Six of the best Brahms recordings

We choose the best examples of the Romantic composer on disc

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Six of the best Brahms recordings
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Symphonies Nos 1-4
Gewandhaus Orchestra/Riccardo Chailly
Decca 478 5344 (3 discs)

With the Gewandhaus and Chailly on magnificent form, this recording adds orchestral rarities to a top-notch Symphony cycle.

 

 

 

Ein deutsches Requiem
Dorothea Röschmann, Thomas Quasthoff; Berlin Philharmonic, Rundfunkchor Berlin/Simon Rattle

Warner 365 3932

A superb live performance that captures the human spirit at the heart of the German Requiem.

 

 

Four Serious Songs plus other Lieder
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone), Jörg Demus (piano)
Australian Eloquence 480 3527

A masterly anthology of Brahms’s often neglected Lieder, including the Four Serious Songs, written in the last year of his life.

 

 

 

Rhapsodies, Op. 79; Intermezzos, Op. 117 etc.
Radu Lupu (piano)
Decca 417 5992

An exquisite selection of some of the composer’s most beautiful, autumnal piano music, played by a superlative Brahmsian.

 

 

 

String Quartets Nos 1-3; Piano Quintet in F minor
Emerson String Quartet; Leon Fleischer (piano)
DG 477 6458

The Emersons bring intelligence and passion to Brahms’s three Quartets. Leon Fleischer joins for a coruscating Piano Quintet.

 

 

 

Violin Sonatas
Anthony Marwood (violin), Aleksander Madzar (piano)
Wigmore Hall Live WHLive0050

Warm and lyrical live performances add up to one of the best modern recordings of the Sonatas.

 

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