London Philharmonic Orchestra Vladimir Jurowski, conductor
This CD captures the impassioned live performances of Brahms’s first two symphonies conducted by the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Principal Conductor Vladimir Jurowski. Jurowski came to international attention and recognition on disc in 2005 with two Tchaikovsky releases: Suite No.3 on PentaTone and on the LPO label his debut recording Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony, both widely and critically acclaimed releases. As Hugh Canning in The Sunday Times noted 'Jurowski is proving himself one of the rising podium stars, especially in his native Russian music'.
Brahms took twenty-one years to complete his First Symphony, struggling under the weight of expectation as the worthy successor to Beethoven, renowned for his mastery of the symphony. Though this may have hindered Brahms’s speed, the result was worth waiting for – and the influence of Beethoven within this heroic work is undeniable. His Second Symphony was completed in just a few months and the overall mood is one of pastoral lyricism.
“With lithe tempi, long, beautifully articulated phrases and judicious application of rubato, Vladimir Jurowski allows the plush sound of the LPO space to resonate...Recorded live, this crackles with contrapuntal vigour without losing gravitas. Breathtaking.” The Independent, 31st January 2010
“Jurowski offers us a free-flowing, finely-nuanced account of the music, with clear-eyed winds, expressive brass and a string ensemble in which lambent-toned violas and cellos are properly to the fore.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2010
“...Jurowski's approach to Brahms makes exceptional sense. Instead of the familiar cultivation of rich, fat sound as a goal in itself, we have a Brahms that moves fluidly and sings in long lines...the cross-rhythms and syncopations bounce and spring…” BBC Music Magazine, June 2010 *****