- Performer: Emil Giles
- Orchestra: Berliner Philharmoniker
- Conductor: Eugen Jochum
- Composer: Johannes Brahms
- Audio CD (12 Feb. 1996)
- SPARS Code: ADD
- Number of Discs: 2
- Format: CD
- Label: Deutsche Grammophon
- ASIN: B000001GQY
- Other Editions: Audio CD | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,728 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Brahms: The Piano Concertos / Fantasies, Op 116 CD
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Brahms: The Piano Concertos; Fantasias Op.116 (2 CDs)
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GILELS / JOCHUM / BERLIN P. O.
Top Customer Reviews
Then, there are these truly great performances of the first and second piano concertos. There is pure power and deep seriousness in the first concerto with immense punch in the trills. The instrumental solos in the second concerto are well-defined and help to create the warmth of Brahms music. When Eugen Jochum was asked about his finest recordings he specially mentioned these Brahms Concertos with Gilels as piano soloist. Buy them.
Prior to hearing these performances, my preferred choice for the Second Concerto, 1881, was Anda/Fricsay whilst I have always enjoyed Pollini/Abbado in the much First Concerto, written 22 years earlier. I found Jochum and Gilels to be entirely at one throughout both monumental works. At the time of the recordings, both artists were at the height of their powers. Gilels balances a ferocious technique with acute sensitivity, and avoids the fussiness that characterises the 1998-99 Buchbinder/Harnoncourt recordings.
Throughout the performances, one is reminded what a superb performer Jochum was of Brahms’ and Bruckner’s symphonies, their crescendi being shaped with pin-point accuracy. Unusually, but quite properly, Ottomar Borwitzky, b. 1930, is mentioned for his mellifluous cello solo in the later concerto.
Despite the fact that the Berlin orchestra must have played these concertos innumerable times, Jochum generates a feeling of spontaneity as if they are experiencing them for the first time. The same is true for Brahms’ cadenzas where Gilels gives equal weight to power and flexibility.
The Fantasias are a revelation with Gilels playing these as a unified whole and capturing depths that seem previously unexplored by artists as searching as Radu Lupu and Wilhelm Kempff.
The digital mastering, using ORIGINAL-IMAGE BIT-PROCESSING technology [described in the leaflet], was effected in 1996.Read more ›
These performances are not only exemplary, but monumental in both concertos. These are recordings to die for. Gilels is the best of the very best. The recording quality too is exemplary. Warm and extremely realistic piano tone, vibrant brass, and a spacious sound.
No true Brahms lover should ever live without these magnificent recordings. These discs are really special.
Let's begin by taking a look at the 1st Piano Concerto. Much of the thematic material was intended to be used as a symphony. One could guess as much, given the towering sense of symphonic structure, especially in the lengthy first movement. It's a dark work, one that delivers the fate that we often associate with the key of D minor. It presents serious challenges to its interpreters, asking for the structural aspects of the work to be felt, but, at the same time, this work has got to be more than menace. I think Gilels and Jochum succeed in their efforts. The Berliners play with their Brahmsian richness and depth of tone (this orchestra is unrivaled in Brahms, after all) and Jochum creates a strong orchestral tone for Gilels while not sounding harsh. Gilels' phrasing is genuinely beautiful, letting light come through the clouds. When I'm done listening to this performance, I still think that this is Brahms at his darkest, but there's no way I can consider it cold, at least not in the face of such interpreters as we have here.
Let's be honest: we all like the sunny 2nd more than the fateful 1st. Where else does Brahms rise to such levels of catchy lyricism while being so majestic?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I can't sing but, one day, I want to pop into Jesus-Christus-Kirche in Berlin and belt out Nessun Dorma and see if it can turn my bellowing into a hallowed sound of wonder. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Mr. Classical
This was the recording that introduced me to Brahms' piano concertos. Gilels' playing is never less than magisterial but frequently hits the sublime. Read morePublished on 21 Oct. 2014 by R. J. Bulow