BRAHMS Symphonies 1-4
Variations on a Theme by Haydn
Academic Festival Overture
Andrew Manze conductor
Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra
Andrew Manze’s latest CD recording for CPO of the complete Brahms Symphonies has received outstanding reviews from the international press. Alongside the four symphonies Manze and the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra present the Haydn Variations, Tragic Overture and Academic Festival Overture.
Click on the link below to hear the opening of Brahms Symphony No.3.
“This is a remarkable new Brahms cycle: one of the most fiery, original and thought-provoking sets of the symphonies to have appeared in the digital era… Listening to these discs, I have found myself genuinely excited by performances that bring so many fresh insights to Brahms’s music, while remaining utterly faithful to the text. It is music-making like this that justifies so much of the research into performance practice in the late nineteenth century… Hearing Andrew Manze’s set of these masterpieces, I feel as if I have been on a fascinating and stirring journey of rediscovery.”
International Record Review, April 2012
“You don't often find freshness and innovation in performances of the Brahms symphonies, but Manze's take is wholly individual: they burst with life, by turns wistful, yearning, sharp-edged and blisteringly incisive... Transparency and contrast are stressed, rather than the homogeneity and blend usually favoured, which makes the fierce argument of No 1, throwing fragments across the orchestra, almost cinematic in its intensity. The antiphonal writing in No 4 is similarly vivid and strongly characterised, and the pent-up tension reaches an electrifying release in the brittle chords of the final pages of the great passacaglia. Manze's vision provides more than an "early music" approach to Brahms: this is the composer reinvented for the 21st century.”
Nicholas Kenyon, The Guardian, May 2012
“Brimming with enthusiasm and knowledge, ... [Manze] has found a new way of listening to Brahms ... [This is] full of wonderfully radiant playing ... I’ve never heard [the second symphony] played as lovingly as this ... Chamber music[-making] to an extraordinary degree.”
BBC CD Review, April 2012
“Having played the first disc, I was so captivated that I had to hear the whole set at one session. There wasn't a moment when I lost concentration or had wandering attention, as the playing is excellent. Although Manze's implementation of Brahms's extra markings and concentration on bow-speed in the strings rather than volume do not lead to radical differences, the overall effect of these symphonies is powerfully conveyed. This is a cycle which excels in clarity of structure, conveyance of emotion and fertility of invention.”
SA-CD.net, May 2012
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