Brahms: Symphonies Nos 1–4, Tragic Overture, Double Concerto & Serenade No 2

  • Catalogue Number LSO0070
    UPC 822231107026

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

    Symphony No 1 & Serenade No 2 recorded May 2003, Barbican, London
    Symphony No 2, Double Concerto & Tragic Overture recorded May 2003, Barbican, London
    Symphony No 3 recorded June 2004, Barbican, London
    Symphony No 4 recorded June 2004, Barbican, London

    DSD (Direct Stream Digital) recording
    Notes in English / en Francais / auf Deutsch

  • Best Recording ‘This is often called the sunniest of Brahms’s four symphonies, but the more you listen to it the more ambiguous and shadowy it seems.’
    The Telegraph

    Editor's Choice '[an] exceptional new disc ... imposing and beautifully shaded.' Gramophone, Symphony No 2 & Double Concerto

    Artistique 10 Technique 10 ClassicsTodayFrance.com
    Symphony No 4

    Benchmark Recording (Serenade No 2) 'A really beautiful performance of the second serenade ... A delight - this seems to me a new benchmark. It goes without saying that the playing is excellent.'
    BBC Music Magazine, Symphony No 3 & Serenade No 2

    'A ravishing CD ... a revelatory re-interpretation by an orchestra and conductor among the world's finest, on the very top of their form. Not a nuance is misjudged, as Haitink and the LSO takes us on a hair-raising version of the journey Brahms envisaged: long, scenic and never a dull moment.' The Observer, Symphony No 1 & Tragic Overture

    'The opening bars of the symphony, hammered out with real force and energy, set the tone for a fine, full-blooded performance ... hard to beat.'
    Mail on Sunday, Symphony No 1 & Tragic Overture

    'A classic recording.'
    The Independent, Symphony No 2 & Double Concerto

    'Scintillating ... The fact that it is a live recording adds a certain edge; and those of us lucky enough to be at either concert at the Barbican last May will recall all too vividly the blazing performances of the orchestra's leader Gordan Nikolitch and principal cellist Tim Hugh in the double concerto. A rapturous account of the second symphony rounds off a disc fully worthy of launching the orchestra's centenary year.'
    The Observer, Symphony No 2 & Double Concerto

    'Enchanting ... The sense we have here is of a musician re-discovering a piece he once loved and mistakenly thought he knew.'
    Gramophone, Symphony No 3 & Serenade No 2

    'The crowning glory of Bernard Haitink's Brahms cycle.' BBC Radio 3 CD Review, Symphony No 4

    'A glorious rendition ... It is also the last in Haitink's Brahms cycle for the orchestra's label, LSO Live, exceeding even the standards of it's predecessors in its slowly building tension, superb string sheen and breathtaking climax.' The Observer, Symphony No 4

    'This is the crowning instalment in a series ... This ranks with such classic Fourths as Kleiber's, Karajan's and Toscanini's.'
    Hi-Fi News, Symphony No 4

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Bernard Haitink, London Symphony Orchestra


After struggling for years to come to terms with his fear of comparison to Beethoven, Brahms finally completed his First Symphony at the age of 43. It was hailed as a triumph and the remaining symphonies followed relatively easily.

Composer   Brahms
Conductor   Bernard Haitink
Performers   London Symphony Orchestra
Soloists   Gordan Nikolitch, Tim Hugh

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 in D Minor

Disc 2
1. Concerto for Violin and Cello in A Minor: I. Allegro
2. Concerto for Violin and Cello in A Minor: II. Andante
3. Concerto for Violin and Cello in A Minor: III. Vivace non troppo
4. Symphony No 2 in D Major: I. Allegro non troppo
5. Symphony No 2 in D Major: II. Adagio non troppo
6. Symphony No 2 in D Major: III. Allegretto grazioso
7. Symphony No 2 in D Major: IV. Allegro con spirito

Disc 3
1. Serenade No 2 in A-Flat Major: I. Allegro moderato
2. Serenade No 2 in A-Flat Major: II. Scherzo vivace
3. Serenade No 2 in A-Flat Major: III. Adagio non troppo
4. Serenade No 2 in A-Flat Major: IV. Quasi menuetto
5. Serenade No 2 in A-Flat Major: V. Rondo: Allegro
6. Symphony No 3 in F Major: I. Allegro con brio
7. Symphony No 3 in F Major: II. Andante
8. Symphony No 3 in F Major, Op 90: III. Poco allegretto
9. Symphony No 3 in F Major, Op 90: IV. Allegro

Disc 4
1. Symphony No 4 in E Minor: I. Allegro non troppo
2. Symphony No 4 in E Minor: II. Andante moderato
3. Symphony No 4 in E Minor: III. Allegro giocoso
4. Symphony No 4 in E Minor: IV. Allegro energico e passionato

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