Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15

This page lists all recordings of Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15, by Johannes Brahms (1833-97) on CD, SACD, DVD, Blu-ray & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.

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Brahms: Piano Concertos

Brahms: Piano Concertos


Brahms:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15

Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 83


Sunwook Kim (piano)

Hallé, Sir Mark Elder

Hallé and Sir Mark Elder are reunited with Sunwook Kim in long awaited studio recordings of repertoire with which he won the Leeds Piano Competition.

London-based Sunwook Kim came to international recognition when he won the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition in 2006, aged just 18, becoming the competition’s youngest winner for 40 years, as well as its first Asian winner.

His performance of Brahms’s Concerto No.1 with Hallé and Sir Mark Elder in the competition’s finals attracted unanimous praise from the press. Since then, he has established a reputation as one of the finest pianists of his generation, appearing as a concerto soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras and in major recital venues in London, across Europe and in Japan.

Sunwook Kim has a lso enjoyed an ongoing relationship with the Hallé Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder, performing in a variety of repertoire across a number of seasons.

Here they return to Brahms’ two masterworks; pieces which were separated by two decades and which display very differing musical and emotional outlooks, from the more ardent First to the more rhapsodic Second.

“Elder paces each work perfectly, giving Kim room to breathe...There are more glorious orchestral colours in the monumental second concerto, with Kim in magisterial form, particularly in the driving allegro appassionato. This special alchemy is highly recommended.” The Observer, 7th May 2017 *****

“The South Korean pianist (who won the Leeds Piano Competition when he was just 18) and Elder seem to be in perfect synchrony for these immaculately-paced performances - the music is given so much space to breathe and sing, so that the big climactic moments are thrown into even greater relief. The Hallé horns, in particular, are also at the top of their game.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, May 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hallé - CDHLD7546

(CD - 2 discs)

$20.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

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Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 & Violin Concerto & Schumann: Piano Quartet

Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 & Violin Concerto & Schumann: Piano Quartet


Brahms:

Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77

Frank Peter Zimmermann (violin)

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bernard Haitink

Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15

Emanuel Ax (piano)

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bernard Haitink

Schumann:

Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op. 47

Emanuel Ax (piano)

RCO Chamber Soloists


Bernard Haitink was the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra's chief conductor from 1961-88, and was named honorary conductor in 1999.

This album features his 2010 live Johannes Brahms recordings with Emanuel Ax (Piano Concerto No. 1) and Frank Peter Zimmermann (Violin Concerto). A brand new studio recording of Robert Schumann's Piano Quartet with Emanuel Ax and RCO principals Vesko Eschkenazy, Henk Rubingh and Gregor Horsch is offered as a makeweight.

“Haitink’s enduring association with this music ensures that every gesture has a naturalness to it, drawing out an oboe line here, a clarinet phrase there. Temperamentally, Frank Peter Zimmermann is on exactly the same wavelength, finding a balance between heart and head…there’s so much colour from the orchestral players and so much variety of touch in Ax’s playing [in the Piano Concerto] that the result is constantly engaging” Gramophone Magazine, June 2017

“[Zimmermann’s] Brahms is not only an example of technical and musical mastery, but above that demonstrates an intelligent stylistic organisation with, here and there, subtle portamentos, a marvellously nuanced sound production and a radiant vibrato…it is the same with Emanuel Ax…[whose] performance is perfect unity between high mastery and powerful emotion” Diapason, May 2017 *****

“[Zimmermann's] newer version [of the Brahms] has even more verve, the supple sweetness of his playing matching the burnished orchestral sound Haitink coaxes from his players. Ax too is hugely convincing in the dark storm of the D minor concerto, letting every note unfold naturally, pacing and colouring every phrase with warmth and authority” Classical Music, July 2017 *****

“A born Brahmsian, Ax gives full rein to the sheer massiveness of the First Piano Concerto, producing a performance of range and depth, intimately captured in this recording…the estimable Frank Peter Zimmermann is soloist in a blazing, flawless live performance of Brahms’s Violin Concerto…his high-tension, heroic style is matched by crisp precision from the orchestra” BBC Music Magazine, September 2017 ****

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

RCO Live - RCO17001

(SACD - 2 discs)

$15.50

(also available to download from $20.00)

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Brahms: The Piano Concertos

Brahms: The Piano Concertos


Brahms:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15

Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 83


This recording unites pianist Rudolf Buchbinder with his friend and conductor Zubin Mehta with whom he has built an intimate musical rapport. They are joined on this album by the Wiener Philharmoniker, an orchestra with which Buchbinder has appeared over many decades and enjoyed some of the greatest triumphs of his career.

