Brahms: Symphony No. 2; Hungarian Dances

Brahms: Symphony No. 2; Hungarian Dances

by Marin Alsop
     
 

While an improvement over her earlier recording of Brahms' "First Symphony," American conductor Marin Alsop's new recording of Brahms' "Second" is still nothing to write home about. As before, the London Philharmonic plays superlatively, with strong strings, blended winds, and warm brass and, as before, Alsop conducts superbly, with a cogentSee more details below

Overview

While an improvement over her earlier recording of Brahms' "First Symphony," American conductor Marin Alsop's new recording of Brahms' "Second" is still nothing to write home about. As before, the London Philharmonic plays superlatively, with strong strings, blended winds, and warm brass and, as before, Alsop conducts superbly, with a cogent ensemble, a full sound, and muscular rhythms. The problem, as before, is that Alsop's interpretations, while well-phrased and admirably shaped, are ultimately shallow. For all the clarity of her phrasing and the lucidity of her textures, Alsop's melodies have no nuance, her shapes have no substance, and her colors have no shadows. Her performances of eight of Brahms' "Hungarian Dances" orchestrated by Brahms and Dvorák are more successful because the music is more straightforward and plays to Alsop's strengths, and, once again, the LPO performs brilliantly. But there are dozens of better performances of Brahms' "Second" available -- try Furtwängler's or Walter's for starters, then try Abbado's or Davis' for later recordings. Speaking of recordings, Naxos' sound is dim, distant, and gray.

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Editorial Reviews

Gramophone - Richard Osborne
This is a late-summer idyll of a performance, easily paced, nicely judged and warmly played. For first-time buyers it will provide unalloyed pleasure.
Time Out New York - Steve Smith
Alsop manages the work's balances and transitions with a firm but gentle hand; the orchestra responds with disciplined ardor and burnished tone. The results do conductor and ensemble proud.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/11/2005
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0747313242924
catalogNumber:
8557429
Rank:
225316

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73  - Johannes Brahms  - Marin Alsop  -  London Philharmonic Orchestra
  2. Hungarian Dances (21) for orchestra, WoO 1: No. 1 in G minor  - Johannes Brahms  - Marin Alsop  -  London Philharmonic Orchestra
  3. Hungarian Dances (21) for orchestra, WoO 1: No. 3 in F major  - Johannes Brahms  - Marin Alsop  -  London Philharmonic Orchestra
  4. Hungarian Dances (21) for orchestra, WoO 1: No. 10 F major  - Johannes Brahms  - Marin Alsop  -  London Philharmonic Orchestra
  5. Hungarian Dances (21) for orchestra, WoO 1: No. 17 in F sharp minor  - Johannes Brahms  - Marin Alsop  -  London Philharmonic Orchestra
  6. Hungarian Dances (21) for orchestra, WoO 1: No. 18 in D major  - Johannes Brahms  - Marin Alsop  -  London Philharmonic Orchestra
  7. Hungarian Dances (21) for orchestra, WoO 1: No. 19 in B minor  - Johannes Brahms  - Marin Alsop  -  London Philharmonic Orchestra
  8. Hungarian Dances (21) for orchestra, WoO 1: No. 20 in E minor  - Johannes Brahms  - Marin Alsop  -  London Philharmonic Orchestra
  9. Hungarian Dances (21) for orchestra, WoO 1: No. 21 in E minor  - Johannes Brahms  - Marin Alsop  -  London Philharmonic Orchestra

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