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Brahms: Symphonies Nos 1 & 2, Tragic Overture, Variations on a Theme of Haydn

  • 2SACD/digital

    Catalogue Number LSO0733
    UPC 822231173328

    James Mallinson producer
    Jonathan Stokes & Neil Hutchinson for Classic Sound Ltd
    balance engineers

    Recorded live at the Barbican, September, October & December 2012
    DSD (direct stream digital) recording

    Stereo and multi-channel 5.1
    Jewel case with 16pp booklet. Notes in English, French and German

  • **** Performance **** Recording ‘This Brahms double album enshrines performances that Valery Gergiev gave with the LSO at the Barbican in the latter months of 2012, and they richly deserved preservation. Gergiev produces a gripping, architecturally secure account of the First Symphony … Gergiev’s account of the Second … is refined and sensitive.’ BBC Music Magazine

    'These performances are beautifully prepared. Buy with confidence. It’s straight ahead, brilliant Brahms.'

    **** ‘Gergiev finally gets around to Brahms, and continues to impress and surprise … The sound keeps getting better and better the longer LSO Live goes at it.’ Audiophile Audition

    'This is the most compelling new recording of the First that I've heard in a long time... All four pieces show that Gergiev has a point of view in Brahms. Whether you agree with it wholly or not, this is what makes these performances so good. Gergiev's way with Brahms - broad, lush, passionate - is not the only way; but it is consistent and very enjoyable...' American Record Guide

    ‘… Valery Gergiev strides on stage, throws down the gauntlet, and accomplishes a coup, declaring himself a major new Brahms interpreter to be contended with … this is very strongly recommended.’ Fanfare


Valery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra

Valery Gergiev begins his Brahms symphony cycle with recordings of the first two symphonies, Tragic Overture and Haydn Variations. The recording and performances of Brahms’ symphonies was a new departure for Gergiev, an opportunity he relished with energy and enthusiasm, and his interpretations have been acknowledged for shining new light on these works. The symphonies were toured internationally, including the Edinburgh International Festival in 2012.

The Haydn Variations was Brahms’ first orchestral piece, and was the first set of independent variations for orchestra by any composer. His 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 symphony, 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.

Watch the video trailer here

Composer   Brahms
Conductor   Valery Gergiev
Performers   London Symphony Orchestra

Track list
Disc 1
1. Symphony No 1 in C Minor: I. Un poco sostenuto – Allegro
2. Symphony No 1 in C Minor: II. Andante sostenuto
3. Symphony No 1 in C Minor: III. Un poco allegretto e grazioso
4. Symphony No 1 in C Minor: IV. Adagio – Allegro non troppo, ma con brio
5. Tragic Overture

Disc 2
1. Symphony No 2 in D Major: I. Allegro non troppo
2. Symphony No 2 in D Major: II. Adagio non troppo
3. Symphony No 2 in D Major: III. Allegretto grazioso (quasi andantino)
4. Symphony No 2 in D Major: IV. Allegro con spirito
5. Variations on a Theme of Haydn: I. Thema - Chorale St. Antoni - Andante
6. Variations on a Theme of Haydn: II. Variation I, Poco più animato
7. Variations on a Theme of Haydn: III. Variation II, Più vivace
8. Variations on a Theme of Haydn: IV. Variation III, Con moto
9. Variations on a Theme of Haydn: V. Variation IV, Andante con moto
10. Variations on a Theme of Haydn: VI. Variation V, Vivace
11. Variations on a Theme of Haydn: VII. Variation VI, Vivace
12. Variations on a Theme of Haydn: VIII. Variation VII, Grazioso
13. Variations on a Theme of Haydn: IX. Variation VIII, Presto non troppo
14. Variations on a Theme of Haydn: X. Finale, Andante

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