Staples of the violin repertoire, the three violin sonatas of Johannes Brahms, project three entirely different characters: the G major Sonata's solemn, lonely beauty; the exuberance and freedom of the A major Sonata; and the aggressive, agitated D minor Sonata. As much as the sonatas contrast with one another, so to does Anne-Sophie Mutter's playing of them. Her vision throughout this Deutsche Grammophon collaboration with pianist Lambert Orkis seems to be built on creating broad distinctions in dynamic range, tempo, and tone color.
Back in the '50s and '60s when RCA was one of the two dominant American classical record companies, the big debate was over which of their two recordings of Brahms Piano Concerto in B flat major was better: the Emil Gilels with Fritz Reiner from 1958 or the Sviatoslav Richter with Leinsdorf from 1960. Both are with the Chicago Symphony at the peak of its strength and sensitivity.
When he announced in 2004 that he was stepping down as music director from the Royal Concertgebouw, easily one of the best orchestras in the world, it would have been easy for anyone to brand Riccardo Chailly as clinically insane. His announcement stunned the music world. The young, passionate Chailly had succeeded in bringing a new energy and vitality to the Concertgebouw during his impressive 16-year tenure.
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was a German composer and pianist and is considered a leading composer in the romantic period. His best known pieces include his Academic Festival Overture and German Requiem.
Do not go by the year that it has been perfromed in because it is better than most modern recordings, the clarinet quintet is really good but, i would like to add that so is the other work specially the piano quintet. The recording is crisp and most importantly clear, there is no distortion of any kind. The Amadeus Quartet seems to have only one thing on their mind and that is to deliver a smooth interpretation of the sextets and quintets.
It's the late Vier ernste Gesänge, Op. 121, that get the big print on the cover of this release by the awe-inspiring baritone Matthias Goerne, but actually the music on the album falls into a neat early-middle-late classification scheme. The group of middle-period settings of poetry by Heinrich Heine doesn't even get graphics on the cover, but these are fascinating. Brahms wrote a lot of songs, but you couldn't do better than the selection and performances here for a cornerstone collection item. Beyond the sheer beauty of Goerne's voice is an ability to shift gears to match how Brahms' style evolved. If you want to hear his real slashing, operatic high notes, check out the Lieder und Gesänge, Op. 32, settings of poems by the minor poets Georg Friedrich Daumer and Karl August Graf von Platen. These rather overwrought texts add up to a kind of slimmed-down Winterreise, and they catch the spirit of the still-young Brahms with his strong passions, elegantly controlled. The Heine settings, which come from several different sets of lieder, are not that often heard and are in some ways the most compelling of the group here.