This super-budget Warner Apex re-release of Brahms' Piano Concerto No.1 in D minor, Op.15 is terrific and well-worth adding to your collection. Originally released as a single Teldec CD in 2000 Brahms - Piano Concerto No.1. Ballades, Op. 10
, and then as a 2-CD set (minus the lovely Op.10 Ballades) Brahms - Piano Concertos
, I suggest that the Apex disc is the one to buy.
Under Harnoncourt, the wonderful Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra sounds dark and stormy with a touch of Harnoncourt's vibrato-less penchant here and there. The concerto is a struggle between the orchestra and the talented Rudolf Buchbinder (a much underrated pianist), just as this young man's music should be! I think that this is undoubtedly a great recording of the concerto, ranking alongside several others, such as Fleisher/Szell Piano Concertos
and the much more recently released Freire/Chailly account Brahms: The Piano Concertos
, to name but two.
Buchbinder turns in a lovely account of Brahms' Op.10 ballades, comparable to the Erato account from Lubimov4 Ballades / Rhapsodies / Handel Variations
which I rather like, too; this has also been re-released as a super-budget Apex release Brahms - Piano Works