Brahms’ symphonies

Brahms: The Complete Symphonies


  • Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)
  • Tragic Overture, Op. 81
  • Variations on a theme by Haydn for orchestra, Op. 56a ‘St Anthony Variations’

Performed by the Wiener Philharmoniker, conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini

I love all four of the symphonies of Johannes Brahms. The first represents the struggle of the composer for ten years to assure that his work will have substance, standing as it was at the time in the shadow of Beethoven’s masterpieces. And… in my view… it DID maintain its own place among the wonderful music that Brahms gave us. The second symphony is always for me a painting of nature. The third returns to a more exalted expression, and the fourth was performed in the same concert hall in Vienna as in this CD, when Brahms was 2 weeks away from the end of his life.

The amazing performances of the Vienna Philharmonic, especially in their own hall of the Musikverein, brings to this beautiful music an additional richness without the additional weightiness that some conductors can sometimes bring to Brahms. Giulini’s tempi are steady and animated, and one can see the sun, shade, life, and beauty of the Austrian countryside in this great music.

The Audio CD will be issued May 31, 2011

Here is a video of Brahms 4th Symphony, first movement, with Giulini conducting the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala:

Tags: Johannes Brahms, four symphonies, Carlo Maria Giulini

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *