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Piano Concerto No 2 [Import]

J. Brahms Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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1. Con No.2 in B flat, Op.83: I. Allegro Non Troppo
2. Con No.2 in B flat, Op.83: II. Allegro Appassionato
3. Con No.2 in B flat, Op.83: III. Andante
4. Con No.2 in B flat, Op.83: IV. Allegretto Grazioso
5. Var On A Theme By Joseph Haydn, Op.56A: Thema. Chorale St Antoni. Andante
6. Var On A Theme By Joseph Haydn, Op.56A: Var I. Poco Piu Animato
7. Var On A Theme By Joseph Haydn, Op.56A: Var II. Piu Vivace
8. Var On A Theme By Joseph Haydn, Op.56A: Var III. Con Moto
9. Var On A Theme By Joseph Haydn, Op.56A: Var IV. Andante Con Moto
10. Var On A Theme By Joseph Haydn, Op.56A: Var V. Vivace
11. Var On A Theme By Joseph Haydn, Op.56A: Var VI. Vivace
12. Var On A Theme By Joseph Haydn, Op.56A: VII. Grazioso
13. Var On A Theme By Joseph Haydn, Op.56A: VIII. Presto Non Troppo
14. Var On A Theme By Joseph Haydn, Op.56A: Finale. Andante

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watts, Bernstein, And Brahms Dec 14 2003
Format:Audio CD
The Second Piano Concerto of Brahms, which the composer wrote a quarter of a century after No. 1, is perhaps the longest of its type in the active repertoire, coming in at just over fifty minutes. It takes a great deal of skill to navigate this sizeable work. Andre Watts is the pianist with that kind of skill, as is aptly demonstrated in this 1968 recording of the concerto with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic. Watts and Bernstein make for a good partnership here; and Watts' own playing, particularly in the tricky and violent scherzo and the almost Mozartean final movement, is superlative. Bernstein's conducting and the performance by the New York Philharmonic is at its world-class best.
Rounding out this recording is Bernstein's 1971 essay of the work that gave Brahms the impetus to work on symphonic essays--the "Variations On A Theme By Haydn." Although it has been established that the theme Brahms thought to be by Franz Joseph Haydn (supposedly from a wind divertimento in B Flat) is probably by someone else, that does not diminish the popularity of this twenty minute-long work. As usual with Bernstein's golden years with the New York Philharmonic, his interpretation of the Haydn Variations is top-notch.
Highly recommended for all classical music lovers.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watts, Bernstein, And Brahms Dec 14 2003
By Erik North - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The Second Piano Concerto of Brahms, which the composer wrote a quarter of a century after No. 1, is perhaps the longest of its type in the active repertoire, coming in at just over fifty minutes. It takes a great deal of skill to navigate this sizeable work. Andre Watts is the pianist with that kind of skill, as is aptly demonstrated in this 1968 recording of the concerto with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic. Watts and Bernstein make for a good partnership here; and Watts' own playing, particularly in the tricky and violent scherzo and the almost Mozartean final movement, is superlative. Bernstein's conducting and the performance by the New York Philharmonic is at its world-class best.
Rounding out this recording is Bernstein's 1971 essay of the work that gave Brahms the impetus to work on symphonic essays--the "Variations On A Theme By Haydn." Although it has been established that the theme Brahms thought to be by Franz Joseph Haydn (supposedly from a wind divertimento in B Flat) is probably by someone else, that does not diminish the popularity of this twenty minute-long work. As usual with Bernstein's golden years with the New York Philharmonic, his interpretation of the Haydn Variations is top-notch.
Highly recommended for all classical music lovers.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent "Sleeper" Choice May 2 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Bernstein and Watts here turn in a subtle, nuanced performance of Brahms' 2nd Piano Concerto. The NY Phil under Bernstein's direction provides excellent accompaniment. Watts doesn't proceed with reckless abandon - tempos are relaxed except for the second movement, where Bernstein and Watts move things up a notch. Watts' playing highlights the lyricism and underspoken points of the piano part. Balance between soloist and orchestra is excellent and, overall, the sound quality is generally good for a recording made at Avery Fisher in 1968.
The Haydn Variations make a nice filler and are also played with the same lyricism evident in the Concerto.
This particular disc is not one often mentioned in the same breath as Fleischer/Szell, Gilels/Jochum, and Pollini/Abbado, but it definitely has something to offer. Brahmsians take note!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Evolving View of Brahms Jan. 9 2010
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
André Watts joined Leonard Bernstein in this recording of the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 in 42 years ago 1968 at a point in time when the young Watts at age 22 was approaching the height of his popularity with American Orchestras. After hearing the now older André Watts in performance with Bramwell Tovey and the LA Philharmonic giving his current interpretation of this fiendishly difficult and very long concerto it is fascinating to return to this fine recording now, thankfully, held in the library as the popular Royal Edition. This recording finds Watts more eloquent and more in touch with the dreamlike qualities that Brahms so eloquently placed in the concerto as contrasts to the demanding pyrotechnics that mark the majority of the work. Bernstein provides a similar approach to the piece as Watts and the result is a smooth, if not always convincingly involved performance. At the present André Watts is more a firebrand than this earlier performance would indicate. He now storms through the rapid passages like a locomotive at full steam, filling the hall with thunderous sound - if with some inexact playing. Yet when he reaches the third movement 'duet' with the cello he is as soulful as the performance on this recording, and he even seems to be more sensitive to the partnership with the cellist instead of trumping the limelight. So if listeners are able to hear a contemporary performance of this great piano concerto at the hands of André Watts they will hear the best of both versions!

