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Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1
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Genre: Classical Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Release Date: 4-APR-2006
Brahms First Piano Concerto is an early work bristling with energy and ambition. This is a concerto of scope, complexity, and expressive power and the best performances capture some of its tragic grandeur and forceful intensity. Those qualities are found in abundance in rival versions by Fleisher-Szell, Curzon-Szell, and Gilels-Jochum, among other worthy interpretations. Alongside those, this one pales, but the artists many fans will want to hear for themselves how a distinguished Brahmsian like Zimerman and an equally distinguished accompanist like Rattle see this work. They will be rewarded by a thoughtful performance that veers stylistically between a classical reading and a Romantic one. This approach that has some validity if joined to rhythmic alertness and fiery music-making. But Rattles tendency to clip phrase endings and make frequent tempo adjustments drains tension, while Zimerman tends to eschew legato and slights more-idiomatic, longer-lined phrasing. The Andante suffers more than the outer movements in this regard; only intermittently do the performers approach Brahms core, while those mentioned above play with the full-bodied tone and passion this great concerto demands. -- Dan Davis
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Be advised that this recording in no way usurps my love for the Gilels and Jochum recording. I simply love Gilels and Jochum's fierceness in the aforesaid recording of the first concerto. To me, Zimerman (especially) exhibits a very lyrical approach--far gentler than Gilels. It's different but very winning. I enjoyed this "different" approach very much--one is made keenly aware of Brahms's beautiful romantic melodies.Believe me, Zimerman displays much potent virtuosity; however, to me, his approach is basically lyrical, Although Rattle is a great partner to Zimerman, his leadership, to me, is very dramatic indeed but never overpowering. I've never heard the Berlin Philharmonic souind any better!
Although, this recording will never replace, for me, the one featuring Gilels and Jochum, I will return to it often especially when I desire to hear a gentler and more lyrical" Brahms's First Piano concerto.
By the way, the sound is spectacular! It makes one really appreciate today's technology.
Most recent customer reviews
Great performance by berlin and Zimerman.