Composer: Johann Brahms
Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra
Conductor: Otto Klemperer
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Size: 799 MB
Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73
01. 1st mvt. – Allegro non troppo
02. 2nd mvt. – Adagio non troppo
03. 3rd mvt. – Allegretto grazioso (quasi andantino)
04. 4th mvt. – Allegro con spirito
Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90
05. 1st mvt. – Allegro con brio
06. 2nd mvt. – Andante
07. 3rd mvt. – Poco allegretto
08. 4th mvt. – Allegro
The classic 1956-57 Klemperer Brahms recordings, made with the Philharmonia Orchestra by EMI in London’s Kingsway Hall, have long been regarded by many as perhaps the finest ever made. Happily the EMI engineers opted to record in stereo, at a time when far too many recordings were still being made in mono, and stereo reproduction in the home was limited to a very narrow range of open-reel tape machines.
For the day, the recordings stand up reasonably well, though as the 1977 review above demonstrates, as little as twenty years later they were showing their age, and so it’s little surprise that 55 years after the event Klemperer’s Brahms comes across as a little faded and dusty, if only in sound quality.
Happily this can now be rectified to quite stunning effect. 32-bit XR remastering has served here to bring a quality of sound unimaginable in 1957 to these recordings, shedding decades in the process, and revealing a depth, vibrancy and dynamism that previous issues simply failed to convey.