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Six of the best Brahms recordings

We choose the best recordings of the Romantic composer, Brahms, on disc

Published: April 11, 2019 at 10:00 am

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.

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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.

Read our reviews of the latest Brahms recordings here


Find out more about Brahms and his works here


Freya ParrDigital Editor and Staff Writer, BBC Music Magazine

Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.

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