Carlos Kleiber was perhaps the most highly regarded conductor of the late 20th century, but his relatively few excursions into the studio have left the musical world with a frustratingly small number of recordings. Thus we are particularly fortunate that, from among the relatively few appearances in his career, several concerts, one operetta and two operas were filmed.
This release in Praga's Reminiscences series of SACD remasterings features the great Russian conductor Yevgeny Mravinsky leading the Leningrad Philharmonic in recordings of two masterpieces of the Romantic repertoire. Brahms's refined and intellectually complex Symphony No.4 is paired with the rich, heart-on-sleeve passion of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No.5 – one of the composer's best loved works.
…got this for the Brahms, which is at best a thoroughly decent performance, nothing more - but the highlight is the excellent Beethoven. The ratings reflect the dichotomy of the two performances and their sonics, an average of 4 for sound seems fair - but the Beethoven warrants a 5 for performance.
Few conductors have made a greater contribution to our present-day understanding of Bruckner than Günter Wand (1912-2002).
This first box includes Bruckner symphonies nos. 5, 6 and 8 in their original or restored versions as well as an elegant, but rarely performed Haydn Symphony and the "Unfinished" symphonies by Bruckner and Schubert. Later, TDK released the second box of 4 DVDs including the popular Bruckner Symphonies Nos. 4 and 7 and symphonic works by Brahms and Schubert.
Editorial Reviews- Amazon.com
Noted podium tyrant and sadist Fritz Reiner must have scared the daylights out of the Royal Philharmonic, which plays this music as though their very lives depended on it. This is one of the great Brahms Fourth Symphonies, a performance of eruptive force and barely contained fury. It's been superbly transferred to CD, and anyone who loves this symphony simply has to own this recording. No question about it. –David Hurwitz
Editorial Reviews - Amazon.com essential recording
When Istvan Kertesz drowned while swimming in Israel, the world lost a major conductor of irresistible musicality and charm. The performance of the Haydn Variations is famous. The orchestra finished it without the conductor, as a tribute to him after his death. Kertesz was very much alive for the performances of the First and Second Symphonies, however, and his relaxed and genial interpretations really let this great orchestra shine. These are just as much "their" performances, as is the case with the Variations, and the fact that the conductor doesn't impose his personality on this great ensemble is something that would have bothered Kertesz not a bit. It's still great Brahms. –David Hurwitz