Approaching his 70th birthday, Buchbinder once more revisits the concertos as a result of his increasing awareness of Brahms’ music.

“With Brahms, most people are struck only by the idea that his music is incredibly difficult and complex. But sometimes it requires a whole lifetime to become intimate with Brahms’ sound world and achieve the maturity that gives you a new freedom as a performer.” (Rudolf Buchbinder).

“There's always something heroic about Rudolf Buchbinder's exploits...He never takes the easy route when an option exists to duck a score's extreme technical demands, and his readings are unfailingly persuasive...Buchbinder's virtuosity is supremely relaxed, with no playing to the gallery. When Brahms calls for lyricism, he provides it with a wonderfully unforced sincerity.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2017 *****

“There are few pianists who can command these pieces technically as completely as he does” Gramophone Magazine, February 2017

Sony - 88985371582

(CD - 2 discs)

$16.50

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

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András Schiff on the V International Tchaikovsky Competition (Live)

András Schiff on the V International Tchaikovsky Competition (Live)


Brahms:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15

Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra, Dmitry Kitayenko

Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24

Liszt:

La leggierezza - Étude de concert No. 2, S144

Pirumov:

Scherzo for piano

Prokofiev:

Piano Sonata No. 3 in A minor, Op. 28

Rachmaninov:

Étude-Tableau, Op. 33 No. 7 in E flat major (published as No. 4)

Shostakovich:

Prelude & Fugue for piano, Op. 87 No. 15 in D flat major

Tchaikovsky:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23

Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra, Dmitry Kitayenko

Theme & Variations (No. 6 from Morceaux (6), Op. 19)


Firma Melodiya presents never-before-released recordings of András Schiff made at the V Tchaikovsky International Competition in 1974.

One of the most prominent pianists of modern times, András Schiff is nevertheless does not belong to the so-called competition format. The musician who earned the pedestal of philosopher pianist, “a representative of intellectual musical tradition in its high apprehension,” has never had virtuosity, sonic lustre and visual artistry in his sphere of interests.

However, the live recordings of the then 21-year-old Hungarian are of unquestionable interest. Soviet music critic Leonid Gakkel described his impressions of Schiff’s performance in the following way: “From his very first note at the competition Schiff struck me with the vigour of his performance, and that was vigour of the highest festivity… What a touch on the piano, what a charge of energy, what burning fingers! Ultimate activity of a creating spirit at each moment of playing…”

At the competition, Schiff played piano works by Rachmaninoff, Liszt, Prokofiev and Shostakovich, variation cycles and concertos by Tchaikovsky and Brahms. In the opinion of Yevgeny Malinin, a competent judge and professor of the Moscow Conservatory, Schiff “read music without a drop of wilfulness: he lived in and with it.” The panel gave him only the fourth prize (“incomplete correspondence” with general virtuosity and competition standards had an impact). However, it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that it was the Tchaikovsky Competition that brought the first significant success and international repute to the outstanding pianist.

“It's especially fascinating to hear the youthful Schiff tackle 20th-century Russian repertory. The two live performances are very exciting, but the orchestra is all over the place in the Brahms.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2017 ****

“Schiff shows himself, at the start of his career, as a virtuoso in the only sense that matters: everything possesses ‘the breath of life’ (Liszt), is brilliantly lit and the reverse of note-spinning…This is an absorbing issue and should be heard by those in particular who think they know the full range of Schiff’s art.” International Piano, May 2017 ****

“The 20-year-old András Schiff giving glimpses of his true potential at the 1974 Tchaikovsky International Competition.” MusicWeb International, 17th January 2017

Melodiya - MELCD1002386

(CD - 2 discs)

$20.00

(also available to download from $20.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Brahms: The Piano Concertos

Brahms: The Piano Concertos


Brahms:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15

Live From Semperoper, Dresden / 2011

Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 83

Live From Semperoper, Dresden / 2013


DG - 4793985

(CD - 2 discs)

$18.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 & Ballades Op. 10

Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 & Ballades Op. 10


Brahms:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15

Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Harding

Ballades (4), Op. 10


Paul Lewis (piano)

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here

Innovative for its time, Brahms’s Piano Concerto no.1, premiered in Hanover in 1859, took some time to become established in the repertoire. It is a work that redefined the norms of the genre: the traditional confrontation between virtuoso soloist and orchestra is bypassed in favour of a balanced treatment and a more ‘symphonic’ approach. The 'Ballades' too derive from the impetus towards a renewal of forms, characteristic of the young Brahms’s output.

