Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 / Young, Hamburg Philharmonic

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Following the complete edition of all the symphonies of Anton Bruckner with Simone Young and the Hamburg Philharmonic, OehmsClassics now proudly presents, with the present recording, the complete symphonic oeuvre of Johannes Brahms. For many years now, Simone Young has been one of the most important conductors of our time. She studied in her native city of Sydney and received a stipend to work at the Cologne Opera where she soon appeared as Kapellmeister; Daniel Barenboim then engaged her at the State Opera Unter den Linden in Berlin. At this time she also rapidly developed her international career, which led her to all the world’s most important opera houses and symphony orchestras within just a few years.

Alongside her extensive operatic activities, Young has also made a name for herself on the concert podium. She has worked with leading orchestras such as the Vienna and the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the New York and the Munich Philharmonic and many others. She holds honorary doctorates from the Universities of Sydney and Melbourne, is a Professor at the Academy of Music and Theatre in hamburg, a Member of the Order of Australia, and a “Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres” in France and also a recipient of the Goethe Medal.

REVIEWS:

The highlight of the cycle is the pairing of the Third and Fourth Symphonies on CD 3, which shows the conductor off at her best. The music moves along with urgency and real involvement. You hear it in the propulsive tempo which begins the Third...the recorded sound, which is very good, captures a vibrancy that overcomes technicalities. Young maintains the same buoyancy, and a lightness of touch, in the two middle movements, where the progress of the Brahms Third is liable to sag. I like Young’s quick tempo in the finale (not all traditionalists drag their feet), which caps a reading that continually carries the listener along with its exuberance.

In Young’s hands the music [of the Andante moderato] is buoyant and foot-stomping at the same time.

No matter what comes before, the Brahms Fourth rises or falls on the finale, where one variation after another unfolds a musical narrative whose grip is inexorable. Young has the idea of giving us the whole span as if in one breath. Toscanini did the same, with iron rigidity as far as I’m concerned. Young is almost as insistent—she barely pauses for the tender flute variation in the middle—but without the feeling of being frog-marched to the finish line...What makes this whole CD so successful is the sense that Young has caught the spirit of the music and conducts it from the inside.

Brahms was a native of Hamburg, which makes this set a fitting tribute, and by my estimation, Young is only the second woman, following Marin Alsop on Naxos, to undertake all four symphonies. This mid-priced box set is a repackaging of separate discs recorded between 2007 and 2009. The absence of the usual fillers beyond the Tragic Overture on the CD that contains Symphony No. 2 is regrettable. But anyone who gravitated to Young’s Bruckner cycle is likely to be well satisfied by the grandeur and Romantic intensity of her Brahms.

-- Fanfare



Product Description:


  • Release Date: January 27, 2017


  • Catalog Number: OC 030


  • UPC: 4260034860308


  • Label: Oehms Classics


  • Period: Romantic


  • Composer: Johannes Brahms


  • Conductor: Simone Young


  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Hamburg State Philharmonic Orchestra



Works:


  1. Symphony no 1 in C minor, Op. 68

    Composer: Johannes Brahms

    Ensemble: Hamburg State Philharmonic Orchestra

    Conductor: Simone Young


  2. Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 73

    Composer: Johannes Brahms

    Ensemble: Hamburg State Philharmonic Orchestra

    Conductor: Simone Young


  3. Symphony no 3 in F major, Op. 90

    Composer: Johannes Brahms

    Ensemble: Hamburg State Philharmonic Orchestra

    Conductor: Simone Young


  4. Symphony no 4 in E minor, Op. 98

    Composer: Johannes Brahms

    Ensemble: Hamburg State Philharmonic Orchestra

    Conductor: Simone Young