Brahms DVD of the Month: Jan., 2016

Here’s a new album of three DVD’s with wonderful music by Johannes Brahms:

The four symphonies

The two piano concerti

The violin Concerto, and 

Academic Festival Overture

Performed by the Cleveland Orchestra, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst

The Cleveland Orchestra is the “aristocrat among American orchestras” (The Telegraph) and its conductor, Franz Welser-Möst leads the players with strong expertise. 

The First Symphony, recorded at the splendid Golden Hall of Vienna’s Musikverein, Franz Welser-Möst leads his “devoted and exemplarily precise musicians” (Die Presse) in a rendition that was totally polished.

In the evolution of Brahms’ other symphonies, this excellence continues.

Brahms’ rousing Academic Festival Overture and Violin Concerto op. 77 Show us a composer at the height of his abilities, a mature master of large-scale masterpieces. The Violin Concerto demands extreme technical proficiency. As if to exemplify this, violinist Julia Fischer gears herself from the very start of this emotionally searing work to maintaining a restrained yet passionate tone.

Yefim Bronfman has the amazing ability to handle the most delicate passages without losing presence, and to play everything in between with a ravishing sense of tonal color.

In the Second Piano Concerto Welser-Möst and Bronfman bring pulsing energy to the concerto’s second movement, setting up a great calm for the third that segued immediately into the genial finale, whose last chords were nearly obliterated by roars of approval from the audience. 

Here is the piano concerto number 2 by Brahms, as performed by Yefim Bronfman:


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