Album review: Riccardo Chailly, Gewandhausorchester, Brahms: The Symphonies (Decca)


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The Independent Culture

Riccardo Chailly's acclaimed 2011 recording of the complete Beethoven symphonic cycle reinstated the composer's original, faster tempos in place of the more lugubrious, sombre approach favoured by others. The effect was revelatory, affording fresh glimpses of the symphonies' revolutionary aspects. This new recording of the complete Brahms symphonies is less startling but adopts a similarly meticulous approach to the composer's instructions, thereby cleansing the works of unintended pathos and excessive Germanic gravitas. The four symphonies, and a re-creation of the First Symphony's original second movement, are presented here along with a third disc of sundry pieces.

Download: Symphony No 1; Symphony No 3; Symphony No 4