Review by Luukas July 6, 2015 (4 of 5 found this review helpful)
|Brahms's gigantic First Symphony was hailed "Beethoven's Tenth" after the first performance. Brahms said himself: "It is difficult to work when I hear the giant's [Beethoven] footsteps behind me".
Brahms's First Symphony is my own favorite. I was a young boy - about six or seven years old - when I heard it at the first time. It did a great impression. My first CD was Riccardo Muti's approach with the Philadelphia Orchestra (Philips). My uncle gave it to me as a gift.
Martin Sieghart's account is quite similar: it is heavy and majestic. The approach's main line comes clear even at the beginning: the growing sorrowful theme is full of passion. The main theme - tempo marking: Allegro - is peaceful, but happily it isn't too slow.
Second movement is completely different. It contains many beautiful melodies. Sometimes the deep sound hides the most important things - the overall impression is traditional.
The recording's real culmination is the impressive finale. The main theme - which is written in C major - is (this is my opinion) the simplest musical idea, but still the one of the greatest. Mahler used this theme in his Third Symphony - the eight horns opening melody - but he changed it to the D minor.
Recording quality is detailed but sometimes too deep and muddy.
Recommended, but we have many better readings. Here I tell my own favorites:
- London Philharmonic Orchestra, Vladimir Jurowski (conductor), LPO (Live recording)
- The Philadelphia Orchestra, Riccardo Muti (conductor), Philips
- Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Eliahu Inbal (conductor), Exton (Live recording)
- Budapest Festival Orchestra, Ivan Fischer (conductor), Channel Classics
- Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Marek Janowski (conductor), Pentatone Classics
- Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Thomas Dausgaard (conductor), BIS
The choice is yours.
Was this review helpful to you?