“His account has clarity, muscle and steely pride, but also intimacy, vulnerability and volatility: the combination is magnetic. Conductor Daniel Harding goes for full-out symphonic bulk from the start and his Swedish orchestra sounds hearty and brooding – fuzzier-edged than Lewis’s metallic attack, but generally the partnership works.” The Guardian, 7th April 2016 ****

“His playing in Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1 disdains romantic heroics in favour of poise and proportion, fine judgment and the purest of trills. The risk is that he sounds aloof from the mighty battles being waged in the orchestral part, performed with romantic sweep and a lot of darkly portentous bass lines by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Daniel Harding.” Financial Times, 8th April 2016

“Lewis’s richly evocative account of the early Ballades shows that, at 21, Brahms was already himself. So he was (despite its protracted birth pangs) in the marvellous concerto. Lewis is equal to its challenges ... the captivating F major passage, after the fugato, is a delight, and the Swedish woodwind play expressively for Harding.” Sunday Times, 10th April 2016

“Lewis shows himself thoroughly prepared for the power, the emotional turmoil and the radical vision that Brahms unleashed in his First Concerto … Lewis too enjoys a productive partnership with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted with passion and intensity by Daniel Harding.” The Telegraph, 16th April 2016

“[a] wonderful combination of the statuesque and finesse, [the] recording encompasses it beautifully.” CD Review, 16th April 2016

“The sound is big, wholesome, thrilling, even appropriately terrifying...Lewis’ approach is always integral, powerful yet unpretentious. He evokes every nuance of expression contained in this all-embracing concerto...Brahms’ four Ballads, Op. 10, form a beautiful counterbalance, Lewis evoking their essential sensuousness and beauty.” The Scotsman, 18th April 2016

“Harding has opted for an intensely dramatic reading of this piece, with plenty of Sturm und Drang on offer...the way Lewis gently but assertively glides in, almost as if he has actually been playing all along but it's only now that he has decided to make us aware of his presence, is a great moment, and sets the tone for his entire performance...As in the concerto, the range of colours that Lewis offers us in the Four Ballades is quite something.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, 15th April 2016

“The Swedish Radio Symphony, under Daniel Harding’s expert baton, distinguish themselves. The wind band, plangent and exquisitely blended, floats effortlessly above a string choir of almost embarrassing luxuriousness…Lewis is pervasively lyrical in the concerto [and] the beauty of his sound is evident throughout…for a Brahms D minor Concerto of manifold beauties this account could scarcely be bettered” Gramophone Magazine, May 2016

“[Lewis and Harding] encapsulate the contrasting moods of defiance and lyricism without indulging in unwarranted touches of rubato or having to negotiate awkward gear changes…Lewis brings all the requisite power to the ‘sturm and drang’ octaves and trills, but maintains flow and a wonderful feeling for inner voicing in the chorale theme…memorable” BBC Music Magazine, June 2016 *****

“Harding doesn’t hesitate, unequivocally conducting a majestically broad, imperiously thrusting but malleable exposition, its end quietly tapered for Paul Lewis’s poetic entrance...Here is mutually crafted musicianship … [with] Lewis’s insightful interpretations of the multi-faceted beauties that are the Ballads closing the disc.” Classical Ear, 4th May 2016

“This pianist’s light fluent touch is a delight, as is the orchestra’s often fleet playing … Paul Lewis’ innate musicianship always shines through in this beautifully thought out performance, impressive in its restrained power … This is a formidable Brahms disc from Lewis.” The Classical Reviewer, 8th May 2016

“It’s thrillingly played, excitingly conducted and full of both power and beauty, making it the best Brahms 1 we’ve had since Zimmerman and Rattle in Berlin (review), as well as Lewis’ best disc for a while, too.” MusicWeb International, June 2016

Presto Disc of the Week

15th April 2016

Presto Discs of 2016

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Harmonia Mundi - HMC902191

(CD)

Normally: $13.25

Special: $10.60

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Brahms: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2

Brahms: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2


Brahms:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15

Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 83


Two generous, aristocratic musicians, both of Latin origin, join forces for these magnificent performances of Brahms’ piano concertos. Claudio Arrau spent a substantial period in Berlin, and through his teacher Martin Krause had a line to Franz Liszt, while Carlo Maria Giulini’s relationship with Austro-German music was deepened by his years as a viola player in Rome’s Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, performing under such conductors as Wilhelm Furtwängler, Otto Klemperer and Bruno Walter.

