Johannes Brahms is one of my musical heroes, not only because of the symphonies and concertos he composed, but also because who he was a good model as a human being.
And I have been an admirer of pianist Paul Lewis for many years. Now there is a new recording that combines the best of these two people:
Paul Lewis performs Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 and Ballades Op. 10 With the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Harding conducting.
Innovative for its time, Brahms’ Piano Concerto no.1, premiered in Hanover in 1859, took some time to become established in the repertoire. It is a work that redefined the norms of the genre: the traditional confrontation between virtuoso soloist and orchestra is bypassed in favor of a balanced treatment and a more ‘symphonic’ approach.
The Telegraph wrote recently:
“Lewis shows himself thoroughly prepared for the power, the emotional turmoil and the radical vision that Brahms unleashed in his First Concerto … Lewis too enjoys a productive partnership with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted with passion and intensity by Daniel Harding.”
Here are a few brief extracts from this excellent recording: