Brahms: The 4 Symphonies

Johannes Brahms (1833 - 1897)

The Cadaqués Orchestra took up the challenge of making the first recording of these complete works with magnificent results, on a par with the key recordings of this repertoire. The recording was a difficult test both artistically and technically, but it will surprise and please both connoisseurs of this repertoire and newcomers exploring it for the first time. In order to reproduce the original sound of the symphonies, the orchestra performed them with the same number of string instruments as they were originally scored for, since nineteenth-century orchestras had far fewer members than modern ensembles. While contemporary orchestras are generally made up of 54 to 64 musicians, those in Brahms’s time had only 30 to 34. Thus, the balance with the wind section makes it possible to perceive the incredible contrapuntal fabric of these compositions more clearly.

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"Gianandrea Noseda, Italian conductor led the "Cadaques Orchestra" Orchestra famous in Spain. Beautiful town to live many of the artists in the suburbs of Barcelona...started as orchestra Music Festival "Cadaques" which will be held in Cadaqués, in addition to the principal players and concert master of the major orchestras of Spain, orchestra, members, Vienna, London is composed by musicians of the orchestra, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, as a special orchestra boasts a maximum power of Spain, it is highly appreciated all over the world already. Formation of the form a firm strong but is abundant amount of information is at a characteristic style of acting of Noceda that specializes in contemporary music near, there is convincing a strong music that is based on accurate analysis. "

"Con su cuidado obsesivo por hacer oír cada nota escrita (la partitura puesta en sonido “al dictado”), con lo que incluso el oyente familiarizado con estas obras encontrará detalles, ocultos en la partitura, que ahora brillan con luz nueva, el empleo de una moderada gama dinámica, timidez en las acentuaciones (sforzandi sin mordiente), Noseda ofrece un Brahms íntimo, desnudo, puro, casi sin interpretar."

"...primera grabación de este ciclo sinfónico realizada por una orquesta española..." [...] "...una lectura de primer nivel, brillante, expuesta con autoridad, destacando el importantísimo entramado contrapuntístico y armónico de estas grandes sinfonías..."

"Versiones que permiten apreciar con más nitidez el juego contrapuntístico del autor, sus aportaciones melódicas ysu relación con Beethoven"

This complete recorded set of the four symphonies by Johannes Brahms faces some formidable competition in the current catalog. However. Surely each of these four readings deserve your hearing, your consideration. First of all. The chamber orchestra so recently founded, first for the Music Festival of Cadaques, and now on a continuing basis, is just excellent. Listeners who have grown accustomed to big boned, big orchestra Brahms may at first suspect that the players will sound under-powered, however excellent as their playing may be. And, it is true, the ear has to adjust. But adjusting is easier than traditionalists might predict. Rather like Charles Mackerras' set with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the point of this recording project was to how these symphonies sounded if the number of orchestra musicians was anywhere near to the smaller numbers (often playing in smaller European concert halls) that Brahms himself would have anticipated. The massed heaviness of big orchestra strings are changed by the smaller number of total string players in the Cadaques orchestra. One quickly and gratefully, however, finds all the string players so excellent in technical prowess as well as in superb musicianship that catalog comparisons are quickly forgotten. What can be said in praise of all the string sections, indeed can be said of all the other orchestra players. Brass is thrilling and yet nuanced. Woodwinds are just musically bulls-eye through every possible Brahmsian challenge or habit of style. A listener must pause to praise the acoustic quality of the hall, too, and of course, we appreciate the engineers who helped make these two CDs possible. Led by Noseda, about whose performances on CD I have sometimes had my own reservations, this Brahms set just comes out beautifully balanced, expressive, with enough assertive playing and gathered power of tone that one stops fearing that any of the famous four symphonies will be anemic. If one compares the Scottish Chamber Orchestra to Cadaques, the Spanish orchestra comes out a bright equal is not first among chamber orchestra brothers. The linger lesson of hearing this set is that a listener can just smile,sit back, and relax into great music-making. Do not worry about Brahms comparisons any longer. This is just really wonderful music, played ever so wonderfully.

Fantastic performances. The balance between wind and strings is as good as you'll ever hear it for this music!

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1. Simfonia núm 1 - Un poco sostenuto
1. Simfonia núm. 2 - Allegro non troppo
2. Simfonia num. 1 - Andante sostenuto
2, Simfonia núm. 2 - Adagio non troppo
3. Simfonia num 1 - Un poco allegretto e grazioso
3. Simfonia núm. 2 - Allegro grazioso
4. Simfonia num. 1 - Adagio
4. Simfonia núm 2 - Allegro non troppo
5. Simfonia 3 - Allegro con brio
5. Simfonia núm. 4 - Allegro non troppo
6. Simfonia núm. 3 - Poco allegro
6. Simfonia núm. 4 - Andante moderato
7. Simfonia núm 3 - Poco allegro
7. Simfonia núm 4. - Allegro giocoso
8. Simfonia núm. 3 - Poco allegro
8. Simfonia núm. 4 - Allegro energico e appassionato


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