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It has a great monumental first movement, one of the greatest slow movements in all of Brahms and a slightly underwhelming finale. The second concerto is the greater work.

I love Gilels/Jochum but there are many great performances...
 

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It has a great monumental first movement, one of the greatest slow movements in all of Brahms and a slightly underwhelming finale. The second concerto is the greater work.

I love Gilels/Jochum but there are many great performances...
I also consider the second concerto the greater of the two, and Gilels - yes, but with Reiner (RCA).
 

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I also consider the second concerto the greater of the two, and Gilels - yes, but with Reiner (RCA).
I was referring to the Gilels/Jochum recording of the 1st concerto. For the second... Dunno, I love both the Reiner and the Jochum performances. There's also a historical recording of Edwin Fischer with Furtwängler which I've always found really exciting.
 

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These are both incredible piano concertos. I love each equally. Only Rachmaninoff's 2nd and 3rd put me in a higher realm of joy. I am a hopeless Romantic. Brahms' 1st is so powerful and heroic, his 2nd more contemplative. Both the second movement Adagio of PC1 and the third movement Andante of the PC2 are such lyrical gems. The excitement of the third movement Rondo/Allegro Non Troppo of PC1 proves to be a more invigorating finish than the fourth movement Allegro Grazioso of PC2. If I had to choose only one, I would feel dreadfully cheated. They are both towering examples of the piano concerto repertoire. I just can't choose.
 

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It's a fine, dramatic piano concerto, designed to make a "big splash" by the composer.

My favorite performance is the very measured one by Claudio Arrau with the Philharmonia Orchestra directed by Carlo Maria Giulini.
 
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