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Symphony No. 3

Brahms’s finest symphony may not have the fireworks of, say, the Violin Concerto, but its subtle drama and dark atmosphere are magical.

Recommended recording:
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan
DG 477 7159

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/68bGK3rrYTgKOx2JI5lwma

 

 

Ein Deutsches Requiem

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.

Recommended recording:
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.

Recommended recording:
Emil Gilels (piano), Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Eugen Jochum
DG 447 4462

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/58JzrSl3w7rVN0OqMxCdKc

 

 

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.

Recommended recording:
Nicholas Angelich (piano)
Virgin 379 3022

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/0uaisnbddhMuJBXkHXyw7J

 

 

Violin Concerto

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.

Recommended recording:
Nikolaj Znaider (violin), Vienna Philharmonic/Valery Gergiev
RCA 88697103362

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/2Jf6ndk0OvgDsjc2VhiLX2

 

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