“Abbado’s approach to Brahms is generally direct, but his control of rhythm and phrase makes the performance instantly compelling” – The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs
…got this for the Brahms, which is at best a thoroughly decent performance, nothing more - but the highlight is the excellent Beethoven. The ratings reflect the dichotomy of the two performances and their sonics, an average of 4 for sound seems fair - but the Beethoven warrants a 5 for performance.
Admirers of Karajan will probably own most or all of these symphony cycles from what was probably the pinnacle of the conductor's prolific career. However, if you are unfamiliar with Karajan's work, or well enough acquainted with it to desire further exploration, then this amazingly inexpensive anthology can be enthusiastically recommended. I purchased all of these sets when they came out in DG's previous mid-priced "Karajan Symphony Edition," and I can testify to their consistently oustanding quality, both as performances and as interpretations. As recordings, however, it must be admitted that the sound is of variable quality; sometimes admirably vivid and well balanced, but frequently tending toward harshness, even garishness–particularly in those which come from the early digital era (cf. Bruckner's symphonies 1-3). Too bad Universal didn't see fit to give this magnificent legacy a sonic facelift. Still, the performances are sufficiently worthy of your attention to warrant purchase regardless of these sonic limitations.
Ossy Renardy's real name was Oskar Reiss, but when touring Italy as a young teenager, he changed his name - on the instigation of his first manager - into Ossy Renardy. This artist's name should give him more fame than the serious and stiff Viennese 'Oskar Reiss'
The final release of the George Enescu (1881-1955) symphony cycle includes two neglected masterpieces: the 1st Symphony filled with youthful energy and the poetic and lyric Symphonie concertante for Cello and Orchestra. The soloist of the Symphony concertante is the award-winning cellist Truls Mørk. Enescu wrote both of the works at a relatively young age: the Symphonie concertante was written at the age of 20 and the 1st Symphony was premiered when the composer was 25 years of age. Even so, Enescu had already created himself an impressive career as a composer with several large-scale works.
Ernst Krenek is an up and coming composer the way I hear him. He should be at least ten times more popular than he is. When you listen to his first symphony you can hear the serial roots from which it is inspired. Yet it is far from a cold and calculated work. It is multi-dimensional with both serious and humorous personalities. It is said that Krenek had too many musical personalities in his long career and life (1900-1991). But I like to think ……Dmitri @Amazon.com
A Masterful Performance - This performance of Mahler's first symphony must rank among the interpretations of Walter, Bernstein, Horenstein, all great Mahler conducters. Lorin Maazel's tempos are always intriguing, at times slower than the norm, other times, faster. Never a dull moment in this, or any of the other Mahler Symphonies recorded by Maazel with the Vienna Philharmonic on their 150th Anniversary. Regarding the orchestra itself, it must be the ultimate Mahler orchestra, the string sections a perfect example of musical warmth and the brass a terrific example of power. If you can find the entire set as it was released originally, as 14 Compact Discs, please buy it, the performances are worthy of the extra money. If you cannot find it, purchase the symphonies separately as Sony re-releases them. Definitely worth it for these amazing performances. - from Amazon.com