Brahms - Piano Concerto No. 1 - Arrau - Giulini - Philharmonia Orchestra on 180g Import LP
Brahms originally intended his Piano Concerto No. 1 as a symphony and he extensively reworked his ideas before setting down the work in the form as we know it today. The composer's original intentions still shimmer through however, for the work goes far beyond mere concertante playing and a display of virtuoso brilliance by the soloist.
The first movement in particular, with its relentless, threatening main theme, embodies Brahms's dramatic symphonic writing and even a conciliatory secondary theme offers no relief for it too must give way to the heavy, fateful initial theme. The passionate and grandiose opening movement is followed by an Adagio full of tranquility and quiet devotion; the solemn atmosphere is taken to exalted heights by the soloist and orchestra only to fade out pianissimo. Although the forceful, belligerent Finale occasionally conjures up the dark powers of the first movement, the work ends in a confident and cheerful vein.
Conductor Carlo Maria Giulini leads pianist Claudio Arrau and the Philharmonia Orchestra in a compelling 1961 performance of the Brahm masterwork which has remastered and pressed on 180g vinyl courtesy of Vinyl Passion Classical.
"Triumphant! Sunlight rather than menacing skies is characteristic of the Arrau-Giullini performance...The two work together magnificently, with the fervent orchestral playing crowning Arrau's wonderfully spacious phrasing...Arau excels as an introspective poet." - High Fidelity
Johannes Brahms (composer)
Carlo Maria Giulini (conductor)
Claudio Arrau (piano)