Brahms, Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73

Brahms's sunny Second Symphony is as warm and lyrical as his First had
been stormy and dramatic. It quite possibly reflects the idyllic nature
around Lake Wörth in Austria, where Brahms composed it in the summer of
1877. Brahms himself, however, called attention to the melancholy current
that undermines the pastoral serenity ("You've never heard anything as
world-weary as this", he wrote to his friend Schubring). Despite the
apparent simplicity of the symphonic writing, the work is strengthened and
enriched by many thematic threads that run from one movement to another. It
has been a special favorite among music lovers since its premiere in Vienna
on 30 December 1877. The celebrated 19th-century music critic Eduard
Hanslick wrote that it was for "all who long for good music, whether they
understand its complexity or not".
Carlos Kleiber was born in Berlin on 3 July 1930, the son of the celebrated
conductor Erich Kleiber. He was raised in Argentina after his family fled
Nazi Germany. After the war, Kleiber went to Switzerland to study
chemistry. His musical talent carried the day, however, and he made his
conducting debut in Potsdam in 1954. He worked his way through the ranks of
provincial opera houses, making longer stops in Düsseldorf, Zurich,
Stuttgart. He freelanced for many years, conducting infrequently but at the
world's leading venues: the Vienna State Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, the
Bavarian State Opera, La Scala, Bayreuth, Covent Garden...
Thanks to Kleiber's legendary reluctance to produce recordings, each
recording is an event, a classic. He could allow himself the luxury of
choosing his own repertoire and performers, and of working at a pace that
ensured peerless music-making. The results can perhaps be best illustrated
with the image of "an expert art restorer who clears away centuries of
grime to reveal a painting in its pristine glory. Kleiber... strips away
the varnish from some of music's most tradition-encrusted masterworks to
expose the vital creation lurking beneath." (TIME)

Composer: Johannes Brahms
Title: Brahms, Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73
Conductor: Carlos Kleiber
Orchestra: Wiener Philharmoniker
Video Director: Horant H. Hohlfeld
Genre: Concert
Length: 41 minutes
Cat.No.: A05502450
Gallery         DVD