Andrew Manze / Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra - Brahms: Symphonies

Andrew Manze / Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra - Brahms: Symphonies
Styles: Symphony
Recording Location: Helsingborg Concert Hall
Genre: Classical
Recording Date: 2009 - 2010
Album: Brahms: Symphonies
Release Date: March 26, 2012
Artist: Andrew Manze \ Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra
Duration: 03:30:40

One might expect Andrew Manze's interpretations of Johannes Brahms' four symphonies to adhere to ideas of the movement for historically informed performance practice, due to his scholarship and dedication to authenticity in his early music performances.

However, and somewhat paradoxically, he and the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra have delivered more or less mainstream readings on modern instruments; there are no signs of late 19th century woodwind or brass timbres, and the strings play with standard vibrato. Yet Manze's historical fact finding has gone to a deeper level than just replicating instrumentation or orchestral scale, and he has found numerous clues to Brahms' intentions in the composer's transcriptions of the symphonies for two pianos, which often vary with the published orchestral scores in accentuation, tempo indications, and phrasing. These are fine points that can be discerned with careful listening and great familiarity with many other recordings of the symphonies, both conventional and historic, but they may not be the main thing listeners will consider in appreciating this set.

The playing and the recording quality are up to the extraordinarily high levels set by CPO in all its releases, and these resilient works sound as good as they ever did under any other conductor.

Indeed, it's difficult to tell where Manze has discovered much that's novel, though the most obvious example would be the steadily brisk tempo he maintains throughout the Finale of the Symphony No. 1, not slowing down for the big theme as has become customary. With equally fine versions of the Haydn Variations, the Tragic Overture, and the Academic Festival Overture, this is a classic presentation that will please connoisseurs and casual listeners alike, without causing any controversy.

Title/ComposerPerformerTime
Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68
Un poco sostenuto - Allegro - Meno Allegro / Johannes BrahmsAndrew Manze / Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra15:00
Andante sostenuto / Johannes BrahmsAndrew Manze / Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra9:30
Un poco Allegretto e grazioso / Johannes BrahmsAndrew Manze / Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra4:43
Adagio, Più Andante, Allegro non troppo, ma con brio - Più Allegro / Johannes BrahmsAndrew Manze / Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra16:17
Variations on a theme of Joseph Haydn, Op. 56a
Chorale St. Antoni: Andante / Johannes BrahmsAndrew Manze / Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra2:00
Variation 1: Poco più animato / Johannes BrahmsAndrew Manze / Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra1:16
Variation 2: Più vivace / Johannes BrahmsAndrew Manze / Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra1:00
Variation 3: Con moto / Johannes BrahmsAndrew Manze / Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra1:52
Variation 4: Andante con moto / Johannes BrahmsAndrew Manze / Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra2:20
Variation 5: Vivace / Johannes BrahmsAndrew Manze / Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra1:02
Variation 6: Vivace / Johannes BrahmsAndrew Manze / Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra1:12
Variation 7: Grazioso / Johannes BrahmsAndrew Manze / Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra3:12
Variation 8: Presto non troppo / Johannes BrahmsAndrew Manze / Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra1:16
Finale: Andante / Johannes BrahmsAndrew Manze / Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra3:48

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