Masur and Brahms

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Kurt Masur leads the New York Philharmonic Kurt Masur leads the New York Philharmonic (Chris Lee)

This week Kurt Masur conducts the New York Philharmonic in Brahms’s Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4.

Program playlist:
Brahms: Symphony No. 3
Brahms: Symphony No. 4

Comments [5]

Les from Miami, Florida

Correction: The string syncopation at the start of the Third Symphony is in the violas only, not the violas and second violins.

Feb. 22 2015 02:07 PM
Les from Miami, Florida

This repeat transmission of the concert of 12 November 2012 bowled me over even more than the first time I heard it and it also grabbed my attention because as both symphonies were being played, it struck me that of the recorded performances I've heard, Maestro Masur is the one who most convincingly presents the most balanced Brahms symphonic sound which to me means a warm one with a singing legato,while at the same time allowing a chamber music clarity to be heard from all sections of the orchestra. On the rather fast outer movement side are Toscanini, Koussevitzky and (a surprise to me) Beecham (with a Third Symphony with the Symphony of the Air); on the slower side, Furgwaengler, Klemperer, Walter and Masur; rather in the middle, Reiner and Stock. The syncopations in the inner voices (second violins and violas) of the Third Symphony at the outset were clearly heard, to cite one example. The reference to Schumann's "Rhenish" Symphony motive (the retransition "un poco sostenuto") was slowly and mysteriously played, as were the antiphonal woodwind and string sequences with those curious and mysterious ninth chords in the strings. (Did Brahms ever write ninth chords in anything else? It beats me.) There was a prolonged upbeat to the beginning of the third movement and here the accompanying figures to the main theme were clearly heard. Surprisingly and revealing to me was the timpani playing 16th notes rather than a roll in the two penultimate bars to the final movement. The Fourth Symphony also began with a prolonged upbeat and that was a portent of a serious and depth-laden performance, which I think it was. By contrast, the third movement was appropriately jocular and clear, the triangle being clearly heard even in full tuttis. I've always wondered if the violas playing E D sharp E in Variation 13 was an intentional reminiscence on Brahms's part of the beginning motive of the Second Symphony, albeit it being D C sharp D. I'm of the opinion that the vibrato in flute solos played nowadays (be they symphonic or operatic) are just too wide, as revealed in Variation 12. The trombones and bassoons (later horns, too) sounded ravishingly beautiful. As did |Furtwaengler, Masur accelerated the tempo starting at Piu` Allegro Variation 31 that continued until the end. As I remarked at the beginning, this concert was a real relelation to me.

Feb. 22 2015 01:52 PM

MAZUR? Mazur? Mazur? I'm confused. Is there a variant spelling that I'm not aware of, and that WQXR doesn't use? D~~

Feb. 19 2015 10:29 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, LaKE Hiawatha,lNJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute

KURT MAZUR is in the grand tradition of well-schooled maestri conversant wiyth many styles and at home with their own native land's composers' music. Maestro Mazur is particularly at his best in Beethoven , Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler and Wagner. One cannot too highly praise his achievements. What a wonderful world, as the expression goes, that we can tune in to productions even sold out events, such as , maybe, the New York Philharmonic concert with Mazur almost everywhere. I am a Wagnerian heldentenor with many years of experience singing the heavier roles in the German, Italian, French and Russian operas. My next concert in New York is on March 21st, 2015 at 6 PM at the New Life Expo at the Hotel Pennsylvania on 33rd Street and 7th Avenue .It will be the 4th Reprise of my 4 three hour long main hall Carnegie Hall solo concerts in which I sang nearly 100 selections. The concert will be in 8 languages: German, Italian, French, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Latin and English. The composers represented will be Wagner, Verdi, Beethoven, Handel, Grieg, Sibelius, Jacopo Peri, Cilea, Halevy, Gastaldon and Alvarez. The entire 12 hours of selections sung at Carnegie Hall will be presented in a series of 12 single hour concerts on tour along with The 300 Greatest Love Songs of Broadway Musicals, the Movies and the Grammys, also sung in concerts and on DVD. My Juilliard training and studying with the great legends of Wagnerian singing, Friedrich Schorr, Alexander Kipnis, Margrret Matzenauer and Karin Branzell can be readily apparent in my singing. My singing may be downloaded, free, at Recorded Selections at my websites, and I am also an opera composer [ "Shakespeare" and "The Political Shakespeare"]and director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute in Boonton, NJ where there is training for actors for all the roles of the Shakespeare's plays and for big-voiced singers for all the Wagner roles and voice production training for speech and singing.

Feb. 19 2015 10:47 AM
Les from Miami, Florida

This offering with Maestro Masur is sure-fire. Let us all listen with confidence and enjoyment.

Feb. 19 2015 09:04 AM

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