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Discussion: Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 1 (arr. Schoenberg) - Albrecht

Posts: 24
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Post by fausto K July 20, 2015 (1 of 24)
I'm pleased to read, in Castor's site review, that this disc is a winner. While I think Schoenberg: Orchestral Works - Rattle is hard to beat in terms of interpretation and performance (and the stereo sound is great, in my opinion and on my equipment), and being a great fan of these works, I'm curious to hear these pieces in Pentatone's signature sound. Shame though that Pentatone hasn't included the 1st Chamber Symphony (or the 2nd, even). Could have easily fitted on the disc.

Post by Lute July 20, 2015 (2 of 24)
Good point about a filler. All the same I am very much in the mood for more Brahms.
Recently I have been revisiting Rittner's cycle of Brahms piano works.../search/Rittner+Brahms
How I do love those older pianos! But an orchestral work will do very nicely :)

Post by Ubertrout July 20, 2015 (3 of 24)
How does this compare to the Robert Craft / Chicago Symphony version in terms of performance? Obviously the Pentatone will sound better, although the DSD-mastered CD sonics on that one are pretty good as well.

Post by fausto K July 22, 2015 (4 of 24)
Ubertrout said:

How does this compare to the Robert Craft / Chicago Symphony version in terms of performance? Obviously the Pentatone will sound better, although the DSD-mastered CD sonics on that one are pretty good as well.

I don't know that particular Craft recording, nor do I know his later recording of the Brahms arrangement for Naxos. Craft is of course a Schoenberg specialist, but so is Rattle in my view. Albrecht's Berg: 3 Orchesterstücke, Altenberg - Christiane Iven is a fine (although not the best) recording of a comparable work, Berg's orchestral pieces, so with a better orchestra such as the Netherlands Philharmonic, I expect his recording of Schoenberg to be at least as equally fine.

Anyway, you'll miss out on the excellent Begleitungsmusik zu einer Lichtspielszene, if you don't go for this one or the Rattle disc.

Post by fausto K July 22, 2015 (5 of 24)
Lute said:

Good point about a filler. All the same I am very much in the mood for more Brahms.
Recently I have been revisiting Rittner's cycle of Brahms piano works.../search/Rittner+Brahms
How I do love those older pianos! But an orchestral work will do very nicely :)

I'm still waiting for those piano concertos from either Myrios, BIS or Channel. They have the pianists and the orchestras, so why not record it, instead of yet another Prokofiev or some obscure romantic composer?

With no choice among new SACD recordings, I'll instead be listening, with some trepidation, to the forthcoming REDBOOK Barenboim/Dudamel combo of both Brahms concertos. ("trepidation", because Dudamel and Brahms don't strike me as a natural fit)

Post by fausto K July 22, 2015 (6 of 24)
fausto K said:

... Shame though that Pentatone hasn't included the 1st Chamber Symphony (or the 2nd, even). Could have easily fitted on the disc.

I suggested earlier that ALbrecht could have included the 1st Chamber Symphony, but of course Rattle recorded the version for full orchestra, and Albrecht might have some thoughts/preferences regarding whether or not to record the Chamber Symphony in its full orchestral version. The Symphony isn't called Chamber Symphony for nothing, and some might think (myself included) that it is preferable in its original form, for a small ensemble of 15 solo instruments. That doesn't detract from the fact that barely 50 minutes of music for this disc is a bit meagre.

Post by sunnydaler July 22, 2015 (7 of 24)
Rattle's first go in Birmingham sounds more committed than his lukewarm Berlin remake.

Post by fausto K July 22, 2015 (8 of 24)
sunnydaler said:

Rattle's first go in Birmingham sounds more committed than his lukewarm Berlin remake.

I'm assuming you're talking about the Brahms arrangement. "Lukewarm" is hardly how I'd describe the Berlin recording.
Here's what they say at Arkivmusic with regard to the earlier Birmingham recording compared to the Berlin one:

"That set [i.e. the Birmingham recording] was reviewed in Fanfare 30:5 by James H. North, who found the performance of the orchestrated Brahms Quartet too cautious, and sluggish in spots. I donít know if James is any happier with this new performance, but the work has become something of a Rattle specialty, and I think this performance [i.e., the Berlin one] is a vast improvement over the first recording. To me, no Brahms specialist, it is delightfully over-the-top, and a prime example of late-Romantic excess (as well as quite a showpiece for the Berlin Philharmonic, particularly in the bravura finale)."

Indeed, "delightfully over-the-top" is precisely how I'd describe the Berlin performance. I can't compare the Berlin to the Birmingham recording and I don't know your definition of lukewarm, but lukewarm it ain't.

Post by Lute July 23, 2015 (9 of 24)
fausto K said:

I'm still waiting for those piano concertos from either Myrios, BIS or Channel. They have the pianists and the orchestras, so why not record it...

Yes, we are STILL WAITING for

NEW recordings of


BRAHMS'S PIANO CONCERTOS Nos. 1 and 2


on Mch/Stereo SACDs.



The mantra goes on.... :)

Post by fausto K July 24, 2015 (10 of 24)
Lute said:

Yes, we are STILL WAITING for

NEW recordings of


BRAHMS'S PIANO CONCERTOS Nos. 1 and 2


on Mch/Stereo SACDs.



The mantra goes on.... :)

It becomes a mantra, but Channel, BIS, or Myrios can stop it by just commissioning new recordings of these works. Are they even hearing us?

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