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Brahms: Piano Concertos Nos.1 & 2
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Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, 10 December 2013
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- Product Dimensions : 12.47 x 14.25 x 0.97 cm; 117.93 Grams
- Manufacturer : HYPERION
- Manufacturer reference : HYP67961.2
- Original Release Date : 2013
- Label : HYPERION
- ASIN : B00FBG7NYY
- Number of discs : 2
- Customer Reviews:
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On this stunning recording of the two piano concertos of Johannes Brahms, Stephen Hough is joined by the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg and conductor Mark Wigglesworth in their Hyperion debut. These works are among the greatest in the genre. Separated by twenty-two years and widely differing in their reception (the first was scorned and the second a huge success), they are monumental in scale, impassioned and truly romantic, forward-looking in form and requiring both great virtuosity and intimacy from the pianist. After performing them in concert for many years (to ecstatic acclaim) Hough's deep connection to these beloved works can now be appreciated and enjoyed by a much wider audience.
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I ordered this set based on positive reviews posted on the Amazon websites. I had high hopes, soon to be dashed. The tiger, I guess, truly does not change his stripes. Hough here too often indulges in his usual habit of idiosyncratic embellishment: little all-too-cute touches of individual phrasing that serve annoyingly to distract from the music and deflect attention towards the performer. "Hey, look here; it's me!"
In a world of first-rate recorded performances of the Brahms piano concertos (Fleisher/Szell; Serkin/Szell/Ormandy; Katchen/Monteux; Freire/ Chailly; Rubinstein/Reiner/Krips/Munch; and last, but by no means least, the masterful Cliburn/Reiner/Leinsdorf/Kondrashin)*, who needs this?
(*Yes, I know - Cliburn, in his performances, also adds individual touches in phrasing here and there, but they are always tasteful and - even more importantly - don't work against the music, but enhance it. They never fail to delight me and elicit a smile and a nod of acknowledgement from me however often I listen to his performances. Totally subjective evaluation, I know - but there it is. Simply glorious old-fashioned music making that will never be out of style - at least not with me.)
I am a great Hough fan and had the pleasure of meeting him over a year ago.
I now have about 6 different recordings of these concertos and Hough's is probably my favourite.