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Thread: Brahms: Piano Concerto #2 in B-flat, op. 83

  1. #16
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    One of my favorites, although it took me a long time to appreciate it. That's been true for a lot of Brahms' music.

    Most of my favorites have been mentioned - Szell's recordings with Fleisher and Serkin, Ashkenazy/Haitink, Richter/Leinsdorf, Barenboim/Barbirolli among them. A couple of others are Gilels/Reiner (which I prefer to the one with Jochum) and a couple that surprised me - Backhaus/Böhm, both recordings - because I usually don't care for either performer.

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  3. #17
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    A sublime masterpiece imho. I have Eugen Jochum conducting the Berlin PO with Emil Gilels.

  4. #18
    Senior Member Lisztian's Avatar
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    Probably my favorite piano concerto.

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  6. #19
    Senior Member Haydn67's Avatar
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    One more time: Gilels/Reiner, Serkin/Szell, Istomin/Ormandy

  7. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    ... and a couple that surprised me - Backhaus/Böhm, both recordings - because I usually don't care for either performer.
    I also rate the Backhaus with the VPO (there seem to have been several other recordings of him often with Bohm in this concerto). This is less of a surprise for me as I often like both performers.

  8. #21
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    This is indeed a great concerto, though not my favorite one (only position 7 on my Top Ten list), and one reason for that might be that most recordings I know don't appeal to me too much. The only exception (so far) is Barenboim/Barbirolli which sweeps me away every time I listen to it. This is a bit strange because I cannot stand listening to Brahm's 1st by Barenboim/Barbirolli (mostly because of Barenboim's playing) - I love the performance by Gilels/Jochum instead, though in this case I am totally indifferent to their Brahm's 2nd.

  9. #22
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    BPO/Jochum/Gilels:


  10. #23
    Senior Member Ras's Avatar
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    The only bad thing I can say about Brahms' second piano concerto is that the first one is better.
    "I only have a hunch in what I've become expert." - Leonard Cohen

  11. #24
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    Although I acknowledged that there are many fine recordings, I probably should have mentioned the underrated Buchbinder recording with Harnoncourt and the Concertgebouw. If you like your Brahms strong this one is a treat.

  12. #25
    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
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    I am not a big Brahms enthusiast but the 2nd concerto is his work that I go to more often than others, and probably because of what I perceive to be a much more symphonic structure. As to performances, I have Barenboim/Barbirolli, Friere/Chailly, and my favourite, Gina Bachauer with the LSO and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski.

  13. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ras View Post
    The only bad thing I can say about Brahms' second piano concerto is that the first one is better.
    The Brahms First Piano Concerto is certainly a great concerto. But the Second is certainly something more.

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  15. #27
    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
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    Only like the first movement. Some nice tension there. I have Serkin's and Cliburn's versions. Haven't really heard too many other ones.
    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

  16. #28
    Senior Member tdc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisztian View Post
    Probably my favorite piano concerto.
    Liszt would be rolling in his grave. (J/k)

    I like this piece but haven't really fallen in love with it like so many others have. I don't spend much time listening to Brahms concertos, preferring the symphonies, piano and chamber music. I do think Brahms Piano Concerto no. 2 and the Violin concerto are the best concertos he composed, I like them roughly equally.

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  18. #29
    Senior Member Sid James's Avatar
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    I do like this piece, its among the ones by Brahms which I like to listen to regularly. It’s the mellow mood which attracts me, similar in terms of his orchestral music to Symphony No. 3.

    I have no reservations now. When I first heard it I was baffled by its complexity, and it made less of an immediate impression compared to his first concerto. I was a much less experienced listener then, and the two concertos are very different (eg. one an early work, the other a mature one).

    I’ve got the Richter/Leinsdorf recording others have mentioned.

    Incidentally, it’s interesting to have this and Mozart’s 20th on the TC list. Brahms admired it and liked to play it at concerts.
    Last edited by Sid James; Jan-11-2019 at 21:34.

  19. #30
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Terrific piece. I fell in love with it as a teen when I got the old Serkin / Ormandy recording, which I managed to obtain again on CD. White hot as is his version with Szell.
    Prefer Gilels with Reiner to that with Jochum as it is a livelier performance.
    Then Fleisher / Szell is wonderful and Anda / Karajan.
    I also have Curzon somewhere and recently got Ogden in a remarkable live performance with Barbirolli.
    Friere / Chailly is the best digital version and I also have van Cliburn.
    But the greatest and indispensable is Richter / Leinsdorf (or his later one with Maazel)
    Last edited by DavidA; Jan-11-2019 at 23:25.

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