Composer: Johannes Brahms
Orchestra: Philharmonie Festiva
Conductor: Gerd Schaller
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Size: 199 MB
Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73 (Live)
01. I. Allegro non troppo
02. II. Adagio non troppo
03. III. Allegretto grazioso
04. IV. Allegro con spirito
The present recording is inspired by the timbre which Brahms had intended. Contrary to usual philharmonic practice, Gerd Schaller and his Philharmonie Festiva perform with a smaller string section, and therefore more in keeping with Brahms’ preference. The sound is admittedly unfamiliar, yet exhilarating. In particular, the balance between the winds and strings brings out the woodwinds far more distinctly, while allowing the brass to show off too. The effect is to produce a transparent way of music-making: Gerd Schaller and his 53 musicians set great store above all by a refined sound that nevertheless conveys the passion inherent in Brahms’ music.
The album was recorded in the historic Max Littmann Hall of the Regentenbau (part of the spa complex buildings) in Bad Kissingen. Inaugurated in 1913 and offering ideal dimensions enhanced by its cherrywood panelling, it is considered one of the best concert venues in the world. This magnificent concert hall was also where the Philharmonie Festiva recorded Carl Goldmark’s opera Merlin (which won an “ECHO Klassik” award), his First Symphony “The Rustic Wedding”, the late symphonies by Franz Schubert, Anton Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony and the Great Mass by Johann Ritter von Herbeck.