Brahms - Symphonies - Haitink - Royal Concertgebouw
Symphonic | Eac, flac, cue | log, cover | 4 CD, 1.32 GB
February 25, 1994 | Philips | RapidShare
These performances are frequently hair-raising; for sheer excitement they rival Toscanini and Karajan, without the former's tightness or the latter's grandiosity.
Haitink was fairly new leading the Concertgebouw when he recorded this Brahms cycle from 1970-73, yet the two are in remarkable sympathy. He asks for vibrant, energized playing, and they deliver beyond all expectation. These performances are frequently hair-raising; for sheer excitement they rival Toscanini and Karajan, without the former's tightness or the latter's grandiosity (great as both are).
Haitink's Brahms manages to be powerful and genial at the same time, combining Bruno Walter's tenderness with dazzling virtuosity. A reviewer can kill a recording with praise, but I defy anyone not to find these readings spellbinding and deeply moving. It's like hearing all four symphonies for the first time (the same goes for the incidental overtures and the two serenades, which were recorded later in 1976 and 1980).
If you have only heard the dull Brahms performances that Haitink later delivered in Boston and London, you will be astonished at these early ones. Philips provides excellent analog sound with lots of impact, miked very close to give us a conductor's perspective. I can only say that I regret overlooking this Brahms cycle for so long and now must place it at the very top of the list.
01. Symphony No. 1 In C Minor, Op. 68
02. Symphony No. 2 In D, Op. 73
03. Symphony No. 3 In F Major, Op. 90
04. Symphony No. 4 In E Minor, Op. 98
05. Serenade In D, Op. 11
06. Serenade In A, Op. 16
07. Variations On A Theme By Haydn, Op. 56a
08. Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80
09. Tragic Overture, Op. 81
10. Hungarian Dances, No. 1, 3, & 10