Brahms: Symphony # 1; Bergrabnisgesang, Op. 13; Schicksalslied, Op. 54; Mendelssohn- Mitten wir in Leben sind Op. 23
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Following on from John Eliot Gardiner's critically acclaimed recordings of the symphonies of Beethoven and Schumann, SDG are proud to b e releasing the first disc in a new series exporing teh music of Johannes Brahms. Recorded live during last autumn's Brahms and his antecedents tour, and showcasing the four symphonies as well as Brahms' major choral works, this series is an important milestond for SDG heralding teh development of the label beyond the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and teh REnaissance choral repertoire which have so far dominated its catlogue. Brahms' large-scale music is brimful of vigour, drama and a driving passion - says John Eliot Gardiner in his introductory notes. One way to release these characteristis is, for the conductor, to set his symphonies in the context of his own superb and often neglected choral music, and that of the old masters he particularly cherishede and studied (Schutz and Bach especially) and of recen heroes of his (Mendelssoh, Schubert, and Schumann). This way, says Gardiner, we are able to gain a new perspective on his symphonic compositions, drawing attention to the intrinsic vocality at the heart of his writing for orchestra. Composing such substantial choral works as Schicksalslied, which also features on this release, gave Brahms invaluable experience of orchestral writing years before he brought his first symphony to fruition. Solemnity, pathos, terror and jubilation are all experienced and encapsulated before they come to a head in the finale of the first symphony.
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