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Thread: Brahms 1st piano concerto - greatest post Beethoven 19th cent piano concerto?

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    Default Brahms 1st piano concerto - greatest post Beethoven 19th cent piano concerto?

    Just listening to CD review and Brahms 1st Piano Concerto. This is my favourite post Beethoven 19th century piano concerto (Brahms 2cnd is too middle aged). I've heard that even Britten (a notorious dis-liker of Brahms) liked it.

    Any way in my book there's no competition!!!!
    Last edited by LancsMan; Nov-02-2013 at 11:45.

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    I prefer Schumann and Grieg over Brahms. In fact, I prefer both over Beethoven's five.
    Last edited by Art Rock; Nov-02-2013 at 11:41.

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    Senior Member Garlic's Avatar
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    What recording are you listening to?
    It's great, but overall I prefer the 2nd - what do you mean by too middle aged?
    I like both more than any of Beethoven's concertos.
    Last edited by Garlic; Nov-02-2013 at 11:42.

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    The 1st PC has been a steady favourite among Brahms` works for me too.

    Horowitz/Walter, Manz/Mandeal and Woodward/Masur are some of my most treasured recordings. The first one mentioned has swifter tempi than usual, which I suspect were more customary in Brahms own time than now, and the last two are overall more conventional recordings.
    Last edited by joen_cph; Nov-02-2013 at 14:52.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garlic View Post
    What recording are you listening to?
    It's great, but overall I prefer the 2nd - what do you mean by too middle aged?
    I like both more than any of Beethoven's concertos.
    I was listening to a comparative review of several recording - I myself have the Clifford Curzon with the LSO under George Szell.

    What do I mean by too middle aged? Brahms orchestration can sometimes be rather full (overweight?) and this is more the case in the second. The first is much leaner. Plus the second seems to have mellowed out (well certainly in the slow movement) - is mellowing out part of the aging process?

    All I know is the first is young man's music and it grabs me by the throat in a way the second just doesn't - much as I like it too.
    .
    Last edited by LancsMan; Nov-02-2013 at 12:30.

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    Brahms' 1st has always been my favorite piano concerto as well. It is a young man's work emotionally, but not technically. There is more of a mellow nature to the 2nd, but it also has its impassioned moments, and as a composition it is marvelous in the way it builds itself on fragments.

    By the way, I have listened to many versions of the 1st over the years, but for my money, Curzon/Szell has always been the best in spite of the heavy breathing in the second movement.

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    The single long-stemmed rose on the keyboard.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vesteralen View Post
    Brahms' 1st has always been my favorite piano concerto as well. It is a young man's work emotionally, but not technically. There is more of a mellow nature to the 2nd, but it also has its impassioned moments, and as a composition it is marvelous in the way it builds itself on fragments.

    By the way, I have listened to many versions of the 1st over the years, but for my money, Curzon/Szell has always been the best in spite of the heavy breathing in the second movement.
    The heavy breathing is Szell
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    The Brahms first piano Concerto is certainly a titanic piece. But it needs a titanic performance to bring it off. Like Serkin with Szell or Curzon also with Szell. The second is not middle aged unless made to sound that way. Try Richter and Leinsdorf for how it should sound or Serkin's early recording with Ormandy - full of fire! Interesting that although the Gilels / Jochum is highly rated his earlier version with Reiner is far more up tempo and therefore better.

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    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LancsMan View Post
    Just listening to CD review and Brahms 1st Piano Concerto. This is my favourite post Beethoven 19th century piano concerto (Brahms 2cnd is too middle aged). I've heard that even Britten (a notorious dis-liker of Brahms) liked it.

    Any way in my book there's no competition!!!!
    I'm pretty sure you haven't heard 10% of the 'competition'. A survey of Michael Ponti's recordings would up that percentage.
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    .... or, likewise in the 2nd, try Horowitz/Toscanini or Manz/Mandeal (with Manz, the 2nd Concerto lasts around 44 mins). There´s also the old Rubinstein/Coates from the 30s (40mins), but the sound is dated and the playing somewhat irregular.
    Last edited by joen_cph; Nov-02-2013 at 22:12.

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    Just listened to CD review. Very good overall review by Harriett Smith. Must listen again to the Freire / Chailly again.

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    Barbirolli/Barenboim for me.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

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    Certainly one of my favourite works. I'd put it right alongside Beethoven's 4th piano concerto.

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    Senior Member (Ret) moody's Avatar
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    You want a young man's approach to both concertos, then try Leon Fleischer with George Szell.
    A very great Brahms pianist who died much too young was Julius Katchen, his recordings of all the piano music still set the standard, his recordings of the concerti are terrific.
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