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Gewandhausorchester Leipzig - Brahms: Symphony No. 1 & Tragic Overture

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Brahms: Symphony No. 1 & Tragic Overture

Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Herbert Blomstedt

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Herbert Blomstedt, the honorary head of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra to which he was musical director for six years, is still active at the ripe old age of 93. Recorded in 2019, this new interpretation of Brahms’ Symphonie no.1 was conceived by Blomstedt, a devout Christian, spontaneously in wake of current times. “Rarely - he writes on the title page of the first chapter to this new integral - have we had more need for such light than today, when the entire world risks losing its soul”.
In fact, the great American conductor of Swedish origin has moulded this interpretation into a humanist perspective that brings Brahms closer to Schubert. The work is gentle and calm with a lyricism akin to a lied. The Gewandhaus Orchestra plays like an immense chamber ensemble, giving this work an atypical tone in which its more rebellious moments seem to be smoothed out.  
From this perspective, Brahms sounds somewhat Beethovian, particularly in how the Andante sostenuto is treated as it takes on the form of great love song calling for the unity of all men with an expressionism that is not far off the Adagio of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
This recording is a great moment of live music captured exquisitely by the excellent technical team at Pentatone. The tragic opening, one of the high points of Brahms’ symphonic oeuvre curiously takes on an allure of nobility and classicism as if to quell the tensions that Herbert Blomstedt dreads so much in this world. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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Brahms: Symphony No. 1 & Tragic Overture

Gewandhausorchester Leipzig

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Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68 (Johannes Brahms)

1
I. Un poco sostenuto - Allegro (Live)
00:16:58

Johannes Brahms, Composer - Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Orchestra, MainArtist - Herbert Blomstedt, Conductor

(C) 2020 PENTATONE (P) 2020 PENTATONE

2
II. Andante sostenuto (Live)
00:09:34

Johannes Brahms, Composer - Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Orchestra, MainArtist - Herbert Blomstedt, Conductor

(C) 2020 PENTATONE (P) 2020 PENTATONE

3
III. Un poco allegretto e grazioso (Live)
00:05:04

Johannes Brahms, Composer - Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Orchestra, MainArtist - Herbert Blomstedt, Conductor

(C) 2020 PENTATONE (P) 2020 PENTATONE

4
IV. Adagio - Allegro non troppo, ma con brio (Live)
00:18:34

Johannes Brahms, Composer - Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Orchestra, MainArtist - Herbert Blomstedt, Conductor

(C) 2020 PENTATONE (P) 2020 PENTATONE

Tragic Overture in D Minor, Op. 81 (Live) (Johannes Brahms)

5
Tragic Overture in D Minor, Op. 81 (Live)
00:12:36

Johannes Brahms, Composer - Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Orchestra, MainArtist - Herbert Blomstedt, Conductor

(C) 2020 PENTATONE (P) 2020 PENTATONE

Album Description

Herbert Blomstedt, the honorary head of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra to which he was musical director for six years, is still active at the ripe old age of 93. Recorded in 2019, this new interpretation of Brahms’ Symphonie no.1 was conceived by Blomstedt, a devout Christian, spontaneously in wake of current times. “Rarely - he writes on the title page of the first chapter to this new integral - have we had more need for such light than today, when the entire world risks losing its soul”.
In fact, the great American conductor of Swedish origin has moulded this interpretation into a humanist perspective that brings Brahms closer to Schubert. The work is gentle and calm with a lyricism akin to a lied. The Gewandhaus Orchestra plays like an immense chamber ensemble, giving this work an atypical tone in which its more rebellious moments seem to be smoothed out.  
From this perspective, Brahms sounds somewhat Beethovian, particularly in how the Andante sostenuto is treated as it takes on the form of great love song calling for the unity of all men with an expressionism that is not far off the Adagio of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
This recording is a great moment of live music captured exquisitely by the excellent technical team at Pentatone. The tragic opening, one of the high points of Brahms’ symphonic oeuvre curiously takes on an allure of nobility and classicism as if to quell the tensions that Herbert Blomstedt dreads so much in this world. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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