Review by Edvin April 16, 2006 (8 of 10 found this review helpful)
|Turn the volume up and you are in the concert hall. The timpani twacks can almost be felt in your stomach, you can almost touch the brass. The listener is placed in front which means that there is an immediacy and closeness that does Brahms more favours than the opposite. Never before have so many details been heard in a recording of this symphony whilst maintaining an overall image. The orchestra is palpitable and so impressive in every way.
On my system the strings sound big, beefy and warm, nothing else.
Haitink has recorded this twice before but neither of them matches this. It is on another level altogether with an intensity and passion of a rejuvinated man. All the movements are perfectly timed with a blistering scherzo - loads of energy. This is a great, truly great performance from a conductor who seems to be experiencing something like an indian summer, not that he´s that old. The partnership with LSO is perfect and I wish that LSO Live would issue nos 1 & 2 on SACD as well. In comparison Bychkov is diet Brahms. I wonder how Haitink/LSO/Bruckner would sound...? His RCO Live 8 was rather dull.
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