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The Brahms Symphonies / Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Kurt Masur
The Brahms Symphonies / Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra Kurt Masur
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2007     3hr 17min

The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra is conducted by Kurt Masur in their first-ever recording of all four Brahms symphonies, from the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in 1991.Kurt Masur also gives an in-depth interview prior to each...  more »


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Movie Details

Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Classical
Studio: Kultur Video
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 01/30/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 3hr 17min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Classical
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Brahms as the Best of the Best
Hubert S. Mickel | 02/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This cycle of Brahms four symphonies was initially performed in Glasgow in 1991 and finally put on DVD for sale in early 2007. No explanation for this hiatus is immediately forthcoming. Nontheless, it is a great addition to the recording library to have these performances of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under the direction of Kurt Masur. The only possible criticism of these performances might be that they were recorded in 1991 and not 2006. There have been some advances in sound technology during that 15 year span.

Kurt Masur presents his notion that the four symphonies of Brahms are all related, as if they are individual movements of a grand symphony of Brahms' life. Kurt Masur explains this in one of the interviews that occur before each symphony. The next Brahms symphony picks up where the last symphony stopped. This notion provides a new way to hear the symphonies and to understand Brahms. Furthermore, Kurt Masur's interpretation of Brahms reveals the seemingly infinite inner beauty of the conductor's and the composer's mind.

I have been a great admirer of Kurt Masur since 1973. I attended an International Congress of Biochemistry in Stockholm that summer. There was an exclusive performance of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra under the leadership of Kurt Masur as guest conductor. After the concert, I was the only person go backstage to see Kurt Masur. I wanted to meet him, because I recognized his astounding musical ability. I also wanted to ask his advice on going to East Germany to study the original documents regarding Robert Schumann's illness. Kurt Masur listened attentively to my ideas and provided me with extraordinary advice both on the study as well as how to get acceptance into the country. It worked, and I reviewed all of the original materials of Schumann's illness in both Leipzig and Zwickau.

My personal experience with Kurt Masur has been an incentive for me to hear as much and as many performances of his as possible. These four symphonies of Brahms are no disappointment. I am happy to claim that they are the best performances of the Brahms symphonies available. Other great conductors of Brahms include Bruno Walter and Wilhelm Furtwangler. My introduction to the Brahms symphonies was a recording by Bruno Walter. However, Wilhelm Furtwangler was always a great conductor, even when he doubted himself. He had much difficulty in satisfying himself that he was interpreting Brahms Symphony #3 correctly. Kurt Masur's tremendous talent and his capacity for innovative thinking puts him, to my mind, at the head of the class.

Simply put, you won't find recordings of Brahms symphonies better than these. In addition, you get to see the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra perform as well as see Kurt Masur conduct -- without a score, without a podium, and without a baton. When he conducts, he truly is a sculptor of sound."
Music lover in MD
John F. Cahill | 07/10/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)

"The two stars are for the quality of the disc, not the performance. I too purchased the DVD. Performance is superb, but the picture has problems with popping noises and jumps. I contacted KULTUR. They knew
about the problem. It was in the transfer to the disc. They said they are fixing it and will reissue the DVD. How will anyone know if the DVD purchased at a future date has the problem fixed???

I sent mine back and hope to eventually purchase it at a future date."
Max Sittenfeld Appel | Miami, Fl United States | 03/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Kurt Mazur and his Leipzig Orchestra undoubtedly are so amazing that I will catologue them as one of the best of the last and this century. The picture is excellent, the camaras take care of focusing the director and each member of the orchestra when it's needed. The PCM stereo sound is really outstanding, but the lack of DTS 5.1 or DD 5.1 is really a drawback, mainly because is a new 1992 recording."
Great But Defective
Dan D. Mish | Talent, OR. | 07/13/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This is a fine recording of all the Brahms symphonies. However, as one reviewer stated, it is defective. There are several places where the sound and picture break up. It only lasts for a second or two, each time, but if you are particular about those things...beware!"