Magazine article Gramophone

Brahms: Symphony No 4, Op 98

Magazine article Gramophone

Brahms: Symphony No 4, Op 98

Article excerpt

Brahms

Symphony No 4, Op 98

Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrucken

Kaiserslautern / Stanislaw Skrowaczewski

Oehms [F] OC410 (42' * DDD)

Plenty to get excited about here, first and foremost the sheer energy of Skrowaczewski's performance, or most of it; the contrast--specifically in the first movement--between an abundance of punchy staccatos and warmly singing lines. Right from the opening bars, where theme and accompaniment (violas and cellos) swim along in ardent harmony, you sense that this is a goal-orientated performance. Where others make Brahms sound pordy, Skrowaczewski works the fat back into gleaming muscle. The Allegro non troppo is kept mobile without rushing, slowing significantly only around the mysterious passage at fig L (7'23"); the Andante moderato is judiciously paced, with skilfully balanced woodwinds and pizzicato strings near the start, the contrasting second idea always sensitively phrased. In particular, beam up 3'53" where the violin desks, directed to play quietly and sweetly, embellish the expressive viola and cello lines. …

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