PASC083: Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68 - Brahms
Boston Symphony Orchestra
conducted by Guido Cantelli Originally taken from a WGBH-FM Boston broadcast,
recorded 27th March, 1954.
Pristine Audio XR remastering by Andrew Rose, July 2007
Download ID: 329476/7/499938
A Pristine Audio XR restoration
Scroll down for PDF covers and cue-sheet download
This XR-remastered recording is available in mono and Ambient Stereo. For more information on Ambient Stereo click here.
Notes on the restoration: My original source material for these transfers was quarter-inch reel-to-reel tape, onto which transfers of the original recordings had previously been made by persons unknown. The concert broadcast of 27th March also included Bartók's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, released on Pristine Audio PASC081. The comments I made for that recording stand equally well, here, though there is less hiss present than with the Bartók:
"The 1954 recording was in generally good condition, though with dreadful tonal balance... With this corrected, the restoration was straightforward and the results fine."
Actually I'd go a step further - I think this recording has come out excellently and beyond the corrective equalisation from the XR process and the notching out of a couple of rogue tone frequencies, required remarkably little intervention. The sound is full-bodied and well recorded, and the performance, yet again from Cantelli, a real treat!
Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Symphony No. 1 in c minor, Op. 68, by Johannes Brahms was first performed on November 4, 1876 in Karlsruhe. The premiere was conducted by Felix Otto Dessoff, a friend of the composer. It took Brahms at least 14 years to complete, the first sketches dating from 1862.
The work is in the typical four movements
Un poco sostenuto – Allegro – meno Allegro
Un poco Allegretto e grazioso
Adagio – Più Andante – Allegro non troppo ma con brio – Più Allegro
It is scored for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, contrabassoon, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, timpani and strings.
A typical performance lasts approximately 45 to 50 minutes.
The long gestation of the symphony may be put down to two factors: on the one hand, Brahms' self-critical fastidiousness which led him to destroy many of his early works, and, on the other hand, the expectation of Brahms' friends and the public that Brahms would continue "Beethoven's inheritance" and produce a symphony of commensurate dignity and intellectual scope—an expectation which Brahms felt he could not fulfill easily in view of the monumental reputation of Beethoven.
The conductor Hans von Bülow was moved in 1877 to call the symphony Beethoven's Tenth, due to perceived similarities between the work and various compositions of Beethoven; it is often pointed out that there is a strong family resemblance between the main theme of the finale of this work and the main theme of the finale of Beethoven's Ninth, the last symphony Beethoven composed, and that Brahms uses the rhythm of the "fate" motto from the opening of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. This rather annoyed Brahms; he felt that this amounted to accusations of plagiarism, whereas he saw his use of Beethoven's idiom in this symphony as an act of conscious homage. Brahms himself said, when comment was made on the similarity with Beethoven, "any ass can see that." Nevertheless, this work is still often referred to as "Beethoven's tenth". However, Brahms' horn theme, with the "fate" rhythm, was noted down back in 1868 in a letter to Clara Schumann, overheard in an alphorn's playing.
Horn theme from the second movement
Fritz Simrock, Brahms' friend and publisher, did not receive the score until after the work had been performed in three cities (with Brahms still wishing trial performances in at least three more still.)
The manuscript to the first movement apparently does not survive, but the remainder—that of the Andante, Allegretto and Finale—has been reproduced in miniature facsimile by Dover Publications.