Symphony No. 3
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan
DG 477 7159
Brahms employs full symphony orchestra and chorus for this majestic setting of passages from the Lutheran bible written in response to his mother’s death.
Dorothea Röschmann (soprano), Thomas Quasthoff (baritone), Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Berlin Radio Choir/Simon Rattle
EMI 365 3932
Piano Concerto No. 2
This deeply humane concerto was written just after the Symphony No. 3. The slow movement’s use of cello as a ‘second’ solo instrument was innovative.
Emil Gilels (piano), Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Eugen Jochum
DG 447 4462
Intermezzi Op. 117
Brahms was a supreme pianist and his solo piano music has extraordinary range and variety. His late Intermezzi, however, are stunningly written miniatures.
Nicholas Angelich (piano)
Virgin 379 3022
Full of gypsy inflections and wild virtuosity, the Violin Concerto, written in 1879 for Joseph Joachim, is one of the most popular in the repertoire.
Nikolaj Znaider (violin), Vienna Philharmonic/Valery Gergiev
Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.