HD-Vinyls 96/24 (EMI) Johannes Brahms – Complete Symphonies (Klemperer)

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# Composer: Johannes Brahms
# Orchestra: Philarmonia Orchestra London
# Conductor: Otto Klemperer
# Vinyls (1959-61)
# Number of Discs: 4
# Format: Flac
# Label: EMI
# DR-Analysis: DR 13
# ASIN CD: B0001O3Y8A
# Size: 3.32 GB
# Scan: yes
# Server: FileFactory

I’ve listened to the Brahms 4th at least several dozens of times, the finale had a place in my heart. When I listened to this performance of it I heard so much that I never heard before. Though of course Brahms was German, I was able to have that great experience where I heard words trying to be expressed through musical instruments. I listened wanting to hear what I heard before, and heard something entirely different. E minor, I know. This is the gold music, I highly recomend it.

These recordings are excellent Brahms. Klemp strolls through them without over romanticizing them or underestimating them. (One would expect that from Klemperer.) On one hand, it’s definitely easy to over-romanticize this music, for it is lush stuff. On the other hand, it’s too easy to push right through too rapidly and lose the tonal and layered subtleties of this complicated music. Klemperer strikes a great balance and does a solid job with these great symphonies. (If he made a mistake, he reserved it for the last movement of the 4th, where he just – apparently, arbitrarily — decided to “mush the huskies on” quickly.) Currently I am relistening to the Toscanini/Philharmonia recordings of 1951 and the Solti/Chicago Symphony sets. (I will comment on them later.) With a solid job on these symphonies, Klemperer is a rare conductor. My experience has been that very few really understand Brahms. Few are as understandingly consistent with him as Klemperer. That is also why he cut such a great recording of the German Requiem, to which I still listen a lot. It is one of the great ones and well recorded.

I have listened to a lot of Brahms. For some reason I cannot warm up to von Karajan’s Brahms, though it is said he considered himself the successor to Furtwangler with Brahms. I do not believe that anymore than I believe Furtwangler was THE conductor for Brahms. Certainly he was most capable, as was von Karajan. After considerable listening to Furtwangler’s recorded and available Brahms, I have chilled on him because of his abrupt and unexplained tempo changes not only on Brahms, but also on Beethoven. And he was the Reichsorchesterdirektor, or something like that, even though I do feel more pity for him than I do for old Nazi von Karajan. Did HVK ever repent of anything?

Back to the point. I do admire Klemperer’s Brahms. I recommend these performances for purchase simply because they are among the best. They are done by one of the better Brahmsians in the 20th century. I am not sure they should be “Great Recordings of the Century.” Maybe so. If so, then I recommend EMI also bring back the Giulini/Philharmonia recordings of the 1960’s and put them on the Great Recordings series. I have never heard a better Brahmsian than Carlo Maria Giulini. These Klemp recordings are very, very good, and they are among the best. But they are not my favorites. My own personal opinion is that I have heard no finer Brahm’s conductors than Carlo Maria Guilini and Sergiu Celibidache.

Sometimes we fall into the traps of falling for the best marketed conductor and orchestra. Certainly Giulini and Celibidache are not. But their Brahms scintillates. It follows the conductor’s directions and is very moving music. I believe Klemperer does us a great favor. He is well marketed and is a very, very good Brahm’s interpreter and conductor. He gives us a well known and respected alternative to the BPO/von Karajan axis. These recordings merit a purchase. My advice? You could wait a long time before a better balanced set comes along. Get them!

