Brahms: Variations on the St Anthony Chorale; Piano Concerto No. 2

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COMPOSERS: Brahms
LABELS: EMI Karajan Edition
WORKS: Variations on the St Anthony Chorale; Piano Concerto No. 2
PERFORMER: Hans Richter-Haaser (piano)Berlin PO/Herbert von Karajan
CATALOGUE NO: CDM 5 66093 2 ADD (1977/58)
The Second Piano Concerto dates from 1958, and shows Karajan a superb accompanist to Hans Richter-Haaser, whose big-boned yet lyrical playing is rarely less than commanding. For his own part, Karajan contributes a certain sweep, even if the more emotionally riven sections are underwhelming and the finale ponderous. Though bass-heavy, each of the Variations (from 1976) establishes a definite character, yet this rather staid performance provides little in the way of cumulative effect. George Hall

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