Brahms: Piano Concertos No 1 & 2 / Moravec, Belohlávek
Concerto No. 2 needs no such qualification. Here both soloist and conductor go for the gusto, with Moravec scintillating in the first, second, and last movements, and wonderfully poignant in the great adagio. Belohlàvek's crisp and energetic conducting, along with the Czech Philharmonic's fabled clarity, finesse, and individual artistry (the adagio's famous cello solo rarely has been played so beautifully) give this work a spark and spontaneity not usually associated with Brahms. Indeed, this performance makes the concerto sound like an expansion of one of the composer's large-scaled chamber works. The 1990s recordings tend to favor the high frequencies, but otherwise they give a believable sense of the orchestra in the spacious acoustic of Prague's Dvorák Hall. After Fleisher/Szell, this is one to keep.
--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com
Catalog Number: SU3865-2
Composer: Johannes Brahms
Conductor: Jirí Belohlávek
Orchestra/Ensemble: Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Performer: Ivan Moravec