Brahms 1st symphony - is there a really outstanding version that can match Furtwängler?

54 posts / 0 new
Last post
Brahms 1st symphony - is there a really outstanding version that can match Furtwängler?

First post on this forum. I've been reading for a while, but never signed up.

 

I've recently started a little blog on classical music and jazz, more for my personal benefit as diary and thinking tool (if you're interested: musicophilesblog.com). 

 

In one of my first posts I was talking about Brahms 1st symphony, which remains my favorite symphony of all times. And then, going through all my versions, I was trying to find a contemporary version that has the same power, gravitas, energy, especially in the first movement, as my favorite Furtwängler (hesitating between Berlin and Hamburg for the latter).

 

And to my disappointment, I couldn't find any. What would be your recommendation for a contemporary (i.e. last 10-15 years) recording of Brahms 1? I know Brahms symphonies have been discussed several times before, but I haven't really found what I'm looking for. 

Musicophilesblog.com

Brahms 1st symphony

Don't know the Furtwangler but my own favourites include Boult (EMI CD), Horenstein/LSO (superb Decca recorded Chesky LP), Loughran/Halle (CFP LP), or for a more recent recording Alsop/LPO (Naxos).

 

Nick

I don't think I have any very

I don't think I have any very contemporary recordings but Wand (DSO Berlin) is quite powerful, weightly and fiery and Sanderling (Berlin S) has the gravitas. Or possibly Tennstedt (LPO) fits the bill. I think you probably need to give us an idea of who you have already rejected!

 

Ted

 

TedR wrote:

TedR wrote:

I don't think I have any very contemporary recordings but Wand (DSO Berlin) is quite powerful, weightly and fiery and Sanderling (Berlin S) has the gravitas. Or possibly Tennstedt (LPO) fits the bill. I think you probably need to give us an idea of who you have already rejected!

 

Ted

 

Rejected is too harsh a word, I'm generally a big Wand fan for example, but his Brahms 1 the intro just feels to rushed. 

 

For context, for those who don't know the Furtwängler recordings, here's the Hamburg version:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IplK8GgSmIA

 

Other contemporary versions I have or have heard that are good but do not corresponding to my "ideal" image of especially the first movement include Chailly (although I really like 2-4 from him), Dausgaard, Rattle, Abbado, Wand (as mentioned above),  and Ivan Fischer. Here' I'm listing only the "contemporary" versions, not talking Szell, Solti, Karajan or Giulini.

 

I really need to look into both Tennstedt and Sanderling, both aren't really on my conductor radar screen, I have very few recordings from them. Will certainly report back. Thanks!

Musicophilesblog.com

Reference standard.

If you start with the statement that Furtwangler is your reference, there is no way out, since, even if some more modern recording can have some common features, none can be even close to your "original".

Anyhow, for me there are quite a few very good recordings the last 30 years or so (e.g. Janowski on Pentatone is both brilliantly recorded and performed), but the very interesting thing is to find and appreciate the beauty and significance in each one of them (and how each one of them adds something new in the various aspects of the work) rather than pick one as a sort of reference and, then, judge the others on this basis.

Parla

33lp wrote:

33lp wrote:

Don't know the Furtwangler but my own favourites include Boult (EMI CD), Horenstein/LSO (superb Decca recorded Chesky LP), Loughran/Halle (CFP LP), or for a more recent recording Alsop/LPO (Naxos).

 

I only recently discoverd the Alsop recording, and it really goes into the "right" direction (for me), but is not 100% there yet. 

 

And although I was looking primarly for a contemporary version, I'll certainly look into Horenstein and Loughran (one can never have too many Brahms 1). 

 

Nick

Musicophilesblog.com

For reference

Hi parla,

If the score is precise, and a recording comes closest to that value, it should be sort of a reference, no?

Two more

Owning and knowing both Furtwängler mentioned (DG BPO on LP/ Japanese CD & Hamburg 1951 on Tahra CD which sounds a little more neurotic, not necessarily a bad thing), I would say two more of my favorite B1; Takashi Asahina with Osaka Phil on Canyon, which I believe is out of print unfortunately (I have another with Tokyo Metropolitan SO - Fontec, which is awesome but in the end too outsized), and Daniel Bareboim's 2010 Europa concert given at Oxford (on DVD).

DDG

parla wrote:

parla wrote:

If you start with the statement that Furtwangler is your reference, there is no way out, since, even if some more modern recording can have some common features, none can be even close to your "original".

Anyhow, for me there are quite a few very good recordings the last 30 years or so (e.g. Janowski on Pentatone is both brilliantly recorded and performed), but the very interesting thing is to find and appreciate the beauty and significance in each one of them (and how each one of them adds something new in the various aspects of the work) rather than pick one as a sort of reference and, then, judge the others on this basis.

Parla

Parla,

 

I fully agree with your statement, and that's why I keep adding new performances to my collection. 

 

What I'm trying to achieve here is very simple. I feel very emotionally connected to the Furtwänger performance, but would love to feel the same intense emotional connection to a recording with modern recording technique. 

 

I checked out the Janowski, and it looks very tempting. 

Musicophilesblog.com

botari wrote:

botari wrote:

Owning and knowing both Furtwängler mentioned (DG BPO on LP/ Japanese CD & Hamburg 1951 on Tahra CD which sounds a little more neurotic, not necessarily a bad thing), I would say two more of my favorite B1; Takashi Asahina with Osaka Phil on Canyon, which I believe is out of print unfortunately (I have another with Tokyo Metropolitan SO - Fontec, which is awesome but in the end too outsized), and Daniel Bareboim's 2010 Europa concert given at Oxford (on DVD).

DDG

Love your "neurotic" comment about the Hamburg performance, it's true, the BPO is more mainstream. 

 

Is this the Asahina recording you're referring to? 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJd8AN8aK-A

 

That indeed gets very close to what I'm looking for. 

 

Do you have a source for the Barenboim?

Musicophilesblog.com

For a sort of reference.

"A sort of reference", yes. Not, the reference. A recording cannot cover all the potential aspects of a score. Nor a conductor (even with the best orchestra in the world). Performances and, to some extent (depending on the quality of the production) recordings, constitute aspects of the truth, in the best possible case.

Parla

Pages

Log in or register to post comments

Gramophone Subscriptions

From£67/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2019