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My Favorite Brahms

4.7 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 9, 1999
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Product Details

  • Composer: JOHANNES BRAHMS
  • Audio CD (November 9, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: RCA
  • ASIN: B00002JXEL
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,282 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Resting...now moving forward...then curling in on itself like a wave. Lightness...darkness...flowing...falling, then stopping to look down into the depths where it will finally rest, yet defiantly turning upward toward the light again.

I have tried to capture, in a few feeble words, what this music sounds like. One could not find a better musical interpretation of the Greek God Prometheus; who slowly dies from having his liver eaten, while chained to the rocks of the Caucasus Mountains, (Brahms died from a damaged liver as Prometheus did). This music shines forth a penetrating consciousness, only to be consumed by the quiet tranquility of an endless sleep. One hears this in the Capriccio in G Minor as well as many other pieces that begin assertively, but then suddenly grow into a deep yearning for rest.

I can't say enough good things about this CD. If this had been a complete collection of the late piano pieces, I would have to consider this a National Treasure. As I write these words I am listening to the Intermezzo in A, Op. 118 on track 7. What a wonderful way to say goodbye to the piano. What a wonderful way to say goodbye to life itself; since he was to give his life back to the universe from whence it came shortly after these pieces were composed.

When everything has been said and done. When your hopes and dreams of finding the perfect love have been laid to rest, as his must have, time becomes meaningless; and all that you have become and hope to be rests in perfect stillness and repose. This is the feeling one gets when listening to these works. It is so wonderful to see that Van Cliburn, like a true Romantic, understands this and makes no effort to crash around in these pieces in order to create a needless and unnecessary sense of excitement.
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Format: Audio CD
I myself am a HUGE Brahms fan. This recording brings us perhaps some of the most beautiful music ever written for piano.
Van Cliburn's interpretation is simply amazing. He can be as soft and subtle as any, while at the same time can play with vigor and fury. I frequently consult this disk for new ideas or perhaps different views.
The quality of the recording is spectacular - crisp, clear, and beautiful.
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Format: Audio CD
Recorded between 1970 and 1975, this compilation features powerful, sensitive, and most of all, very musical renditions of these great Romantic pieces. Van Cliburn is very much at home in this repertory (remember it was the Tchaikovsky Piano concerto that made him famous). The sound quality is truly amazing, due no doubt, to the excellent analogue source tape, as well as the 24-bit 96Khz remaster. Seventy-plus minutes of impressive pianism, all for about 12 bucks...
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One really is at first simply stunned by the sound of the piano. These recordings are 30 years old and sound as good or better than a lot of what gets released today.

And then there is the artist himself. I had never taken Cliburn for a Brahmsian. But there are so many wonderful performances on this CD. Take Op. 118 #6 for example. At first hearing, I thought Cliburn was being interpretive. Then I got out my piano edition of Brahms. And it was marked staccato just as Cliburn played it.

More than just being straight with the music, is the beautiful piano tone and lyrical concentration that Van Cliburn brings to his Brahms.
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Format: Audio CD
but I can tell you I love it. Brahms--maybe my favorite composer. Van Cliburn--easily my favorite pianist. It doesn't get much better than this in my book. Beautiful music beautifully performed. What more can you ask for?
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I played some of these pieces and especially love Van Cliburn's interpretation of the Ballad in G Minor as well as the Intermezzo in E.

Van Cliburn makes this piano music sound so easy. It is very difficult and well played with expression and appropriate rhythm.

The sound and tonality of this piano is excellent and well recorded.

I highly recommend this for anybody who wants a top performance of Brahm's piano music.
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There are, of course, many wonderful interpreters of Brahms piano music. Rubenstein is also good. I think Glen Gould is the worst. Van Cliburn captures a tenderness that I don't hear in any other performances. there is no loss of structure or phrase shaping in his playing he simply plays Brahms as if it were late romantic piano music. Which, of course, it is.
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I'm a former classical musician who doesn't listen to much classical music anymore. That said, I adore Brahms piano music, and this is a wonderful recording. Beautifully performed, not overly sappy or sentimental, Van Cliburn has a wonderfully balanced approach to Brahms' stunning romantic music. For those of you who have mixed feelings about classical music, this is a wonderful alternative to the "New Age" piano music so popular right now (and which I enjoy as well). Perfect backdrop to a romantic dinner for two, sipping wine on the veranda - give it a try!
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