Bohm: Brahms - 4 Symphonies, Haydn Variations (3 CD box set, FLAC)
Bohm: Brahms – 4 Symphonies, Haydn Variations (3 CD box set, FLAC)

Orchestra: Wiener Philharmoniker
Conductor: Karl Böhm
Audio CD
SPARS Code: ADD
Number of Discs: 3 CD box set
Format: FLAC (tracks+cue)
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Size: 991 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

CD 01
01. Symphony No.1 in C minor, Op.68 – 1. Un poco sostenuto – Allegro – Meno allegro
02. Symphony No.1 in C minor, Op.68 – 2. Andante sostenuto
03. Symphony No.1 in C minor, Op.68 – 3. Un poco allegretto e grazioso
04. Symphony No.1 in C minor, Op.68 – 4. Adagio – Piu andante – Allegro non troppo, ma con brio – Piu allegro
05. Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op.56a

CD 02
01. Symphony No.2 in D, Op.73 – 1. Allegro non troppo
02. Symphony No.2 in D, Op.73 – 2. Adagio non troppo – L’istesso tempo, ma grazioso
03. Symphony No.2 in D, Op.73 – 3. Allegretto grazioso ( Quasi andantino) – Presto ma non assai
04. Symphony No.2 in D, Op.73 – 4. Allegro con spirito
05. Rhapsody for Alto, Chorus, and Orchestra, Op.53
06. Tragic Overture, Op.81

CD 03
01. Symphony No.3 in F, Op.90 – 1. Allegro con brio – Un poco sostenuto – Tempo I
02. Symphony No.3 in F, Op.90 – 2. Andante
03. Symphony No.3 in F, Op.90 – 3. Poco allegretto
04. Symphony No.3 in F, Op.90 – 4. Allegro
05. Symphony No.4 in E minor, Op.98 – 1. Allegro non troppo
06. Symphony No.4 in E minor, Op.98 – 2. Andante moderato
07. Symphony No.4 in E minor, Op.98 – 3. Allegro giocoso – Poco meno presto – Tempo I
08. Symphony No.4 in E minor, Op.98 – 4. Allegro energico e passionato – Più allegro

Bohm: The master at letting musicians play

I have owned #2 before on vinyl, and used to have a #1 with Bohm and the Berliners from the 60s. All in all – what you have here is truly a piece of history. The wonderful liner notes, written by a scholar and retired violinist with the Wiener Philharmoniker, details the history of the deep and direct connection between Brahms himself and the VPO. No other orchestra has this direct tradition. Bohm is most definitely then, a custodian of this great legacy.

So does that mean the performances or recordings are boring and academic? Hardly! Beautifully recorded, capturing all the ravishing acoustic of the Musikverein in Vienna (where Brahms himself heard his symphonies premiered)and with playing that is so musical and elegant, this set is a treasure. The tempos are not break neck, but the rhythmic pulse and energy are so clean and lilting!!! Bohm was known for very minimal conducting motions, but there is no lack of fire or energy here. At this bargain price, and very nicely remastered sound, one cannot go wrong getting this set. If you love Brahms and this venerable “instrument of Brahms” (the VPO) you must have this. I am so grateful to DG for releasing this set. It is now my fourth Brahms cycle (obsessed? you bet): Bernstein (erratic and bad sound), Levine on DG – good in many ways, Von Karajan from the early 60s with Berlin, and this. I will soon add the Giulini cycle.

Buy, listen, and hear the love these men pour into this music.

6 Comments

  1. Very nice versions – albeit a little on the slow side – by one of the venerable masters of Austro-German music. Thank you Whatever!

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