Brahms: The Symphonies: Masur, Leipzig Gewandhaus (1991)
The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra is conducted by Kurt Masur, the orchestra's Kappellmeister from 1970-1996, in their first-ever recording of all four Brahms symphonies, from the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, recorded in 1991.
Kurt Masur also gives an in-depth interview prior to each symphony, both thought-provoking and stimulating, in which he talks about his family background and his long association with this world-famous orchestra, having studied, like many members of the orchestra, at the leipzig Conservatoire.
He also discusses Brahms's four symphonies, which he sees as a single great inspiration, with each symphony like a separate movement, together amounting to the symphony of Brahm's life. It is fascinating to hear them performed as a cycle with a consistent approach and by a conductor and an orchestra with a such a distinguished and distinctive tradition. If you believe, as Kurt masur does, that the four symphonies are related, that one leads to the other and together they form a single grand symphonic sweep, then it can make you hear them in a totally different way.