Brahms – Serenades # 1 & 2 - Kurt Masur, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig - 2007 (SACD-R, ISO)

Brahms – Serenades # 1 & 2 – Kurt Masur, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig – 2007 (SACD-R, ISO)

Composer: Johannes Brahms
Orchestra: Gewandhausorchester, Leipzig
Conductor: Kurt Masur
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1 SACD-R
Format: ISO
Bit Depth: 64(2.8 MHz/1 Bit)
Number of channels: 5.0, 2.0
Label: PentaTone
Size: 3.61 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes
Server: rapidgator

Kurt Masur, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
Brahms – Serenades Nos. 1 & 2

Serenade No.1 in D, Op.11

01. Allegro molto 13:25
02. Scherzo (Allegro non troppo) 8:34
03. Adagio non troppo 11..06
04. Menuetto I-II 4:21
05. Scherzo (Allegro) 3:08
06. Rondo (Allegro) 5:56

Serenade No.2 in A, Op.16

07. Allegro moderato 9:41
08. Scherzo (Vivace) 2:26
09. Adagio non troppo 7:23
10. Quasi Menuetto – Trio 4:53
11. Rondo (Allegro) 6:26

Classics Today, David Hurwitz:

This disc features the “Gewandhaus Sound” at its best–the warm, dark sonority of the strings supplemented by characterful woodwinds and bucolic horns. The only things missing from this performance of the First Serenade are a touch of brilliance from the trumpets (at the counterstatement of the first movement’s opening theme) and a bit more rhythmic definition from the timpani. Otherwise, Brahms playing doesn’t get much better, with Masur displaying none of the stodginess that so often characterized his work. Indeed, his presence is less noteworthy for any obvious interpretive manipulations than for the fact that the music simply seems to play itself, effortlessly, nowhere more so than in the violin-less Second Suite. Here, the Gewandhaus wind section really comes into its own, offering playing at once supremely cultivated and expressive. The recording always was very beautiful (it was made by Deutsche Schallplatten in Quad in 1981), and it sounds lovely here in all formats, with multichannel playback not distractingly weighted toward the rear speakers. by Polynomial:
After some recent RQR releases, I was beginning to fear that Pentatone was nearing the bottom of the barrel of Philips’ archive – I need not have done so on this account!Firstly, the sound – how beautiful it is; dating from September 1981 this is surely one of Philips’ last forays into the realm of MCH recordings until they started again in the mid/late 1990’s. Because of the relative modernity of the recording there is absolutely no need to fear a deterioration of sound; nor, I suspect, is this an early digital recording (the notes are not ideally clear on this matter) for there is none of the digititus that mars many a 1980-something release.All of this would, of course, be no good if the performances were not of the same calibre and they are! This is a delightful document of a great orchestra enjoying one of its many heydays and Masur directs them in glowing, rustic accounts of these early Brahms compositions. For those beginning to get nervous, fear not! This is far from the rusticity of some – think more of VPO in the 1970’s playing Beethoven’s “Pastoral” symphony and the sounds are not too dissimilar. There is far more warmth though than would typically have been granted to Beethoven and the feeling of joy permeates the readings. When the musical mood darkens, the clouds do appear on the horizon but they are quickly banished. A particularly enjoyable account is that of the Second Serenade which, without violins, has an autumnal feeling that is still radiant in its execution. Also, unlike Pentatone’s modern Brahms release (Brahms: Symphony No. 1, Haydn Variations – Janowski) here is an example of Brahms conducting that is entirely natural in feeling with completely idiosyncratic rubato.

Very enjoyable indeed.



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