Brahms Cycle [Symphonies, Concertos & Overtures] (recorded in 2015)

Brahms Cycle [Symphonies, Concertos & Overtures] (recorded in 2015) cover
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Brahms Cycle [Symphonies, Concertos & Overtures] (recorded in 2015)
Yefim Bronfman (piano) Julia Fischer (violin) / The Cleveland Orchestra, Franz Welser-Most

[ Belvedere / BBC Blu-Ray / Blu-ray Disc ]

Release Date: Wednesday 1 November 2017

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The Cleveland Orchestra is the aristocrat among American orchestras (The Telegraph) and its conductor, Franz Welser-Möst, rules his subjects with a velvet glove. Indeed, velvet and silk keep showing up in descriptions of the Clevelanders sound under its principal conductor.

The First Symphony is Welser-Möst's chance to let Brahms mellow, silky sound (The Guardian) unfurl about the stage of London s Royal Albert Hall during one of the prestigious BBC Promenade Concerts.

In the frenetically applauded (Die Presse) concert recorded at the splendid Golden Hall of Vienna s Musikverein, Franz Welser-Möst leads his devoted and exemplarily precise musicians (Die Presse) in a rendition that polishes every detail to make the Brahms Second Symphony glow from within.

In the evolution of Brahms symphonic oeuvre, his penultimate Third Symphony unites the brightness of the Second with the monumentality of the Fourth. Die Presse applauded the concert in which Franz Welser-Möst performed the Symphony as structurally highlighted, vividly sketched details modelled with great subtlety . Welser-Möst offers a lean, propulsive performance (The Plains Dealer) of the Fourth Symphony. The swift pace in his hands reflects the conductor s quest for a distinctive, far-from-mainstream interpretation.

Brahms rousing Academic Festival Overture and Violin Concerto op. 77 bear witness to a composer at the height of his abilities, a mature master of large-scale masterpieces. The Violin Concerto demands extreme technical proficiency. As if to exemplify this, violinist Julia Fischer gears herself from the very start of this emotionally searing work to maintaining a restrained yet passionate tone.

Yefim Bronfman has the uncanny ability to play large without stridency, to handle the most delicate passages without losing presence, and to play everything in between with a ravishing sense of tonal colour. In the Second Piano Concerto Welser-Möst and Bronfman brought pulsing energy to the concerto s second movement, setting up an oasis of calm for the third that segued immediately into the genial finale, whose last chords were nearly obliterated by roars of approval from the audience. Laced into his forceful performance of Piano Concerto No. 1 was a surprising element of fury, as if the pianist had become unhinged momentarily: and yet Bronfman was also wholly present, taking time in relaxed passages to savour every second.

Includes two bonus features


Academic Festival Overture
Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68
Symphony No 2 in D Op 73
Symphony No 3 in F Op 90
Symphony No 4 in E minor Op 98
Variations on a Theme by Haydn Op. 56a
Piano Concerto No.1 in D min Op.15
Piano Concerto No.2 B-flat maj Op. 83
Violin Concerto in D major Op. 77
Tragic Overture

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Prelude to Act 3