 

Brahms Symphony No. 1 No. 3 Klaus Tennstedt London Philharmonic BBC

 

You can find it here (Qobuz) and here (Prestoclassical)

 

And I’ll keep my eye open for future releases.

5 thoughts on “Brahms 1 – Still Looking

  1. Anonymous

    Holy cow – 30 – really? You amaze me. Nice comments – with which I must concur. Especially the last para.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Musicophile Post author

      Well, with everything on the computer now and well organized tagging it’s relatively easy to keep track. And yes, it’s a bit crazy about this work.

      Like

      Reply
  2. sdtom

    There is nothing wrong with a good mono recording. Find a good single speaker and a mono amp and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Musicophile Post author

      Fully agree that mono is not bad per se, and especially the BPO recording is rather decent from a sound quality point of view, in spite of being from 1951. I enjoy it even on my regular stereo system.

      That said, if you can combine an outstanding interpretation with stellar recording technique it is just an extra pleasure.

      Like

      Reply
  3. Pingback: Musicophile’s 25 Essential Classical Music Albums – Part I | musicophilesblog – From Keith Jarrett to Johannes Brahms

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s