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Vonk: Brahms – Symphony no.2, Tragic Overture (24/96 FLAC)

Vonk: Brahms - Symphony no.2, Tragic Overture (24/96 FLAC)

Vonk: Brahms – Symphony no.2, Tragic Overture (24/96 FLAC)

Composer: Johannes Brahms
Orchestra: Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Hans Vonk
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Pentatone
Release: 2004
Size: 0.98 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73
01. I. Allegro non troppo
02. II. Adagio non troppo: L’istesso tempo, ma grazioso
03. III. Allegretto grazioso (Quasi Andantino) – Presto ma non assai
04. IV. Allegro con spirito

05. Tragic Overture, Op. 81

Of Brahms’ symphonies, his Symphony No. 2 in D major is the sunniest, a vibrant and rhythmically supple work overflowing with ardent melodies, joyful syncopations, and robust brass writing. Yet for all its brightness, Brahms’ orchestration can be quite problematic, since his frequent doublings of winds and strings and scoring for full sections are in constant need of a conductor’s subtle refinements. Hans Vonk and the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra give the work a rich and warm performance, with great attention paid to the pacing and shaping of movements. However, the orchestral sound is rather dense, and there is little sense of graded dynamics or breathing room around the orchestra. There is no doubt that the players give their all for Vonk, who courageously directs the work as a labor of love, in spite of his physical limitations. Yet there is such a thing as too much love, and their intense playing unintentionally creates a thick wall of neutralized sound. The impression of opacity is exacerbated by the DSD recording, which tends to pull everyone up to the same high volume level. The Tragic Overture, a starker work with more dramatic contrasts between sections, presents fewer sonic difficulties, and Vonk and the orchestra deliver it with satisfying depth and sensitivity.

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