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Carlos KleiberVienna Philharmonic Orchestra / Johannes Brahms Symphony No.4 The greatest Brahms piece of all time, bursting with Carlos痴 unique expression! DSD mastering recreates the vivid sound of DG's treasured original master recordings.
Distributed exclusively by ESOTERIC COMPANY

Discontinued (January, 2011)

An enduring charisma that lives on in death: Carlos Kleiber痴 last studio recording with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

The popularity of conductor Carlos Kleiber (July 3, 1930 July 13, 2004) still shows no sign of slowing down five years after his death. He had a charisma that mystified countless audiences with his graceful and gorgeous conducting, extremely few concerts and limited repertoire, and frequent cancellations. But most of all, Kleiber delighted audiences with the charm of the actual performance, regardless of opera or concert being played. In total Kleiber made only nine studio recordings, eight of which were for DG, the first being 泥er Freischutz (1973) and the last 典ristan und Isolde (1982), as well as one for EMI.
All other recordings were of live performances, with both official and bootleg versions existing. This performance of Brahms Symphony No. 4, recorded in March of 1980, is fourth recording with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. It stands out as both Kleiber痴 first digital recording, but also his last studio recording with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. His first performance of this work at the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra痴 subscription concert in December of 1979 was a great success. Four months later he energetically committed himself to make the recording in the studio. The sense of exuberance pervading this studio performance is truly remarkable. His interpretation can be considered revolutionary, for it swept away the sense of ennui inherent maybe epoch-making in terms that it cleared away the inherent ennui of this symphony. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that the subtle emphasis on phrases and voice parts lends more depth to the sound, clearly seen within the exquisite agogics in the third movement痴 theme.

The supreme SA-CD/CD hybridization becomes a reality

Compared to Kleiber痴 past three albums with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, this recording captures his characteristically fluid and clear sound with remarkable clarity. This is made possible by the unique advantages digital recordings offer. As was done with the ESOTERIC project in the past, uncompromising efforts were made at each stage of the SA-CD hybridization process to recreate the original sound, from selecting the master tape for the recording to the final DSD mastering. Likewise, the D/A converters, rubidium clock generator and MEXCEL cables were all used for DSD mastering. The careful adjustment of ESOTERIC's top grade equipment has made it possible to store all of the information from the original performance onto disc, creating an unconstrained sound that is authentic.

This performance may never be surpassed (Hiromi Saito)

- A dynamic expression that fully exploits the talents of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. There is no sense of ambiguity clouding this performance. This conductor does not tacitly follow the score, but tries to bring out the underlying meaning and express it to the fullest. Thus, the amazingly delicate melodies are put together carefully and precisely. One could say that this the unique performance depicts Carlos痴 youthful and carefree personality.

(Tadao Koishi, from 典he Record Geijutsu Special Issue:
Classical Music Record Book Vol. 1 - Symphony, 1985)

- A powerful performance as intense as a raging inferno, recorded when Kleiber was 50 years old. Pure magnificence and splendor! It instantly captivates the listener with its depth and masculine dynamism. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra痴 fiery passion and sonority really gets one excited. The thick brass, swirling strings, and the all-important tight percussion are what really stand out with this orchestra. It痴 hard to imagine another performance ever surpassing this.

(Hiromi Saito, from 1000 Monumental Masterpieces
of Classical Music, 2007)

Title and track list
Johannes Brahms (1833 - 1897)
Symphonie Nr.4 e-moll op.98
1 I. Allegro con brio
2 II. Andante moderato
3 III. Allegro giocoso-Poco meno presto-Tempo
4 IV. Allegro energico e passionato-Più Allegro
Wiener Philharmoniker
Conducted by Carlos Kleiber
Recording data / location:
March 12-15, 1980, Musikverein, Grosser Saal, Wien
Executive Producer: Dr. Hans Hirsch
Recording Producer: Hans Weber
Tonmeister (Balance Engineer): Klaus Scheibe
Recording Engineer: Hans-Rudolf Müller
Editing: Günter Hermanns
Producer: Motoaki Ohmachi (ESOTERIC COMPANY)
Mastering Engineer: Kazuie Sugimoto (JVC Mastering Center)
■ Product ID: ESSG-90018
■ Format: SA-CD/CD Hybrid
■ Label: Deutsche Grammophon
■ DSD mastering / SA-CD layer: Stereo / CD layer: ADD
■ Deluxe Digipak packaging