BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 2 / Pollini, Thielemann


Klavierkonzert · Piano Concerto No. 2
Maurizio Pollini
Staatskapelle Dresden
Christian Thielemann
Int. Release 07 Apr. 2014
1 CD / Download
0289 479 2384 8
Live recording

Track List

Johannes Brahms (1833 - 1897)
Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 83

Maurizio Pollini, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

Total Playing Time 46:59

Sonically speaking, the present performance's warm ambience and natural soloist/orchestra balance resembles the 1977 Vienna traversal . . . Pollini's gold standard technique remains impressively commanding . . . the first movement lacks nothing in power and tonal heft, while Pollini imbues the magical trills and broken octaves (beginning at bar 335) with newfound inflections and shadings . . . The Allegro grazioso unfolds more spontaneously; listen, for example, to Thielemann speeding up when the orchestra answers the main theme, and other whimsical yet undisruptive adjustments . . . In short, Pollini's third Brahms B flat confirms his authoritative musicianship.

. . . [the] unity of purpose makes this concerto hold together extremely well, and the pianist interacts with the ensemble as much as he stands apart as soloist, so there is a conscious attempt to show how Brahms wove the piano into his textures and integrated all the parts as an organic whole. Yet Pollini's thoughtful and controlled playing is always clearly audible, and Thielemann gives him considerable freedom to use rubato and set the pace where it enhances the expression. Overall, the sound of the recording is rich and full . . .

The orchestral playing is generally fantastic -- the ever-dependable Thielemann, who has already proved himself a first-rate Brahmsian, coaxes a wonderful sound -- while Pollini is [charismatic and forceful and never less than intelligent] . . . A distinguished addition to Pollini's discography . . .

Pollini gibt dem wuchtigen Viersätzer das nötige Gewicht, meidet aber jedes Pathos. Zügig treibt er das komplexe musikalische Geschehen voran, und verliert sich selbst im lyrischen langsamen Satz kaum in detailverliebte Spitzfindigkeiten. Die Staatskapelle Dresden bleibt ihrem nobel gerundeten Klang auch bei Brahms treu . . . Christian Thielemann scheint sich mit den Tempi von Pollini wohl zu fühlen, jedenfalls ist diese Aufführung [aus einem Guss] . . .

  • Watch the trailer for Maurizio Pollini's album "BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 2".

    Recorded 'live' at the Semperoper, Dresden, in January 2013, this performance of Brahms's Piano Concerto No.2 reunited the dream-team of Maurizio Pollini and the Staatskapelle orchestra under Christian Thielemann. Pollini and Thielemann had already won a prestigious ECHO award for their DG recording of the first concerto, released in 2012. Brahms's second piano concerto has had a particularly notable history in the city of Dresden, where the composer himself played the work twice on the stage of the Semperoper - where this recording was made.

    'The resolve and self-assurance with which Pollini played here was fascinating. The sound was able to gain in breadth and depth. Christian Thielemann accompanied with great attention and with tightly coiled flexibility.' Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten.