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BRAHMS: Symphony No. 1 / Tragic Overture / Academic Festival Overture

Composer(s):Brahms, Johannes
Artist(s) Alsop, Marin, Conductor • London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period(s) Romantic
Genre Classical Music
Category Orchestral
Catalogue 8.557428
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
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Completed in 1877, Brahms’s remarkable and impressive Symphony No. 1 was the result of a fourteen-year gestation period and established the composer as the leading German symphonist of his generation. This inaugural issue in a major new cycle on Naxos brings together the internationally acclaimed London Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Marin Alsop, fêted by The Guardian as “...well on her way to becoming one of the best Brahms interpreters”.


Review By ,Classic Voice,July 2005


Review By ,Scherzo,June 2005


Review By ,Record Geijutsu,May 2005


Review By Bill Brooks,Naxos,March 2005

As is common with lesser-known conductors, Marin Alsop is mostly known for her interpretations of more modern fare, but her excellent readings of Brahms may be the breakout that earns her the recognition she deserves. Her interpretation of the Brahms Symphony No. 1 on Naxos is reminiscent of the Mackerras performance released on Telarc about eight years ago. Finesse is everything when conducting the masters, and Alsop has it. The tempos have a clean, natural flow that allow the drama of the piece to have real impact without caramelizing it. The orchestra plays skillfully, and there are some brilliant solos, including a gorgeous flute passage shortly into the fourth movement.

Review By Andrew Baer,Naxos,March 2005

With her debut Brahms CD, Marin Alsop offers a sumptuously lyrical rendition of the composer's First Symphony and two overtures. Principal conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony, lauded American music proponent and a famous Leonard Bernstein prot�g�e, Alsop blends Romantic symphonic convention with the organic phrasing and transitions of a chamber musician. She summons a bright, singing sound from the London Philharmonic, and each gesture flows, yoga-like, into the next. Sturdy enough to serve as a Brahms primer, this rendition of the symphony can feel a little sensitive in slow spots for fans of Golden Age maestros. Relief exists in imposing accounts of the "Academic Festival" and "Tragic" overtures.

Review By Randy Anderson,Naxos,February 2005

This disc is the first in a projected series of Naxos releases that will feature the excellent Brahms interpreter Marin Alsop conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Beginning, appropriately enough, with Brahm's first symphony (along with a couple of nice makeweight pieces), Alsop makes her intentions clear: a robust but not overbearing interpretation that never sacrifices elegance for bombast.

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