Brahms: Serenade No. 1 In D, And No. 2 In A
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- by Johannes Brahms ~ Brahms: Complete String Quartets, Quintets & Sextets ~ $32.63
- by Sir Charles Mackerras / Scottish Chamber Orchestra ~ Brahms: Symphonies No. 3 & No. 4 ~ $5.98 (Save 40%)
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- Released: November 23, 1999
- Originally Released: 1999
- Label: Telarc
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
In this follow-up to his provocative cycle of the Brahms symphonies with the same ensemble, Sir Charles Mackerras once again shows that doing things according to received ideas about the music and how it should sound--"tradition," if you will--is simply not his cup of tea. His traversal of the symphonies was provocative in part because he did it with a chamber-orchestra sized string complement, hoping to recapture the balance and sonic weight of an orchestra of Brahms's day, specifically the Meiningen Court Orchestra, which premiered the Fourth Symphony. While that raised some eyebrows, tackling the two serenades with a chamber orchestra makes perfect sense, since both works were written for the modest forces of the court orchestra at Detmold. Lively, lean-textured, and expressive, these accounts comfortably straddle the divide between chamber music and symphonism, thereby allowing a privileged view into the composer's heart-of-hearts. Mackerras lets us see that while the grandeur of the symphonies is impressive, there is even more of the true Brahms--intimate, ardent, and soulful--right here in the serenades. --Ted Libbey
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