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Chailly's Leipzig Brahms
Posted by Geoff Diggines on October 25, 2013, 1:00 pm
I was a little surprised to to read in Gavin Dixon's S & H review of Chailly's Brahms (23 10 13) that the second symphony is the 'least melodious,least loved of the four.'!Donald Tovey thought it glowed with melodies and rich harmonies. And it was always a favourite with conductors like Weingartner, Bruno Walter, Schuricht and Toscanini. Gavin emphasises the incredible detail Chailly achieved here, almost to the extent of saying that he uncovered details never heard before? I heard a radio broadcast of Chailly's latest recording. Predictably the playing from the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra was of a high quality. And in general it was a well thought out very musical performance. I compared this to the recording with Toscanini conditing the original Philharmonia Orchestra in 1952 (Chailly is known to admire Toscanini) I didn't just hear as much detail and more, but with Toscanini the music came alive in a way it did not with Chailly. It could be that the 'live' performance Gavin heard was much more illuminating than the record. But judging from the Beethoven Chailly recenty recorded compared to live performances he gave at the time, this is seldom the case.
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