Bernstein gives a taught and thoughtful reading of the 'Variations on a Theme of Haydn' that fills out this CD, and this performance continues to be one to treasure even when compared to the many fine recordings by other 'more Brahmsian' conductors. This recording is a fine one to won, especially at the very reduced price that accompanies all of the Royal Edition recordings placed back on the shelves by Sony Records. Grady Harp, January 10
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eloquent Brahms! Dec 26 2005
By Hiram Gomez Pardo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Today on the FM I listened to this well gifted pianist playing this difficult score. Its intrinsic autumnal and hence, peaceful feature constitutes a serious challenge for any artist and conductor but you can fall too easily in a contemplative and dreamy state that would draw badly the whole structure of the work. There must be passion, mourn, outrage and deadly anguish but never must be self indulgent.

Andre Watts surprised me pleasantly with this reading; Bernstein conducted accurately without abusing of his well known hyper romanticism or expansiveness of the musical phrasing. Adequate balance, extraordinary fingering and noblesse feeling make of this recording a notable finding that I will include in my list.

Recommended without hesitate.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The young Watts is bold but not mature enough Jan. 21 2008
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Andre Watsts was only 22 when he recored this Brhams Second Cto. with Bernstein, and althoughhe possesses reserves of technique -- one never feels that the thorny keyboard writing overwhelms him -- he hasn't got much to say. There aren't many ideas, and after a while I lost interest, beyond admiring what a young virtuoso can do (I very well remember his TV debut on one of Bernstein's YOung Person's Concerts). Sadly, Watts never grew very much artisticaly. I heard him preform the same concerto in Carnegie Hall last year under Eschenbach with the Philadelphia Orch., and Watts seemed rather faceless then. It's a shame that Bernstein, who always had a deep sympathy for Brahms, didn't find a partner in his HY Phil. years to equal his vivid, imaginative accompaniment.

On his own LB gives us the Haydn Variations, and it's a breath of fresh air compared to the traditional german approach, which tends to be pompous and even churchy. Bernstein's interpretation is fresh and quick in its pacing, and the usual wide-ranging sonics favored by Columbia's engineers adds to the sweep of the music.
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