Symphony 3 / Serenade 2 CD, インポート
The first and final movements of Brahms's Third Symphony contain some of the most dramatic music he was to compose, yet both end serenely and enclose two beautiful inner movements. The equally exquisite Serenade No 2, unusually scored for wind instruments, violas, cellos and double basses, was one of his own personal favourites and both receive superb performances under Bernard Haitink in the third part of his internationally acclaimed LSO Live Brahms cycle.
What makes the Third difficult is its lack of tempo contrast and mood, so it's up to the conductor to find as much dramatic contrast as he can. Karajan, Bernstein, Toscanini, and a number of others manage to do this, but Haitink smooths out the contrasts and never delivers even a true Allegro in the outer movements. There's no brio in the first movement and no fervent buildup in the finale. The middle movements are a study in mellifluous playing without much meaning or point.
The Serenade #2 wakes Haitink up, however, and he gives us one of the most rollicking, cheerful readings on disc, with the engineers contributing detailed sound that highlights the woodwinds delightfuly. If anything, Haitink is too bumptious at times, rushing the Minuet and finale, ut rather that than the monotonous placidity of the Third Sym. In sum, if you love the LSO and excellent recorded sound, this CD has more to offer than if you are looking for a first-rate Brhams Third to challenge the great ones.