Originally published on April 22
This glorious account of the Second Symphony continues the seemingly ageless Herbert Blomstedt’s Brahms survey for Pentatone in Leipzig (for the record, he turns ninety-four on July 11). The first movement, spaciously handled, is always going places, including a made-inevitable repeat of the exposition, the music-making alive with details and dynamics, the Gewandhaus players singing and seasoning the score fruitfully, first and second violins exchanging glances either side of the conductor. With an eloquent, intimate and impassioned Adagio, a lightly tripping Allegretto (ideally matching Brahms’s marking of grazioso) and an exhilarating Finale, this is a class act, played with a to-the-manner-born pedigree and vividly recorded … and then the Academic Festival Overture rounds things off in lively fashion and youthful vigour, poise too. Available from April 23 on Pentatone PTC 5186 851.