BRAHMS, J.: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73 (Kleiber)

BRAHMS, J.: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73 (Kleiber)


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- (Disc 1)

Brahms, Johannes - Composer
Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73

Venue: Philharmonie, Berlin
Playing Time: 00:41:24
Catalogue Number: A05502450

Brahms's sunny Second Symphony is as warm and lyrical as his First had been stormy and dramatic. It quite possibly reflects the idyllic nature around Lake Wörth in Austria, where Brahms composed it in the summer of 1877. Brahms himself, however, called attention to the melancholy current that undermines the pastoral serenity ("You’ve never heard anything as world-weary as this", he wrote to his friend Schubring). Despite the apparent simplicity of the symphonic writing, the work is strengthened and enriched by many thematic threads that run from one movement to another. It has been a special favorite among music lovers since its premiere in Vienna on 30 December 1877. The celebrated 19th-century music critic Eduard Hanslick wrote that it was for “all who long for good music, whether they understand its complexity or not”. Carlos Kleiber was born in Berlin on 3 July 1930, the son of the celebrated conductor Erich Kleiber. He was raised in Argentina after his family fled Nazi Germany. After the war, Kleiber went to Switzerland to study chemistry. His musical talent carried the day, however, and he made his conducting debut in Potsdam in 1954. He worked his way through the ranks of provincial opera houses, making longer stops in Düsseldorf, Zurich, Stuttgart. He freelanced for many years, conducting infrequently but at the world's leading venues: the Vienna State Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, the Bavarian State Opera, La Scala, Bayreuth, Covent Garden... Thanks to Kleiber's legendary reluctance to produce recordings, each recording is an event, a classic. He could allow himself the luxury of choosing his own repertoire and performers, and of working at a pace that ensured peerless music-making. The results can perhaps be best illustrated with the image of "an expert art restorer who clears away centuries of grime to reveal a painting in its pristine glory. Kleiber… strips away the varnish from some of music's most tradition-encrusted masterworks to expose the vital creation lurking beneath."

Part 1

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