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Thread: Best recording of Brahms PC no. 2

  1. #1
    Apprentice, Piano
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    Best recording of Brahms PC no. 2

    Hi
    I know Brahms is much maligned by some and I do tend to treat his symphonies as comfort food but I would appreciate some insight. I have a recording of the second piano concerto - Claudio Abbado - but I get all dissatisfied with it. I get the feeling there's just more to it than that.
    Any suggestions?
    Draug

    P.S. It's great to run to. Does anyone else have any favourite running/exercise classical music??

  2. #2
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Hi draug,

    Ah yes, the 2nd PC of Brahms - Man, what a fantabulous romp that piece is - I adore it. For me and my Lady at least, the recording with Vladimir Ashkenazy as pianist and Bernard Haitink conducting the Vienna Phil.

    Cheers,

    CD
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  3. #3
    Apprentice, Piano
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    Smile

    That sounds like a good pick. I must admit, living in Norway it is hard to avoid Leif Ove Andsnes. I saw him play this a couple of months ago with the Norwegian Youth Orchestra. They were really very bloody good indeed. The thing with Andsnes is that everything has this dazzling clarity - sounds a bit daft, but you really do hear every note, nothing ever gets mushy with him playing it. However, he is modest almost to a fault, and although it is a work with a very balanced orchestra Vs. pianist thing going on, he almost disappeared in an effort to emphasise the skill of the young orchestra (or so it seemed to me.)

    Incidentally, the rest of the programme was Don Juan, Strauss (eurgh!!) and suite no. 2 Daphnis and Chloe, Ravel which was startling - just brilliant.
    Norway really does have a great musical tradition, I shall miss it when I move. I am spoilt with a symphony orchestra on my doorstep (in a town of 117,000!!! Boy that oil money gets spent well!) and the FABULOUS NCO and Terje Tonneson over in Oslo.
    Thanks for the tip!

    Draug

  4. #4
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Hi draug,

    You're very welcome.

    Cheers,

    CD
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  5. #5
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    I personally find Brahms' piano concertos tedious, unlike his symphonies which I adore (especially number 3). But if I were to have to choose a recording, I've got Richter (mind you Richter can do no wrong in my book).l

  6. #6
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Hi CT64,

    I do so heartily agree with you about Richter - He is great, no doubt about it.

    Cheers,

    CD
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  7. #7
    Captain of Water Music
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    Emil Gilels soloist with Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Jochum.Lyrical.
    Claudio Arrau soloist with Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini.Powerful (Hard to find though.)

  8. #8
    acciaccatura
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    Yup, the Arrau/Giulini is formidable. Brendel/Abbado isn't half-bad either (normally I'm not a huge fan of Brendel but his Brahms concertos are interesting).

  9. #9
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    Kromme - isn't Emil Gilels simply superb? God I could listen to him until the cows come home (except I don't own any cows).

    acciaccatura - Arrau is fantastic, too, top league.

  10. #10
    Captain of Water Music
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    Quote Originally Posted by Contratrombone64 View Post
    Kromme - isn't Emil Gilels simply superb? God I could listen to him until the cows come home (except I don't own any cows).

    acciaccatura - Arrau is fantastic, too, top league.
    I like them both very much.I agree with everything said about Richter previously in this thread.Still i can not decide who is better,him or Gilels.
    Arrau is to my ears out of this world.His technique is superb too but of course Richter,Gilels,Horowitz several others can claim to match him in that area.However the sound he produces from the piano,his imagination,his insights his rythmic pulse,the overall taste he has in his playing is so unique.
    Don't get me wrong i do not say others do not taste as good,they do.They taste even better often however Arrau sounds most different and personal.

  11. #11
    Captain of Water Music
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    By the way i forgot to mention there is also another recording by Arrau this time with Bernard Haitink and Concertgebouw Orchestra which some of my friends like more than Giulini/Philharmonia version.It is more suitable for ordinary listener.Arrau's personal stamp is not as evident as it is in Giulini/Philharmonia and because of this reason i prefer the Giulini/Philharmonia version.Haitink/Concertgebouw version still is quite good.

  12. #12
    Captain of Water Music
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    Nowadays I find myself preferring Brahms' first piano concerto to the second whereas ten years ago it was the opposite. Nonetheless, I love the work. My favorite recordings include the Pollini/Abbado recording, but since that is not preferred by the initial poster, other options include the rightly lauded Gilels/Jochum, as well as the Kuerti/Rescigno, Moravec/Belohlavek (for a wonderfully lyrical approach), and Schnabel/Boult sets.

    The universe is change, life is opinion. Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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