Brahms’ Piano Concertos
There may be clearly no lack of wonderful performances of the 2 Brahms piano concertos. There are lots of masterful recordings from the Nineteen Sixties with the nice piano legends, Curzon, Arrau, Fleischer, Richter, or Gilels, typically with the improbable George Szell, which have stood the take a look at of time, because the romantic repertoire has seen much less of a sea change of recording fashion as have earlier composers (I can’t actually get pleasure from non-HIP Bach concertos any extra for instance).
There even have been numerous more moderen recordings which are excellent. One in all my favourite units is the Nelson Freire / Riccardo Chailly / Gewandhaus one from 2006, or extra just lately, the wonderful (No. 1) / excellent( No. 2) recordings by Lars Vogt with the Northern Sinfonia (that I simply observed I completely forgot to evaluation right here).
And as a pleasant coincidence, the very first recording I ever owned of No. 1 was with András Schiff as nicely, with George Solti on a 1989 Decca album.
So why would even a Brahms aficionado like me trouble to purchase yet another recording of those?
The reply known as Blüthner. That’s the piano that Schiff makes use of on this new recording.
Brahms: The Piano Concertos- András Schiff – Orchestra of the Age of Enlightening (ECM 2021)
The Blüthner is a piano from c. 1859, i.e. 1 12 months after the writing of Brahms first concerto. It has a fairly completely different sound to the standard trendy Steinway, much less heavy, much less sensible, however extra clear.
To enrich that, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment can be clearly traditionally knowledgeable, enjoying on intestine strings.
So, is it price it?
I’d say sure (and I did buy the album). I actually just like the distinction in sound and transparency one will get from the traditionally knowledgeable strategy and devices. That is the primary recording of Brahms concertos with a HIP strategy that hit my radar display screen, and it actually offers you new insights into these works.
To cite Schiff himself from the booklet: “With the current recording we’ve tried to recreate and restore the works, to cleanse and ‘detoxify’ the music, to liberate it from the burden of the – typically questionable – emblems of performing traditions“.
Now, does that imply this might be my new reference recording? Clearly not, I gained’t be abandoning the great thing about all of the recordings I’ve quoted above. I actually just like the piano enjoying, though some rubati aren’t all the time my cup of tea, however significantly within the first concerto, I’d similar to to see a bit extra drama within the orchestral introduction.
However for those who like Brahms, it’s best to actually verify this recording out!
My score: 4 stars
You could find it right here (Qobuz)