May 01

Brahms Complete Works, by Brilliant Classics ????

Brahms Complete Edition, by Deutsche Grammophon ?????

I realized that I did not have collections of the complete works of Brahms, and so when these two editions came out on sale, decided that they needed to be in my collection. Both are very worthy editions to have in one’s collection, and are distinctly different. Brilliant Classics, though sold as a “budget” production, had notable quality that would be worthy of the sole Brahms of a less ardent classic music collector. Yet, the Deutsche Grammophon recordings were generally better. The symphonies had a livelier sound and better production, partially attributable to the conducting of von Karajan. The DG edition also had far better vocal works, making the vocal pieces far less of a drudgery, and actually enjoyable, to listen to over the Brilliant collection. The chamber works with the Brilliant Classics were quite nice, and quite on par with the DG productions. All in all, I’d vote for the DG edition, but enjoyed hearing both sets of Brahms works.

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