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Brahms: Die Klavierkonzerte, Fantasien / Gilels, Jochum


Release Date: 09/17/1996 
Label:  Dg The Originals Catalog #: 447446   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Emil GilelsOttomar Borwitzky
Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Remember these? For a good couple of decades these recordings were lauded as reference versions of the Brahms piano concertos, but they seem to have slipped below the horizon in recent years. Indeed, Gilels’ reputation has waned since his death in 1985, one hopes temporarily, and collectors are just as likely to purchase this set for Jochum’s magnificent contribution as a great Brahms conductor. Indeed, these interpretations practically define the word “epic” when it comes to this music: has the opening of No. 1 ever been played with such massive, threatening sonority as Jochum does here?

I also wonder if the period-instrument movement hasn’t had an impact on how we hear the music, leading us to prefer either older versions
Read more of the fleeter variety, such as Fleisher/Szell, or newer interpretations of a still-grand but gentler, more lyrical kind, such as Buchbinder/Harnoncourt. Perhaps the recent Freire/Chailly offers the best of both worlds, and it has to be admitted that Gilels can sound a touch hard and rhythmically stiff in places compared to the competition. Consider the scherzo of the Second concerto as compared to Fleisher/Szell.

Nevertheless, if this is an extreme way of playing Brahms, it is still thrilling and wholly convincing. Gilels’ approach has a toughness and physicality that’s very impressive, especially in the outer movements of Concerto No. 1, and if he misses some of the delicacy and wit in No. 2?s finale, there’s no gainsaying the hushed intensity of the two slow movements, with Jochum and the Berlin Philharmonic in top form. The excellent Op. 116 Fantasias also represent a considerable bonus. Are these still reference recordings? Perhaps not, but they are very special, and that’s what really matters.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Piano no 1 in D minor, Op. 15 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Emil Gilels (Piano)
Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1854-1858; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/1972 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 51 Minutes 43 Secs. 
2. Concerto for Piano no 2 in B flat major, Op. 83 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Emil Gilels (Piano), Ottomar Borwitzky (Cello)
Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878-1881; Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1972 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 51 Minutes 44 Secs. 
3. Fantasies (7) for Piano, Op. 116: no 1, Capriccio in D minor by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Emil Gilels (Piano)
Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/1975 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Turku, Finland 
Length: 2 Minutes 11 Secs. 
4. Fantasies (7) for Piano, Op. 116: no 2, Intermezzo in A minor by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Emil Gilels (Piano)
Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/1975 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Turku, Finland 
Length: 3 Minutes 35 Secs. 
5. Fantasies (7) for Piano, Op. 116: no 3, Capriccio in G minor by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Emil Gilels (Piano)
Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/1975 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Turku, Finland 
Length: 3 Minutes 13 Secs. 
6. Fantasies (7) for Piano, Op. 116: no 4, Intermezzo in E major by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Emil Gilels (Piano)
Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/1975 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Turku, Finland 
Length: 4 Minutes 22 Secs. 
7. Fantasies (7) for Piano, Op. 116: no 5, Intermezzo in E minor by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Emil Gilels (Piano)
Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/1975 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Turku, Finland 
Length: 3 Minutes 0 Secs. 
8. Fantasies (7) for Piano, Op. 116: no 6, Intermezzo in E major by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Emil Gilels (Piano)
Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/1975 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Turku, Finland 
Length: 3 Minutes 7 Secs. 
9. Fantasies (7) for Piano, Op. 116: no 7, Capriccio in D minor by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Emil Gilels (Piano)
Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/1975 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Turku, Finland 
Length: 2 Minutes 16 Secs. 
10. Fantasies (7) for Piano, Op. 116 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Emil Gilels (Piano)
Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Austria 

Sound Samples

Piano Concerto No.1 In D Minor, Op.15: 1. Maestoso - Poco più moderato
Piano Concerto No.1 In D Minor, Op.15: 2. Adagio
Piano Concerto No.1 In D Minor, Op.15: 3. Rondo (Allegro non troppo)
Piano Concerto No.2 In B Flat, Op.83: 1. Allegro non troppo
Piano Concerto No.2 In B Flat, Op.83: 2. Allegro appassionato
Piano Concerto No.2 In B Flat, Op.83: 3. Andante - Più adagio
Piano Concerto No.2 In B Flat, Op.83: 4. Allegretto grazioso - Un poco più presto
Fantasias (7 Piano Pieces), Op.116: 1. Capriccio In D Minor
Fantasias (7 Piano Pieces), Op.116: 2. Intermezzo In A Minor
Fantasias (7 Piano Pieces), Op.116: 3. Capriccio In G Minor
Fantasias (7 Piano Pieces), Op.116: 4. Intermezzo In E Major
Fantasias (7 Piano Pieces), Op.116: 5. Intermezzo In E Minor
Fantasias (7 Piano Pieces), Op.116: 6. Intermezzo In E Major
Fantasias (7 Piano Pieces), Op.116: 7. Capriccio In D Minor

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