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William Steinberg

Brahms: Symphonies Nos 1 - 4 & Tragic Overture (3CD)

William Steinberg was recognized as one of the world’s greatest interpreters of the Brahms Symphonies and his recordings of these masterpieces for the COMMAND label have been acclaimed by critics as among the finest recorded interpretations of these great works.


To mark the 125 years since the death of Johannes Brahms (April 3, 2022), Deutsche Grammophon will release for the first time on CD and the first time digitally these great performances of the four Brahms Symphonies with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra remastered from the original tapes.


Having recorded a monaural First Symphony for Capitol in 1956 and a stereo Fourth for Everest in 1960, Steinberg launched the present Brahms cycle for Command Classics with the Second. Recorded in May 1961, it was released in the autumn to strong critical acclaim. Nominated for a Grammy (Classical Album of the Year), the New York Herald Tribune called it “the finest Brahms Second in stereo”. “A sensitive, authoritative, and effective performance” of the First followed in 1962 matched in “interpretative verve and superbly transparent stereoism” (High Fidelity) by the Third in the same year. The Fourth, recorded in 1964, garnered similar acclaim for its “luxurious sound” with the New York Times adding “above all, Steinberg makes his Brahms sing.”


Steinberg’s striking effect of making the orchestra sing was wholly supported by his recording engineers. High Fidelity surmised: “The Command technique invites you to listen to the depth of the orchestration … It is this sort of experience that makes the concept of high fidelity one of real musical significance for the home music listener.”


TRACK LIST

CD 1
Symphony No. 1 in C minor op. 68
Un poco sostenuto – Allegro
Andante sostenuto
Un poco Allegretto e grazioso
Adagio – Più Andante – Allegro non troppo, ma con brio

CD 2
Symphony No. 2 in D major op. 73
Allegro non troppo
Adagio non troppo
Allegretto grazioso (Quasi Andantino) – Presto ma non assai
Allegro con spirito

Symphony No. 3 in F major op. 90
Allegro con brio
Andante
Poco Allegretto
Allegro

CD 3
Symphony No. 4 in E minor op. 98
Allegro non troppo
Andante moderato
Allegro giocoso – Poco meno presto – Tempo I
Allegro energico e passionato – Più Allegro

Tragic Overture in D minor op. 81
Allegro ma non troppo