Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Brahms is Eternal

This performance, revealed in a dynamic recording (you will want to try this out on a really good sound system) captures for a grateful posterity just about everything that was played, and is capable of conveying everything that is fundamental to this magical, wonderful and often exhausting activity we have come to call classical music. In particular it reveals, as if we didn't already know, that Brahms is and was the legitimate heir of Beethoven: Carlos Kleiber's phrasing, his general adherence to steady tempi, as well as clearly allowing soloists within the orchestra to make some contributions regarding interpretations for their own parts, demonstrates this fact in every phrase. This second symphony, scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, and strings is in the usual four movements with the slow movement second followed by an andantino dance and an exhilarating finale. More than anything, if you get classical music at all, this performance proves that so far at least, some of the greatest creations of human civilization have managed to survive the stupidities and savageries of our modern world and have found audiences in our own day: at this posting, this performance has seen at least 36,500 hits. We hope after this it receives far more.

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Symphony #2 in D Major Op 73 (1877)
1. Allegro non troppo
2. Adagio non troppo
3. Allegretto grazioso (quasi andantino)
4. Allegro con spirito

Wiener Philharmoniker Orchester
Carlos Kleiber (1930-2004), Dirigent
Wiki article on Kleiber
Großer Saal, Musikverein Wien (Österreich)

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