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Brahms: The Piano Concertos [Live]

Nelson Freire, Riccardo Chailly & the Wiener Philharmoniker Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: £15.36 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Brahms: The Piano Concertos + Brahms: The Symphonies + Brahms: Violin Concerto
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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 Jun 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B000E6TYI4
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,635 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. 1. Maestoso - Poco più moderato
2. 2. Adagio
3. 3. Rondo (Allegro non troppo)
Disc: 2
1. 1. Allegro non troppo
2. 2. Allegro appassionato
3. 3. Andante - Più adagio
4. 4. Allegretto grazioso - Un poco più presto

Product Description

2CD Leipzig Gewandhausorchester/Riccardo Chailly

Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last! 4 July 2006
Format:Audio CD
At last a satisfying modern recording of the two great concertos in more than respectable sound. Deceptively laid back in places, Freire never fails to rise to the occasion when those great moments arrive. Chailly - not usually a favourite conductor of mine - has the orchestra on its toes and never seems to miss a trick. Above all there is a clarity and transparency of detail which are very welcome and unusual in recordings of these works, especially the First. Maybe not the absolute greatest individual performances of all time but well worth acquiring, even if you already have the Gilels coupling. Very refreshing.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Class B flat 19 Dec 2008
Format:Audio CD
My reactions after several months of listening are that the D minor is a very good performance but the B flat is outstanding. I'd have been pleased to hear the First in concert, but ultimately I think it lacks a special quality - the austere authority of Gilels/Jochum, the sinuous strength of Curzon/Szell or the frolicsome fire of Kovacevich/Sawallisch.
But in no. 2 Freire and Chailly capture the breadth of the first movement while keeping it moving, the grip of the second without losing the dance, the repose of the slow movement without falling asleep and the undertow of the finale whilst retaining its life. The result is convincing and compelling. The characteristic Gewandhaus band are a delight throughout, and the recording is well balanced. The documentation is rather thin for a new release, but you can't have everything.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Performances 20 July 2008
By enthusiast TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
For me it is not so much about whether I like my Brahms muscular or noble or sensitive or immaculate. There is no "right way" to play a great masterpiece - there are merely more and less successful attempts to convey a clear and stimulating vision of what they are. These performances are truly great. Perhaps they are the greatest ever committed to disc - I am too excited by them to consider this possibility objectively at the moment.

These are not barnstorming performances. The pieces and the many familiar wonderful moments (and some new ones: Freire is a master of subtle colouring and immaculate attention to detail) all come together as a whole in a most impressive way - the vision of these works is whole and complete and can be heard in every phrase. In every note these towering masterpieces stand up and say "Hello, I am Brahms 1st/2nd piano concerto" and you know it is true. Freire is the star, of course, but Chailly's contribution is wholly idiomatic and absolutely a piece of these remarkably unified performances.

For me these versions equal and perhaps surpass those of Gilels and Kovacevich - my favourites up to now - but they are totally different to both of those two (very different) performances. I have played these discs continuously since buying them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By I. Giles TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This pair of performances, recorded in 2005-6, are a distillation from 'live' performances at that time. They are powerful concepts and are played with considerable skill thus earning the praise of numerous listeners including the critics of magazines such as the Gramophone.

The actual recorded sound is full with an impressive dynamic range and tonal qualities. The balance between the piano and orchestra is good. The places where the orchestra might be said to overpower the piano a bit are totally faithful to the sound that would be heard in real life. The scoring of these two concertos is fulsome at the bigger moments.

Friere has a technical command that enables him to deal with the musical challenges in such a way that he is free to deliver a viewpoint that does not need to be compromised by technical concerns. In general terms these readings can be described as essentially big-boned and powerful. This is not to say that they lack delicacy. That is readily apparent in the slow movements of either concerto for example. He is also willing to be free in his controlled use of rubato to underline his phrasing as he feels appropriate.

The problem for collectors is to place these readings relative to the considerable number of previous recordings that have earned similar praise in the past. This is not to doubt their quality but also not to doubt the continued quality of predecessors. In such a crowded and competitive market it would be both unwise and questionable to suggest that any one set of readings has the monopoly of utterance and thus eliminate all that has gone before.

Relative to the previous benchmark and historic Gilels performance from the early 70's, I would suggest that Friere is weightier in concept and without the sharp cutting edge of Gilels.
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