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Brahms: Piano Concerto No 2 / Serkin, Szell, Cleveland Orch

Release Date: 10/25/1990 
Label:  Cbs Great Performances Catalog #: 37258   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Rudolf Serkin
Conductor:  George Szell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Rudolf Serkin and George Szell give an honest, rugged, dry-eyed account of the First Concerto, emotionally somewhat understated, but very strong. It’s a reading that wears well, like good leather – and there’s no question that both of these gentlemen were comfortable in this particular saddle. The Second Concerto is treated as a real symphony for piano and orchestra. Here, the Cleveland Orchestra is absolutely amazing, playing like a chamber ensemble on a grand scale, with the details emphasized by an exceptionally dry recording. In No. 2 the tuning of the piano is problematic in places, and one hears perhaps too much of Serkin humming along – Szell too, at times. The transfers are almost miraculous. Serkin’s percussiveness is emphasized Read more (as is his crooning) – even though the violins still sound thin and the winds sometimes seem underbalanced, one could almost be sitting in the first row at Severance Hall. – Ted Libbey, author of The NPR Guide to Building a Classical CD Collection. Read less

Works on This Recording

Concerto for Piano no 2 in B flat major, Op. 83 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Rudolf Serkin (Piano)
Conductor:  George Szell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878-1881; Austria 

Sound Samples

I. Allegro non troppo
II. Allegro appassionato
III. Andante
IV. Allegretto grazioso

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