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Brahms: Symphony No. 2 / Serenade No. 2
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Brahms: Symphony No. 2 / Serenade No. 2

27 juillet 1990 | Format : MP3

EUR 7,99 (TVA incluse le cas échéant)
Également disponible en format CD

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x98e58e04) étoiles sur 5 1 commentaire
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HASH(0x98e5b66c) étoiles sur 5 Excellent Serenade, for the Symphony turn to Alsop 24 juillet 2009
Par Leslie Richford - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: CD
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897): Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73; Serenade No. 2 in A major for small orchestra, Op. 16. Performed by the BRT (Belgian Radio and Television) Philharmonic Orchestra, Brussels, directed by Alexander Rahbari. Recorded in 1990 in Brussels, Belgium. Total playing time: 71'29".

Naxos have since re-recorded the Brahms symphonies with the well-known London Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by Marin Alsop (Brahms: Symphony No. 2 - Hungarian Dances ), and if you are looking for Symphony No. 2 at the Naxos price, I suggest you go there: the newer version has better strings, better engineering and a better understanding of Brahms on the part of the conductor. That, however, does not by any means indicate that the Rahbari recording is bad - it is not. Iranian-Austrian conductor Rahbari leads his Belgian orchestra through a well-organized and well-structured performance which, had I not heard the Alsop, would have left me (as a non-expert in these matters) quite satisfied. The only proviso would have been the slightly murky sound (when listening on a standard hifi system), but this became, for some reason, a good deal better when listening on quality headphones or, after ripping the CD, on my computer (using itunes and a Creative soundcard with the EAX functions all turned off).

But where this CD really scores is with Brahms' Second Serenade, written almost 20 years earlier than the Symphony, probably while Brahms was working in the West German city of Detmold and intended for a smaller-than-usual orchestra dominated by the violas, the clarinets and the oboes. This five-movement work is not a typical serenade, being considerably more substantial than one would expect, but at the same time it does not quite achieve symphonic status. The smaller forces involved and the strength of the BRT Philharmonic's winds make this recording one to be desired, with the weaknesses of the Naxos engineering practically disappearing. Brahms's serenades are not heard too often today, and this disc gives an opportunity to hear a work that, despite its dark colours (thanks mainly to the leading role given to the violas), exudes a certain youthful charm and optimism.

Note: Since writing the above, I have discovered another Naxos CD with a rather exciting version of Brahms's Serenade No. 2. It is that recorded in 1992 by Symphony Nova Scotia, directed by the late Georg Tintner (Brahms: Symphony No. 3; Serenade No. 2). Tintner takes the whole work rather faster than Rahbari, and the superior engineering (the disc was recorded and originally released by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) means that, in this live concert recording, a lot of detail can be heard which with Rahbari is relegated to the background. Of course, Symphony Nova Scotia is a "provincial" orchestra, but Tintner has practically everything under perfect control, and I have enjoyed listening to his version perhaps even more than to the Rahbari (which I still consider a good bargain).
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