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Daniel Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin, Gustavo Dudamel - Johannes Brahms: The Piano Concertos (2015) 2CDs

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Daniel Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin, Gustavo Dudamel - Johannes Brahms: The Piano Concertos (2015) 2CDs

Johannes Brahms: The Piano Concertos 1 & 2 (2015) 2CDs
Daniel Barenboim, piano; Staatskapelle Berlin; Gustavo Dudamel, conductor

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 395 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 236 Mb | Scans included
Genre: Classical | Label: Deutsche Grammophon | # 479 4899 GH2 | Time: 01:42:06

The old model for creating a hit classical recording – big-name soloist plus big-name conductor in major repertory work – is not so common anymore, but this live Brahms recording from the Staatskapelle Berlin under Venezuela's Gustavo Dudamel, with Argentine-Israeli-Palestinian-Spanish pianist Daniel Barenboim as soloist, shows that there's life in the concept yet. One could point to the virtues of pianist and conductor separately: it's a rare septuagenarian who can combine power and clear articulation of detail the way Barenboim does, and Dudamel builds a vast sweep in, especially, the Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15. But it's the way that the two work together that really makes news. Chalk it up to shared South American heritage or to whatever the listener wants, but the way the orchestra and piano define separate spheres and work them together is extraordinary. Again, it is in the Piano Concerto No. 1 and its Beethovenian drama that their mutual understanding is most evident, but there is a sense of great variety powerfully unified throughout. Deutsche Grammophon, working in the Philharmonie in Berlin, delivers live sound that's just about as good as it gets.

Review by James Manheim, Allmusic.com

There is no musician before the public today with a more complete knowledge of the Brahms piano concertos than Daniel Barenboim. He has been playing the works for more than 50 years and conducting them for more than 40, sometimes for those very same master Brahmsians – Arrau, Rubinstein – at whose feet he had earlier sat. When he first recorded the concertos with Sir John Barbirolli in 1967, the competition was stiff, not least from Arrau himself, whose recordings with Giulini and the Philharmonia had already made their own indelible mark. Those earliest Barenboim recordings (EMI, 3/68, 12/68) were warmly received in these columns, despite Trevor Harvey’s concerns over ‘small points’ which ‘would matter little in a concert performance but which do matter on record’. Such things still matter, though the entirely plausible belief that live recordings can never be of more than documentary interest has long since been kicked into touch.

This newest cycle was recorded at the 2014 Berlin Festival, where Barenboim played both concertos in a single evening. If Trevor Harvey were still with us, there would be more than a handful of ‘small points’ to worry over. Yet Barenboim’s larger mastery remains, underpinned by playing that, in the D minor First Concerto at least, is close to studio quality.

Barenboim’s mastery strikes me as being of a different order to that of, say, Nelson Freire, whose hard-driven, live, Award-winning recordings with Chailly and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra (Decca, 11/06) seem to say less at each new hearing. Like all great Brahms interpreters, Barenboim gives the music space. How otherwise is it possible to register the outer form and inner detail of the opening movement of the D minor Concerto, a minor-key epic in 6/4 time marked to be played Moderato?

If this performance is a must for Brahms collectors (the slow movement is especially memorable), that of the B flat Second Concerto is more problematic. The two inner movements are beautifully done: Barenboim’s unusually reflective account of the Scherzo complementing well the lovely cello-led Andante. The first movement’s lyric sections are also finely attended to. It’s when Brahms has chords and trills crashing around us like falling masonry that Barenboim sometimes struggles to make headway. And at such moments DG’s bright, accurate recording allows no hiding place. As to the concerto’s finale, Barenboim has never been much inclined to point up its Mozartian grace or Hungarian colour. That said, the playing itself is good enough, until what is by any standards a decidedly rocky account of the Un poco più presto coda.

The orchestra is Barenboim’s own Berlin Staatskapelle, which produces a Brahms sound of rare depth and beauty under the direction of Barenboim’s chosen collaborator Gustavo Dudamel. Some of the quiet playing has to be heard to be believed. Dudamel’s grasp of the music’s symphonic dimension is also impressive, as is his fleetness of foot when a sudden insight or unscheduled adjustment from his distinguished soloist causes the sands suddenly to shift.

Review by Richard Osborne, Gramophone

Daniel Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin, Gustavo Dudamel - Johannes Brahms: The Piano Concertos (2015) 2CDs



Daniel Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin, Gustavo Dudamel - Johannes Brahms: The Piano Concertos (2015) 2CDs



Daniel Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin, Gustavo Dudamel - Johannes Brahms: The Piano Concertos (2015) 2CDs



Daniel Barenboim, piano
Staatskapelle Berlin
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor

Tracklist:

CD1:

Piano Concerto No.1 in D minor
01. I. Maestoso (23:24)
02. II. Adagio (14:25)
03. III. Rondo. Allegro non troppo (13:20)

CD2:

Piano Concerto No.2 in B flat major
01. I. Allegro non troppo (18:40)
02. II. Allegro appassionato (09:45)
03. III. Andante (12:31)
04. IV. Allegretto grazioso (09:57)


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Exact Audio Copy V1.1 from 23. June 2015

EAC extraction logfile from 19. November 2015, 2:58

Daniel Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin, Gustavo Dudamel / Brahms - The Piano Concertos - CD2

Used drive : HL-DT-STDVDRAM GU70N Adapter: 1 ID: 0

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Used output format : User Defined Encoder
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Quality : High
Add ID3 tag : No
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Daniel Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin, Gustavo Dudamel - Johannes Brahms: The Piano Concertos (2015) 2CDs

All thanks to original releaser - A-Z

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