Analyzed folder: /96k Brahms Klemperer 4 Symphonies
DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
DR14        -2.44 dB     -21.07 dB     A1 Symphony No.1 in C minor, Op.68 – 1. Un poco sostenuto – Allegro – Meno allegro.wav
DR14        -8.60 dB     -27.69 dB     A2 Symphony No.1 in C minor, Op.68 – 2. Andante sostenuto.wav
DR12        -7.32 dB     -24.74 dB     B1 Symphony No.1 in C minor, Op.68 – 3. Un poco allegretto e grazioso.wav
DR13        -2.28 dB     -19.88 dB     B2 Symphony No.1 in C minor, Op.68 – 4. Adagio – Piu andante – Allegro non troppo, ma con brio – Piu allegro.wav
DR13        -1.80 dB     -20.36 dB     C1 Symphony No.2 in D, Op.73 – 1. Allegro non troppo.wav
DR13        -3.52 dB     -22.42 dB     C2 Symphony No.2 in D, Op.73 – 2. Adagio non troppo – L’istesso tempo, ma grazioso.wav
DR14        -4.55 dB     -24.93 dB     D1 Symphony No.2 in D, Op.73 – 3. Allegretto grazioso (Quasi andantino) – Presto ma non assai.wav
DR11        -2.06 dB     -18.44 dB     D2 Symphony No.2 in D, Op.73 – 4. Allegro con spirito.wav
DR13        -2.76 dB     -20.28 dB     D3 Tragic ouverture d-minor op81.wav
DR11        -3.03 dB     -19.15 dB     E1 Symphony No.3 in F, Op.90 – 1. Allegro con brio – Un poco sostenuto – Tempo I.wav
DR13        -6.80 dB     -25.24 dB     E2 Symphony No.3 in F, Op.90 – 2. Andante.wav
DR13        -6.41 dB     -26.39 dB     F1 Symphony No.3 in F, Op.90 – 3. Poco allegretto.wav
DR11        -3.21 dB     -19.52 dB     F2 Symphony No.3 in F, Op.90 – 4. Allegro.wav
DR11        -2.21 dB     -17.56 dB     F3 Academical feast ouverture op80.wav
DR12        -2.53 dB     -19.10 dB     G1 Symphony No.4 in E minor, Op.98 – 1. Allegro non troppo.wav
DR13        -2.70 dB     -21.56 dB     G2 Symphony No.4 in E minor, Op.98 – 2. Andante moderato.wav
DR11        -1.86 dB     -16.82 dB     H1 Symphony No.4 in E minor, Op.98 – 3. Allegro giocoso – Poco meno presto – Tempo I.wav
DR12        -1.45 dB     -18.81 dB     H2 Symphony No.4 in E minor, Op.98 – 4. Allegro energico e passionato – Piu’ allegro.wav
Number of files:    18
Official DR value:    DR13

Ripping Infos

  • RCM: Okki Nokki
  • TT: Clearaudio Champion Level II
  • System: Special Edition Denon DL 103
  • Phono stage: Pro-Ject Phono Box II
  • Pre Amp: Unison Research Unico Pre (Tube)
  • Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
  • Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
  • Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
  • Software: iZotope RX Advanced v2.02, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Light de-Clicking with ClickRepair, significant clicks manually removing, no De-Noising

If You hear some clicks and pops here and there, Who cares?
Id rather have a few light anomalies instead of destroying the music. Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops.

  • DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
  • Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5

If you like what i do, please consider that a little donation would be very appreciate. I reinvest all donations in maintenance of my rig, for purchasing cleaning solutions and, most important of all, purchasing of new vinyls.
Click on the “Donate”-button. Thank you very much !

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PW: LaWally

29 thoughts on “HD-Vinyls 96/24 (EMI) Johannes Brahms – Complete Symphonies (Klemperer)

  1. Rachmaninov, thanks for this post. Klemperer is, in my opinion, one of the greatest conductors in the History, and his version of these symphonies is, besides Walter and Furtwängler, the best one.
    Un saludo.
    ¿Hablas español?

    • Hola Don José….gracias, i agree with you comment about Klemperer 🙂
      I do not hablo español but i can understand much of it (italian and spanish are “cousins”)

  2. I may only associate with previous comment.Incredible possibility to investigate the interpretations by one of the most profound conductors in the history! Thank you very much for your great job!

  3. Hi Rachmaninov,

    Thanks again for this great post. I have a question: from where do you take the signal to digitize it…from the Project Phono II outputs? from the Unison research Pre? or from the turntable output?. My soundcard does have phono input and I could take signal from the turntable, but I don’t know if this is the better way to do it.

    btw Great Klemperer!!

    • I always wonder, why people cannot read properly…..Do you think I’m a magician? OK, in terms of ripping music, maybe I am…but I cannot do anything, if a server is down for maintenance and tells you, to try again later 🙁

  4. Such a joy. Thank you, sir… For all your work.

    Words cannot express what great pleasure you have brought to my ears and my heart.

    Mille grazie!!

  5. Boy oh boy, I’m a “Johnny-come-lately.” Some how I completely missed this offering. Klemperer is one of my very favorite German/ no just conductor period. I had most of his LPs here in USA, but some way not this one. This is a real gem. It is worthy of every word you wrote.
    My intense gratitude, Rach!

    • You’re welcome, my big boy 😉
      PS: nice citation from Eagles’ “New Kid In Town”…or is this a common way to say in english language?

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