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Best for Last
There are three spectacular recordings of this symphony by Walter -- pre-Anschluss Vienna Phil. on 78, early 50's NY Phil. on mono LP, and this 1960 wonder from the LA "Columbia Symphony." Though the sound can be strident on some systems (on mine it just glows), the warmth and humanity of Walter's Brahms shows through at all times, coupled with fantastic drive, power and (as the composer demanded in the first movement but few actually give) brio, or briissimo, if there is such a thing. Absolute heaven.
The last of a holy trinity from Walter
Walter made three classic, inimitable, yet different recordings of this symphony, first in pre-Anschluss Vienna in the 30's, then in New York in the early '50's, and finally in L.A. with the handpicked "Columbia Symphony Orchestra." This is by far the hardest of the Brahms symphonies to bring off, and Walter simply owns the piece. The orchestra knew that they were doing something historic, and did it with passion an love. On very high end equipment the sound is clear, crystalline, and yet warm, but it may need some treble cut on lesser systems. No matter. Even without the first movement repeat, which Walter never took in anything, this is phenomenal.
Best sound ever for a Walter speciality
Among the great Brahmsians, Bruno Walter for me owns this most tricky of Brahms' masterpieces. Like his Vienna and New York Philharmonic recordings of previous decades, Walter and the WGPUO (World's Greatest Pickup Orchestra) makes the work glow and surge and the same time. The result is that, though we hear every line of Brahms tapestry of sound, nothing ever sounds learned or contrived. Bouquets and thunderbolts get equally glorious treatment. Fantastic transfer, even though the Columbia engineers may have let the high treble get a little out of hand. Nothing that can't be ignored or tamed.
Un best off
Interpretation lente et passionnée d’un grand chef romantique.
Walter's Brahms 3
This is one of the great recordings of Brahms 3rd, and it certainly sounds more vivid than ever in this format. That is a double-edged sword, alas, for while the sound has the typical wide sound stage and impact that one expects with recordings on this site, in this case the upper strings are strident and lacerating unless the treble is considerably tamed.
Title: Brahms Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90
Artist(s): Bruno Walter conducts The Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Recording Info: Transferred from a 15ips tape
Recorded 1960 at American Legion Hall by Columbia Records
1. Allegro con brio 10:00
2. Andante 8:40
3. Poco Allegretto 6:16
4. Allegro 8:18
Total Time 33:14
Digital re-mastering in DSD256 :
Merging Technology Pyramix software with the
Hapi Analog to Digital converter