If you're looking for a budget-priced Brahms D minor Concerto, consider this one. It's played with distinction, forethought, care, and real individuality. The tumultuous first movement is sculpted with broad, rhetorical brush strokes yet never sags under its weight. Credit Antoni Wit, who takes great care to shape and clarify the composer's difficult-to-balance orchestration. Idil Biret channels her considerable technique toward musical ends, and admirably integrates the first movement's taxing chains of trills, descending octave thunderbolts, and upward scale passages into the orchestral fabric. Similarly, Biret and Wit take their sweet time as they transform the slow movement into a cosmic dialogue, capped by a shattering climax. AfterRead more that, the Rondo almost seems like an anticlimax, but Biret's solid pianism and Wit's buoyant opulence is nothing to sneeze at.
Neither is the incisive, thrillingly played Schumann Introduction and Concert Allegro. Biret makes the knotty piano writing both roar and soar, recalling Rudolf Serkin's leonine, compact traversal with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. In turn, Wit's spirited podium work keeps the music's diffuse form afloat, seasoned with the same highly characterized solo playing that grace this conductor's wonderful Schumann symphonies on Naxos. A release well worth hearing.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Strength enough--yet gentle when required.January 21, 2015By Keith Klockau (Kansas City, MO)See All My Reviews"I've been a Brahms lover since my teens (I'm now mid-80s), so I think I know my Brahms. This Brahms One is strong without being brutal. Her strength is tempered with the requisite gentleness in the more tender passages. I'm really satisfied with this performance! The orchestral part is not just accompaniment, but a genuine part of the whole. By the way, how do I get information on mp3 items for my mp3 player. Is the two-week free trial period still in effect? KWK"Report Abuse