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Discussion: Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 1 (arr. Schoenberg) - Albrecht

Posts: 24
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Post by Chris July 26, 2015 (21 of 24)
Well it seems the concertos with Hough won't be my downloads of the day although tempting.
I am not a registered customer at Hyperion and their registration system works in the weird way that they send you an email where they ask you to click a link that can't be clicked because it is not an active link,to confirm your email.
I've tried to alert them to the fact, but they just keep sending me non active links to click.
Catch 22.

Post by hiredfox July 26, 2015 (22 of 24)
We need a helping hand from Jared or Tom over there in Boston, come on boys no "ifs" no "buts" lets get it done! Stephen is well up to speed on the works and maybe would relish a different take on them?

Post by Chris July 28, 2015 (23 of 24)
tommwi said:

The Stephen Hough recording is a minimalist one. It is severely short in the orchestra department and the romantic Brahms as I know him, is almost lost. One of my absolute favorite pianists makes one of the worst Brahms concerto recordings I know. What’s the chance of that?

Ok, I see your point now tommvi,having bought them.
This is Brahms for those who enjoyed Mackerras's slimmed down imho, thin symphony series for Telarc on rbcd.
Or BIS Open Doors style.
To me and obviously also tommvi this is simply a bit too thin and scrawny.
Yes there are those here who argue that is what Brahms had at his disposal in Meiningen.Why should we wish for more? But if you like Brahms piano concertos big and romantic the Hyperion recordings from Festspielhaus Salzburg are not the ones to go for.
The small Mozarteum orchestra sounds very small indeed,in the vast acoustics of the Festspielhaus.
They normally play in a much smaller hall.
Strings are not only thin but actually scrawny sometimes, and anything but rich and warm.
But there are nonetheless things to like here too,even if I too prefer big romantic style Brahms.
Hough's playing is very good imo and both the arguably too small orchestra in a very big hall and Hough's piano are captured very realistically by Hyperion, balance wise.
The piano sound is actually very realistic and sounds like you would hear it from a seat a bit back in the hall.
No exaggerated spotlighting of the soloist at all.
But you have to turn up the volume a lot to make things snap into focus and even then it can sound a bit colourless .
My other hi res download of the 2nd concerto from Acousence sounds much fuller and richer and Malikova sounds as if she has this piece under her fingers very well too.
And my Brendel on Philips LPs or even Rubenstein although showing its age on SACD are preferable to my taste in Brahms.
Maybe Barenboim will be better?
I heard Yefim Bronfmann play the 2nd in Singapore not long ago and that concert was very good indeed.
I think he has recorded a bluray of both concertos recently.
And who knows? Maybe Pentatone with quite a selection of pianists to choose from have something up their sleeve in much fuller and warmer DSD SQ?

Post by tommwi July 29, 2015 (24 of 24)
Chris said:

Ok, I see your point now tommvi,having bought them.

Hi Chris

Yes, I think you are pretty much onto my experience.

But I do believe the soloist is clearly recorded and put upfront in the sound picture. But it doesn't bother me much since I'm not that sensitive to "spot-miking"... :-)

I think Hough is best in the second concerto, more freewheeling with a pallete of pianistic skills I like (frasing, legato/rubato, intonation), and which belongs to a Brahms performance. But then the orchestra isn't with him at all. The horns, oh no, (are there more than one ? :-) ). And the solocello in the third movement is plain dull. Listen to what the VPO does for Grimaud here and it is in a completely different class. The best on record ! Well, the Grimaud recording is the best on record !! :-)

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