Nowadays this a common
coupling and there are many other issues
like this although they are unlikely
to have the double advantage of Masur
at his peak with the Leipzig Gewandhaus,
and be priced at £3.95.
The sweetness in the
string tone, allied with the Leipzig
acoustic and glowing woodwind and brass
timbres make this an outstanding disc.
Masur in his younger days made this
orchestra play their hearts out and
this is evident here. The problem then,
was that the sound quality was affected
by the variable transfer quality of
the original Philips LPs. With this
Australian-produced CD, there is still
some very slight background tape hiss,
but on the original vinyls, this was
masked by surface imperfections. Now,
with hiss hardly perceptible, these
performances may be enjoyed in all their
Universal allows each
of its marketing managers in each of
the geographical sectors, to choose
the repertoire for their releases on
Eloquence. Universal should take note
of what Cyrus Meher-Homji has been doing
for the Australian division. Whilst
in Europe, the same recordings are endlessly
re-cycled on different labels, in the
case of Australian Eloquence some outstanding
classic performances are being issued
which otherwise have never seen the
light of day.
In addition, since
the delivery service is outstanding,
better than most U.K. mail order organisations,
there is no reason to delay in the purchase
of such discs. I placed an order on
Thursday, and the discs were delivered
to my front door exactly one week later.
Even if you share the postage costs
over the discs, they still are no dearer
than the domestic equivalents. The only
word of caution is to limit the value
of the discs you order, as if the total
value is somewhat over £20.00, H. M.
Customs at Mount Royal, on arrival in
the U.K. will wipe out any possible
savings by adding import duty, so beware.
Brahms took over forty
years to write his first symphony. He
produced his first two symphonies fairly
close together and then there was a
gap of some ten years before the urge
came upon him to write another pair
(also quite close together). This release
couples the latter of the first two
with the first of the last two. Both
symphonies are considered warm and romantic,
although there are some differences.
No. 2, for example is warm and sunny
throughout with a joyous finale rounding
it off, with trombones ablaze with colour.
The third, also romantic in nature,
is more autumnal, the only one of Brahms’s
symphonies to have all four movements
First movement repeats
are omitted - that’s not unusual. Although
I know of some music-lovers who will
not listen to such, I personally do
not get too worried by their omission.
I can only hope that
the distance factor does not deter collectors
from dipping into this goldmine of issues.
Those of us who are constantly frustrated
by the regular re-appearance of the
same old recordings on the re-issue
merry-go-round should take note of what
is happening in Australia. Well done