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Piano Concerto No. 2

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Performer: Idil Biret
  • Composer: Brahms
  • Audio CD (Aug. 1 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ncl
  • ASIN: B00004TQOS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #130,787 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Pno Con No.2 in B flat, Op.83: Allegro Non Troppo
2. Pno Con No.2 in B flat, Op.83: Allegro Appassionato
3. Pno Con No.2 in B flat, Op.83: Andante - Idil Biret/Zdzislaw Lapinski
4. Pno Con No.2 in B flat, Op.83: Allegretto Grazioso
5. Intro And Allegro Appassionato, Op.92

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
At any price, this recording of Brahms' second piano concerto is first rate. Most importantly, Biret's performance brings out the struggle and passion in the music. Biret is not ultra slick on the keyboard; however, this isn't a negative quality in keyboard music that is not very idiomatic in the first place. She personifies the Romantic conflict at the heart of the piece through her interpretation, which in turn highlights the minute details of the piano writing. Wit and his orchestra play their part as well, from the luscious openning horn solo to the last bars of the finale. Wit takes slower tempos, which may offend some listeners. However, the slower tempos more often than not tend to expand the epic nature of the score and allow the listener to absorb the beauty of the orchestration. The PNRSO may not be a major orchestra, but its performance is on par with what one would expect from a major orchestra. Even the sound engineering is spectacular, rendering a perfect balance between piano and orchestra in a crystal clear recording. As an added bonus, there is the Schumann Introduction and Allegro Appassionato for piano and orchestra. It really doesn't compare to the concerto musically, but it fills out an already superb disk very nicely. If you can find this disk, buy it.
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By A Customer on Aug. 12 2003
Format: Audio CD
The performance is not bad, but at times a bit too slow, and not energetic enough.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa19b3f3c) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa17d2a5c) out of 5 stars Excellent Brahms Concerto Jan. 4 2002
By Greg Dyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
At any price, this recording of Brahms' second piano concerto is first rate. Most importantly, Biret's performance brings out the struggle and passion in the music. Biret is not ultra slick on the keyboard; however, this isn't a negative quality in keyboard music that is not very idiomatic in the first place. She personifies the Romantic conflict at the heart of the piece through her interpretation, which in turn highlights the minute details of the piano writing. Wit and his orchestra play their part as well, from the luscious openning horn solo to the last bars of the finale. Wit takes slower tempos, which may offend some listeners. However, the slower tempos more often than not tend to expand the epic nature of the score and allow the listener to absorb the beauty of the orchestration. The PNRSO may not be a major orchestra, but its performance is on par with what one would expect from a major orchestra. Even the sound engineering is spectacular, rendering a perfect balance between piano and orchestra in a crystal clear recording. As an added bonus, there is the Schumann Introduction and Allegro Appassionato for piano and orchestra. It really doesn't compare to the concerto musically, but it fills out an already superb disk very nicely. If you can find this disk, buy it.
HASH(0xa17d2be8) out of 5 stars Virtuosic, expansive, and outgoing, although the competition for one's dollar remains high March 2 2016
By John J. Puccio - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If at first you don't succeed.... After the initial failure of his First Piano Concerto, German composer Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) waited almost twenty years before attempting his second one. These days, most classical-music fans view both concertos as cornerstones of Romantic classical music, even if I find them sometimes a tad ponderous.

Whatever, the Second Piano Concerto begins in somewhat massive fashion, an echo of the First perhaps, with a long opening movement containing stretches of purely orchestral impressions. The second movement is lighter and zippier, although not by a lot. The leisurely third movement Andante arrives just in time to save the piece from collapsing under its own weight, and the frolicsome finale further saves the day by elevating the music to memorability. The Second is a touch more lyrical than the craggier First, and it has found much favor in the process.

Turkish concert pianist Idil Biret's playing seems a little perfunctory in the opening sections, but it becomes most able in the final movements. Compared to my two favored pianists in this work, Emil Gilels (DG) and Stephan Kovacevich (Philips), Ms. Biret appears slightly mechanical, never quite expressing either the grandness of the opening movement or the poetry of the slow movement. Nevertheless, she does play forcefully throughout the piece and especially charmingly in the closing part. Overall, her playing appears virtuosic, expansive, and outgoing, certainly well within keeping, given the Romantic tradition, and her straightforward style may appeal to many listeners.

The orchestral accompaniment of Maestro Antoni Wit and the Polish National Radio Symphony can range from burdensomely obscure to warmly, moodily transparent, depending, I suppose, on the mood of the engineers. Some of the sound Naxos provides is excellent, particularly the piano tone; at other times the sonics seem to lapse into something a bit more undefined.

I found the disc's coupling, Robert Schumann's Introduction and Allegro appasionato, more to my liking, being more concisely treated as well as striking a better balance between orchestra and soloist.

At a relatively low Naxos price, this Brahms issue may seem a bargain, but if one remembers that the Gilels and Kovacevich recordings cost really about the same as the Naxos, they can look like more and more like absolute treasures.

John J. Puccio
Classical Candor



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