The prestigious Crescendo magazine awards Thomas Dausgaard and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra’s Brahms: Symphonies (BIS) 4 SA-CD box set its rarified Joker Absolu 10/10/10/10 review.
“The symphonies sound like a theater of notes, which the conductor chisels, polishes and polishes: the slow movements – fabulous chamber music – breathe and open up in the open air while the fast movements whip in a Beethovenian whirlwind. The Swedish Chamber Orchestra is sharp and focused and compensates for a certain neutrality of timbres with exemplary musicality and collective dynamics. Thomas Dausgaard, the great coordinator of this most interesting sum, manages to influence an electricity in this instrumental game. …Dausgaard, with his radicalism, takes the drama of the musical gesture to the extreme.
“The complements are just as interesting, and offer the 2 overtures, the Variations on a Theme by Haydn and the Hungarian Dances in orchestrations by Brahms (dances n°1, n°3 and n°10), but also by Dausgaard himself for the others. This panorama ends with orchestrations by Brahms of 6 lieder by Schubert (with alto Anna Larsson and baritone Johan Reuter) and a superb Alto Rhapsody with Anna Larsson and the Swedish Radio Chorus. The box includes the full booklets of the four separate releases and the sound recording is once again excellent. Therefore, for those who want to experience a return to the text and who (like us) are allergic to thick and caloric Brahms, this sum is a golden affair to which we will not stop coming back, especially since this boxed edition reinforces logic and interpretive intelligence.”