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MP3 Norman Krieger - Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1

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MP3 Norman Krieger - Bra
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"We've struck 64 minutes worth of Brahmsian gold." Gramophone Magazine

6 MP3 Songs in this album (63:46) !
Related styles: Classical: Brahms, Classical: Concerto, Type: Instrumental

People who are interested in Emanuel Ax Leon Fleisher Rudolf Serkin should consider this download.


BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D-minor, op. 15; Capriccio in D-minor, op.116; Intermezzo in A-minor, op.116; Ballade No. 4, op. 10 â Norman Krieger, piano/ Virginia Symphony Orchestra/ Joann Falletta, conductor â Artisie
A shocker of a disc, with pianist and orchestra catapulting to the top of the âmust haveâ list for the Brahms 1st

BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D-minor, op. 15; Capriccio in D-minor, op.116; Intermezzo in A-minor, op.116; Ballade No. 4, op. 10 â Norman Krieger, piano/ Virginia Symphony Orchestra/ Joann Falletta, conductor â Artisie 4, 63:47 *****:

Norman Krieger, despite being âone of the most acclaimed pianists of his generationâ (notes) is a name new to me, though I cannot see how I missed a pianist with such sterling chops as this. His website shows a host of other recordings that I will have to check out (, but for now I can luxuriate in the glories of this Brahms 1, one of the most difficult in the literature and not an easy piece for the orchestra to pull off either.

Krieger is on top of it right from the opening mysterious entrance of the piano, surely one of the darkest and subtly dramatic beginnings in all of music. The same subtlety alternates with a bombastic orchestral presence that is often the undoing of lesser recordings, but both pianist and orchestra are tied together in an umbilical twine so that one great interpretative heart beats in each. No doubt this is due to one of Americaâs finest conductors (and far and away the finest woman conductor in the world, in my opinion), Joann Falletta, who shows here a sublime understanding of Brahms, ever cognizant of the need to maintain discipline of tempo and dynamic contrast without spilling over into the realm of the overtly-sloppy romantic. This is a romantic interpretation, no question, but controlled and beautifully executed and maintained. Though the Virginia Symphony is obviously augmented here by âguestsâ as indicated in the program notes, they play with stunning alacrity, power, and warmth, and certainly win the âbest ofâ award for orchestras in Virginia and surrounding states (or D.C., for that matter). There are many great recordings of the work, and you are always surprised to hear a new one that touches the absolute greatest, but this one does. It leaps to the top of the heap, maybe not surpassing the front rank, but certainly holding its own among them. A real shocker, a stunning achievement, and all should be proud. The sound, by the way, is vivid and bold with great presence, especially as it was done live. Kriegerâs dexterous mannerisms are captured to the full.

Krieger finishes the disc with three of Brahms piano pieces, two from the late Op. 116 and one of the early Ballades. This little taste only whets my appetite for more, and I do hope that Krieger will consider returning to the studio to indulge us in more Brahms. You can get this CD from Kriegerâs website listed above, or from the Virginia Symphony (, though Kriegerâs has it for two bucks cheaper at $15.00 as does Highest recommendation!

-- Steven Ritter

The worldâs best classical music magazine IIWâ MAY 2008


Piano Concerto No 1, Op I 5⢠Seven Pieces, Op 116â No 1, Capriccio; No 2, Intermezzo. Ballade, Op 10 No 4
Norman Krieger pf
Virginia Symphony Orchestra /JoAnn Falletta
Article 4 ® (64â ⢠DDD)
Recorded live at Chrysler Hall, Norfolk, VA, in February 2007
Brahms gold from an unlikely source â make sure you donât overlook this disc

With so many excellent Brahms D minor Concerto recordings to be had, casual collectors might pass over the present release in pursuit of household-
name soloists, firstâtier orchestras and major labels. Then again, theyâd miss this absolute smoker of a performance. Conductor JoAnn Falletta captures the musicâs volatile emotions and youthful energy in frill measure. She defines the outer movementsâ hefty tuttis with forceful accents and lean textures
dominated by angry, snarling low brass, and pays special heed to expressive woodwind lines (the wonderfully contoured bassoon contributions, for example). The strings may not represent the last word in tonal unanimity and body, yet their astringent bite should warrant no cause for complaint among those who treasure the Szell/Cleveland collaborations with Rudolf Serkin and Leon Fleisher.
In many respects Norman Kriegerâs angular phrasing, kinetic drive and fervent commitment are akin to the aforementioned pianists and, to a lesser extent, Anton Kuerti. Dramatic contrast and harmonic clarity govern the organic ebb and flow of Kriegerâs rubati, notably throughout the central Adagio and in the first movementâs infamous octave passages (about 10â30â into the movement). While Falletta follows her soloist to the proverbial quick, her firm hand also keeps Kriegerâs impetuous impulses in check: you sense that he wants to push ever so slightly ahead in the Rondoâs coda, but Fallertaâs got the tune, she calls the tempo, and thatâs that!
Three solo selections fill out the disc.
Kriegerâs rapt concentration and feeling for the long line justifies his detail-oriented deliberation over Op 116âs first two pieces, while generating intensity as he draws the B major Balladeâs left- hand ostinatos out to the fore. In short, weâve struck 64 minutesâ worth of Brahmsian gold from an unlikely and often provocative source.
.Jed Distler

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