Friday, April 04, 2008

CD REVIEW: Brahms Piano Concerto

April 4, 2008
Brahms: Piano Concerto No 1; Hungarian Dances; Angelich/Braley/Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orch/Järvi

*** (Virgin)

Andrew Clements
The Guardian

Brahms: Piano Concerto No 1
Buy this CD now
Nicolas Angelich's account of the Brahms D minor Concerto is nothing if not spacious. Paavo Järvi sets the tone with his conducting of the orchestral introduction - weighty, almost ponderous at times - and, when the piano finally enters, Angelich's performance continues in the same vein. If it all sometimes seems a little over-deliberate, there are other moments when his willingness to pause for thought bears real expressive dividends, and the sense of this being a very carefully thought-through interpretation comes across very clearly. Yet, some might still prefer a more strikingly dramatic account of this massive work - a sharper contrast between its moments of repose and those in which the dialogue with the orchestra becomes more heated, so that the relaxation of the finale when it arrives seems more cathartic. Particularly in Brahms, though, Angelich's playing has its own impressive authority, and conveys the sense that his music instincts are to be trusted.

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