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Brahms Concertos (Piano Ctos Nos. 1 & 2) [2 CD]
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Brahms Concertos (Piano Ctos Nos. 1 & 2) [2 CD]

Grimaud/Nelsons/Wiener Philharmoniker Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Price: $14.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 30, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,954 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Maestoso Poco più moderato
2. Adagio
3. Rondo. Allegro non troppo
Disc: 2
1. Allegro non troppo
2. Allegro appassionato
3. Andante Piu adagio
4. Allegretto grazioso Un poco più presto

Editorial Reviews

Intense, romantic music-making from the world s most captivating pianist.

Thrilling, deeply personal interpretations of the dark, passionate sound-worlds of both Brahms piano concertos.

A unique, multi-faceted artist who continues to push creative boundaries, Grimaud is one of few pianists to conquer the monumental dimensions of the epic Op.83.

Recorded under studio conditions in Viennas legendary Musikverein, the 2nd Piano Concerto marks Grimauds debut recording with the celebrated Wiener Philharmoniker; coupled with the equally coveted Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks for the 1st Concerto, Grimaud has discovered exemplary musical counterparts.

Conductor Andris Nelsons dubbed Der Wunderdirigent by the Süddeutsche Zeitung is one of todays most exciting young interpreters of Romantic repertoire.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
It must be an emotional experience for a gifted, dynamic pianist to approach the heights of the piano repertoire recording Brahms with a talented young maestro and two of the best European orchestras. Helene Grimaud clearly views these concertos as life-changing works, and here we have a serious major release that asks to be the most attractive one of both concertos since Pollini and Abbado, also on DG.

Approaching the 1st Concerto, we soon realize that Grimaud boasts great magnetism. She takes this beast of a concerto with an authoritative technique that leaves no doubts about her control. Every bar has the undisputed mastery that defines the greatest pianists. But what is most striking is her imagination, which defies the common conception that this is a ponderous, rambling concerto. She grabs the ear with phrasing that weaves the most beautiful lines without ever becoming self-conscious or losing her grasp. It's hard to fathom a more perfect marriage, "invincible yet vulnerable", as she put it. Everything is majestic, yet personal to the point of being nearly painful. And the variety she displays is breathtaking, from moments of near stillness in the gorgeous slow movement to the towering force of the finale, which sounds titanic yet gloriously adventurous--has anyone bettered it? At the podium, Andris Nelsons lets Grimaud carry the show, with accompaniment that is never aggressive. He prefers gentle refinement to open drama, which sounds like a bad idea, but it is the perfect compliment to Grimaud. He shares her sensitivity, to be sure, so the Bavarian Radio Symphony never sounds stiff. He conducts with great finesse, choosing sweet lyricism that truly sounds free.
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27 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Looking back, how many women pianists have recorded either o Brahms's heroic piano concertos, which hover on the verge of being symphonies with piano obligato? I can recall Gina Bachauer but no one else, not even Martha Argerich, whose explosive style is the closest model to Helene Grimaud's. As heard in concert, they both take charge and dare their conductors to keep up. In the D minor Cto. Grimaud gives us a remake from her younger years, and I had hoped that she would be better partnered than she was by a sleepy Kurt Sanderling fifteen years ago.

But Andris Nelsons conducts the long orchestral prelude with a self-conscious slowing down for the second theme that causes it to sag (Grimaud doesn't follow suit when it's her turn to play the theme). I thought that Simon Rattle and Krystian Zimerman bent over backwards to caress every phrase and fussily tweak the first movement's forward motion. Grimaud and Nelsons are fully their equal, unfortunately, and yet in both cases the piano playing is tremendous. So is the recorded sound in a work where the orchestral part can sound congested. If only Grimaud and Nelsons didn't feel it was their job to lean into the mountain and move it with brute force. The unremitting grandeur of the opening movement of the First Cto. cries out for moments of respite and gracefulness. Compared to pianists who deliver the Adagio more naturally (Fleisher, Curzon, Barenboim, Pollini), Grimaud is more studied, which makes the movement seem to last forever. The best thing here is the finale, where close-up miking of the piano lets us enjoy her effortless, even commanding technique.

