Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2; Tragic Overture; Variations on a Theme of Haydn / Gergiev

Album Summary

>Brahms, Johannes : Symphony no 1 in C minor, Op. 68
>Brahms, Johannes : Tragic Overture, Op. 81
>Brahms, Johannes : Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 73
>Brahms, Johannes : Variations on a Theme of Haydn for orchestra, Op. 56a "St. Anthony"
Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Valery Gergiev launches his Brahms symphony cycle with the London Symphony Orchestra with this disc featuring the first two symphonies. Also included are the Tragic Overture and the Haydn Variations, Brahms' first orchestral piece and the first set of independent variations for orchestra by any composer. The epic first symphony, portraying dignity and grandeur, was ecstatically received at its premier in 1876, and Brahms was soon heralded as one of the great symphonic masters. His second, with its joyful melodies and pastoral beauty, portrays a more relaxed tone than its predecessor. The Tragic Overture, on the other hand, is turbulent and tormented, with a powerful and magnificent energy. Gergiev's performances capture all of these varying moods, balancing clarity and drive with emotion and subtlety.

MusicWeb International, 21st October 2013
Gergiev keeps the tempi moving in all four movements [of the Second], and the first movement in particular has a fitting sense of flow to it...The Tragic Overture is suitably brooding...There is a pleasing legato feel to Gergiev's reading [of the Haydn Variations].

BBC Music Magazine, Christmas Issue 2013
Gergiev produces a gripping, architecturally secure account of the First Symphony: his rather ponderous tempo for the first-movement Allegro imparts a sort of baleful inevitability to its progress, and the finale's overall transition from darkness to light is vividly conveyed.

James Longstaffe, 14th October 2013
A beefy, big-boned, muscular account, Brahms as perhaps viewed through a Russian prism. To my ears it's Gergiev's experience in the opera house that really comes across, as he turns the symphonies into highly theatrical works... Such eccentricities would surely not work if the playing were not completely committed, but happily the LSO is on fine form.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Barbican, London.



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Works Details

>Brahms, Johannes : Symphony no 1 in C minor, Op. 68
  • Conductor: Valery Gergiev
  • Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Barbican, London (09/22/2012/10/11/2012)
  • Running Time: 48 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1855-1876

>Brahms, Johannes : Tragic Overture, Op. 81
  • Conductor: Valery Gergiev
  • Notes: Barbican, London (09/23/2012/10/13/2012)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1880-1881

>Brahms, Johannes : Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 73
  • Conductor: Valery Gergiev
  • Notes: Barbican, London (09/23/2012/10/13/2012)
  • Running Time: 44 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1877

>Brahms, Johannes : Variations on a Theme of Haydn for orchestra, Op. 56a "St. Anthony"
  • Conductor: Valery Gergiev
  • Notes: Barbican, London (12/11/2012/12/18/2012)
  • Running Time: 15 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1873