, March 2014
This Brahms 3 is gripping. Forceful and dramatic…Everything just sits right—phrasing, tempi and a superb handling of dynamics. With well-judged rubato and a sensitive handling of transitions, this all adds up to a compelling reading. I must single out Jack Brymer’s contribution in the clarinet solo of the second movement—the exquisite way he moulds the phrases, brings ardent tenderness to the score.
The third movement opens with one of my favourite melodies. Svetlanov judges the mood just right, aptly gauging the melancholic and autumnal feel of Brahms’ music in a captivating manner. Then comes the fourth movement. Here suspense is generated before the eruption of a dramatic and volatile finale. All in all, a truly memorable performance.
In Debussy’s La Mer, Svetlanov deftly colours the score with myriad shadings and tones. It’s a nicely paced performance. I love the way he points up the woodwind phrases. Svetlanov achieves ideal orchestral balance in Dialogue du vent et de la mer. The brass section’s contribution is second to none. In the big tune there is ardent, heartfelt lyricism.
A bonus track of the second movement of Chausson’s Poème de l’amour et de la mer - La Mort de l’amour - Le Temps des lilas featuring Janet Baker, is a welcome addition. Dame Janet is in fine voice, and was at her peak around this time. Sensitively accompanied by Svetlanov it provides a tempting taster for the full thing.
Sound quality throughout is excellent…
I commend ICA Classics for making these, and many other historical live recordings available, preserving them for posterity. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review