On to Vienna with the same conductor but a different orchestra recording the B-flat concerto in the studio.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Muscular yet tender October 7, 2013
Format:Audio CD
The two Brahms piano concertos present a singular challenge to the soloist and orchestra. The music is tempestuous and poetic by turns and the orchestra in no way defers to the soloist. In fact, often both are playing together at full volume, which makes balancing the voices quite difficult. The piano part is muscular in both pieces -- in the first movement of the first concerto, those crashing chords must be a physical challenge. And in the scherzo of the second concerto, the base thunders out in some of the most thrilling octaves in the music dictionary.

So the issue is, how to blend the tough and the tender, the muscular and the lyrical, the ying and the yang? Helene Grimaud, I think, succeeds brilliantly in this. There is a special tone she brings to the keyboard. Her attack is so precise and concentrated and those chords are so incisive. One feels, even when the music is at its most impassioned, that there is something she is holding back. She compels our attention through her voice.

This music runs the gamut of human emotion. The playful final movement of the second concerto, the tragic sobbing of the cello solo in the slow movement, the driving momentum of the last movement of the first concerto .... and most of all the first movements of both pieces. The horn solo that opens number two is met with a lovely rising arpeggio from the piano followed by an imitation of the theme. That little phrase, which is not technically difficult, is so hard to pull off just right. Grimaud nails it. The piano entry in the first concerto -- a little refrain after the tempest of the orchestral tutti, can get lost in the storm but not here. It commands our attention. It tells us that the piano is going to tell a different story -- passion and power yes but also tenderness.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I am also an amateur concert pianist and I love classical music
I saw and heard Helene Grimaud performed at the Carnigie Hall. This is the reason why I bought this CD. I am also an amateur concert pianist and I love classical music.
Published 4 days ago by Roberto C. Feliciano
5.0 out of 5 stars Wiener Philharmoniker are superb in this rendition and I consider them...
First of all, this grading should have more than 4 stars, and this recording deserves 4.7 stars! Hélène Grimaud is an outstanding performer of Brahms connecrti. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Berislav A. Bošnjak
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome performance
What can I say? Fantastic! Inspired me to learn to play this piece. Not easy but so much fun. Thank you, Helene!
Published 1 month ago by A. Alexander
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Fantastic, very good
Published 1 month ago by Roberto
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
What a fine interpreter of Brahms Ms Grimaud is, right up there with our beloved Emanuel Ax.
Published 2 months ago by merry pruitt
1.0 out of 5 stars good pianist and conductor, horrible pianos
What is a pretty decent set is absolutely ruined by the fsct that piano #1 is badly out of tune, and #2 is tinny. A shame. Does anyone listen before they sell these?
Published 8 months ago by Fstein
5.0 out of 5 stars This woman has magic in their fingers
Very few times I have heard such wonderful interpretations of Brahms concertos. She has the right "touch" when she's talking to the piano. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Luis F. Recio Alonzo
4.0 out of 5 stars 5-star Second, 3-star First
Two different worlds here, to my ears, both sonically and interpretively. The First Concerto, recorded in a live performance in Munich, is far too "gemutlich. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Stanley Crowe
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Experience!
First let me say that I am less informed as to the 2nd Concerto but having just seen Ms. Grimaud perform the 1st last Saturday in Santa Barbara, I would have to say that she owns... Read more
Published 12 months ago by William F. Persons
3.0 out of 5 stars Mushy Pedal Pushy
Sorry, but I have listened to this recording twice and keep finding it lacking; in particular, both the sound and the playing (by both the orchestra and the soloist) are mushy and... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Robert B. Lamm
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