Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Johannes Brahms, Bernard Haitink, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra|
Brahms: Piano Concertos (complete); Overtures (complete); Haydn Variations
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Unique and satisfying
Robert L. Berkowitz | Natick, MA United States | 10/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's remarkable that two previous reviewers, both fans of Arrau, rated this compilation as "best" and "worst" performances of the Brahms concertos. I believe it speaks to the uniqueness of Arrau's approach. These recordings increased my already significant respect for Arrau. Arrau takes some liberties in these concertos, particularly with rubato, but I find his liberties highlight the dramatic tension of these works. I prefer Arrau/ Haitink's Brahms 2nd to Richter/ Leinsdorf and Fleisher/ Szell, though I find a special beauty in the account by Gilels/ Jochum that commends it equally. The Arrau/ Haitink version of the first concerto is probably still my favorite.When I want to hear a fresh approach to Brahms' concertos, I listen to the Arrau performance. In this way, it has become an important recording in my collection."
An over-all pleasing and complete recording.
Robert L. Berkowitz | 09/13/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The two Brahms Piano Concerti must be among the greatest works in their respective literature. Both are quite diffucult, especially the second, which has phrases of odd length, and which contains unpianistic writing in general. This piece is very strong in Arrau's recording, even though it is a bit long. The tempos don't seem to drag, and Arrau projects a great feeling of urgency in the first movement. The two Overtures are a bonus surprise, as well as the Haydn Variations, put in for good measure. The first Brahms Concerto is yet even greater in Arrau's hands; he dutifully expresses Brahms' great personal pain at Schumann's attempted suicide, which creates a very grim spirit that presides throughout the first movement. Once again, we see that the times are not that fast (53 minutes for this one!), but Arrau still shouldn't recieve any late penalties from the listener. The finale of the First Concerto is incredibly exciting. This is Arrau at his finest. The cadenzas here are perhaps unmatched in this unmetered interpretation. A very nice recording for one who wishes to experience a high point in the concerto literature, or for a true Brahms fanatic."
Robert L. Berkowitz | 01/31/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'd have to agree with the previous reviewer - the balance is so incredibly important on these two concerti. I can understand the gripe that the first sounds somewhat ponderous (I disagree, but that's a personal choice, I suppose), but the dialogue between the piano and the orchestra is spectacular - they are truly collaborating together - something that I feel detractors of this album take for granted."