Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat

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3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

LABELS: Supraphon
WORKS: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat
PERFORMER: ivan Moravec (piano) Czech PO/Jirí Belohlávek
CATALOGUE NO: SU 1994-2 DDD (1988)
Moravec has been fêted in Eastern Europe for well over thirty years and compared to giants like Serkin and Arrau. There’s no denying his neatly articulated fingerwork, and in an architectural sense he has the measure of these concertos. But he’s insufficiently flamboyant, his climaxes are underpowered and his quirky approach to the slower passages, with tiny hesitations and elastic rhythms, destroys the natural flow of the phrase. This is particularly evident in the First Concerto. The Second is better – provided you don’t mind the tremulous tones of the Czech PO’s horns in the exposed opening bars. Wadham Sutton