Warner Classics Original Jacket Reissues - 2564676811

(CD - 2 discs)

$13.25

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Brahms: The Piano Concertos

Brahms: The Piano Concertos


Brahms:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15

Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 83


This album was recorded live at the Berliner Philharmonie in September 2014 with high critical acclaim of the performances. Not only the common South American roots of both artists but also the precise and energetic playing of Barenboim and the “volcanic” temperament of Dudamel make them a “Dream couple”.

Barenboim himself has a very high opinion of Dudamel which he expressed after one of the concerts: “Whenever I had to play myself, I was able to count on him completely. And when I didn’t have to play, it was a joy to see how well he works with the orchestra. I’m well placed to make this observation as I’ve been playing these concertos since 1958.”

After his successful album together with Yuja Wang, this is Dudamel’s second recording as conductor with a soloist.

The second Piano Concerto with its four movements is one of the longest and most demanding concertos ever written and the final Allegretto grazioso features one of the most carefree movements that Brahms ever wrote and which is also notable – in Alfred Brendel’s words – for its “unsurpassable pianistic perversions”.

“[these accounts] capture on the wing a vibrant partnership between grand maestro at the piano and young lion on the podium…occasional moments of unexpected magic flair up, such as the vibrant exchange between piano and cellos in the second movement of [the Second Concerto], and I defy anyone to breathe during its slow movement in the minutes before the return of the cello solo (whose player, incidentally, deserves a credit, but doesn't get one).” BBC Music Magazine, November 2015

“Like all great Brahms interpreters, Barenboim gives the music space…[the Berlin Staatskapelle] produces a Brahms sound of rare depth and beauty under the direction of Barenboim's chosen collaborator Gustavo Dudamel. Some of the quiet playing has to be heard to be believed.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2015

“The second concerto is the more convincing; the first in D minor never really recovers from Dudamel’s leaden treatment of the opening tutti...The B flat concerto has its moments of self-conscious point-making too, but the sense of sweep and wholeness about the performance generally overrides them, and the searching account of the slow movement shows Barenboim and his orchestra at their best.” The Guardian, 13th August 2015 ***

“The sheer grandeur and character of the interpretations is breathtaking...Barenboim clearly still has volcanic power in his fingers, but also the ability to soliloquise poetically and hauntingly in quieter passages. The Staatskapelle players match that with some beautiful sounds...On the other hand, there’s a crushing heaviness at times.” The Times, 28th August 2015 ***

DG - 4794899

(CD - 2 discs)

$15.75

(also available to download from $9.25)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Kempff plays Brahms – Volume II

Kempff plays Brahms – Volume II


Brahms:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15

Staatskapelle Dresden, Franz Konwitschny

Rhapsodies (2), Op. 79

Intermezzi (3), Op. 117

Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24

Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor, Op. 5

Scherzo in E flat minor, Op. 4


The two volumes of Kempff plays Brahms focuses on his 1950s recordings from both, the Decca and Deutsche Grammophon catalogues. Volume I features shorter pieces – the miniature Brahms, so to speak. Volume II features his only recording of the First Piano Concerto, and goes on to include the 1957 Deutsche Grammophon recordings of the Third Sonata, the Op. 4 Scherzo and the Handel Variations, as well as two curiosities – the two Rhapsodies, Op. 79 from 1950 and the Op. 117 Intermezzi from 1953, both recorded for Decca, and both receiving their first release on CD. Correspondingly, the 1953 recording of the Rhapsodies and the 1950 recording of the Intemezzi appear on Volume I.

“Kempff's only recording of the D minor Piano Concerto features here, lyrical and understated rather than barnstorming. The Handel Variations are superb; the Third Sonata is slightly underpowered.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2014 ***

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4808293

(CD - 2 discs)

$12.00

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Brahms: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2

Brahms: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2


Brahms:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15

Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 83


Erato - 2564632295

(CD - 2 discs)

$11.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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