Brahms/Saint-Saens: Piano Concerto No.2
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For over three decades, the acclaimed pianist Yefim Bronfman has been a regular guest with the Israel Philharmonic. The deep friendship between Bronfman, Zubin Mehta and the IPO makes itself felt in these wonderful performances captured in concert the Saint-Saëns from 1991 and the Brahms from 2009. Bronfman sculpts the Brahms concerto with great bravura and a burnished tone, coupled with a depth of expression and seemingly effortless virtuosity. In both concerti, Maestro Mehta provides the soloist with the ideal orchestral support.
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Top Customer Reviews
Bronfman can play almost anything and make it new. His performance of the Saint-Saëns is light and elegant and oh-so-French and Mehta and his orchestra provide an aura of companionship that makes this recording very special. Some critics feel that Bronfman's Brahms #2 is rich in depth of expression and effortless virtuosity, and there is no denying that he knows the intricacies of the conversations between the piano and the various orchestral instruments. In a recent performance of this work with the Los Angeles Philharmonic with guest conductor, the impressive Slovakian Juraj Val'cuha, Bronfman repeated what we hear on this recording - virtuosity, yes, but rather heavy peddling that unfortunately makes a blur of much of his passage work. Yet in the eloquent duet with the cello in the third movement he elevates to the ranks of the finest.
The encores are Bronfman at his finest moments. It is astonishing how he can toss off the fireworks of the Scarlatti Sonata and the Chopin Etude and still offer the quiet soulful elegance of the Schumann 'Arabesque'. For these three pieces alone the CD is worth releasing. For this listener Bronfman has yet to reach his finest Brahms 2nd on recording. Grady Harp, April 11
the Saint-Saens concerto and the solo pieces (a nice bonus). The sound quality is
unfortunately somewhat 'boxy', and there noise from the audience in a few spots.
I wish Bronfman would make a studio recording of these works with state-of-the-art