Brahms – Piano Concerto No. 1 | Hélène Grimaud, Piano [HD]

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Johannes Brahms – Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15
00:00 I. Maestoso
24:06 II. Adagio
38:45 III. Rondo
Hélène Grimaud, piano,
Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra | SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, Michael Gielen, 17.IV.2005.

Johannes Brahms was 20 years old when, in 1853, he first made the acquaintance of Robert Schumann through a letter of recommendation provided by the famous violinist Joseph Joachim. It was Schumann’s unabashed praise of the music that Brahms showed him that, more than anything else, provided the young composer with the courage necessary to begin work on a full-scale symphony the next year. That courage, however, fell short in the end — Brahms felt himself too inexperienced and was too haunted by the “footsteps of a giant” (Beethoven) to begin fruitful symphonic work — and Brahms reorganized the material he had written as a sonata for two pianos. By 1858, this sonata for two pianos had itself been reborn as the Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15.

The Piano Concerto No. 1 as we know it today is a complete reworking of the ideas and themes of the original duo-sonata source; much of it is completely new music. The premiere of the piece in January 1859 was not the failure that it is sometimes portrayed to have been, but the cold response at a follow-up performance in Leipzig left a bitter taste in Brahms’ mouth that he never forgot — Leipzig remained an enemy for the rest of his life.

The concerto is in three movements: Maestoso, Adagio, and Allegro non troppo. The orchestral exposition to the giant Maestoso is mighty, epic, and tragic in no small portion; much later, a radiant, chorale-like second idea is offered by the soloist, who Brahms provides with the kind of rich, deep sonorities so characteristic of his piano writing. At the recapitulation, which is ushered in by a massive climax in which the pianist is forced to use all his/her strength to compete with the massive orchestral bursts, the pianist boldly takes over the mighty utterances that began the movement.

Brahms wrote the words “Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini” at the head of the slow movement, but whether the words are an homage to Robert Schumann (whom Brahms sometimes called Domini), a portrait of Clara Schumann (the most popular interpretation, and one seemingly supported by a letter from Brahms to Clara), or some other reference is unknown.

The rondo-theme of the finale is introduced by the piano alone, and, later on, the soloist gets his/her one and only chance to impress the audience with a cadenza — though it is dramatic necessity, not garish virtuosity, that demands the cadenza in the first place.

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49 COMMENTS

  1. a genius at the keyboard, and in my opinion there is no more exciting finale to a piano concerto. Bursting into the sunlight in D major at the end is just stunning. And impeccably played by one of the great pianists of our generation.

  2. Quel bonheur Hélène Grimaud de vous écouter mais surtout vous regarder jouer, que dis-je, vivre véritablement et pleinement cette interprétation. Vos doigts de fée dansent ainsi avec une telle désinvolture sur le clavier qu'ils épousent alors tout autant ce que les miens pouvaient offrir avec magnificence aux touches de mon ordinateur lorsque j'y couchais dans mes nuits d'insomnie les mots de mon effervescence ❤😇

  3. A masterpiece. I have listened to this over 100 times while painting and it just gets better. An artist and orchestra at the height of their powers.

  4. This is the first time I have heard it. It is the first time (since the state in the kindness of its libertarian heart let me have a bank account I could draw upon for YouTube purchases ) I have heard ninety nine point nine percent of all the music I have heard in my life whatsoever. I am sixty five years old and this summer my disabled wife and I may have to evacuate our elderly relatives and each other from what is becoming a dangerous bushfire zone. Everything is still heavily censored but we are getting an inkling of the life we missed.

  5. Make, model and year of piano, please. Organ buffs do not accept such a lack of information so why should piano lovers as well? I greatly admire Helene Grimaud, her musicality and her technical power seemingly exerted without much body movement – her intense musical sense shows in her facial expressions, which say it all! Does Michael Gielen remind you of Stravinsky?

  6. il y a dans cette oeuvre majeur de Brahms les prémices de la puissance absolue mais également de la tragédie indissociable de l'Allemagne ! c'est simplement magistral, Hélène Grimaud est simplement extraordinaire !

  7. Gran ejecución de helene grimaud pero también d el director y la orquesta que aquí se pone a nivel de las mejores del mundo

  8. GRACIAS A MI DIOS JESÚS, Y A SU PADRE CELESTIAL EL PENSAMIENTO UNIVERSAL,POR PERMITIRME YA, A LOS 70 AÑOS OÍR, CONOCER Y DELEITARME CON TANTA BELLEZA Y GRANDEZA MUSICAL COMO LA CLÁSICA ALEMANA Y SOBRE TODO LA DEL ROMANTICISMO ALEMÁN.
    AUTORES Y COMPOSITORES EXTRAORDINARIOS Y SUPERLATIVOS, COMO BETHOVEN,MOZART,BRAHMS,HAYDN,LISZT,BACH,HAENDEL,WAGNER,STRAUSS,1 Y 2, ME TRANSPORTAN Y EMBELESAN CASI LLEVÁNDOME AL EMPÍREO.
    ME PUEDEN LLAMAR NEO-NAZI Y FASCISTA,
    Y,OJO. NINGUNO DE ESTOS FENOMENALES MÚSICOS, ERA JUDÍO GRACIAS A DIOS,
    AHÍ SE DEMUESTRA LA SUPERIORIDAD DEL ALEMÁN CRIOLLO Y PURO. PARA QUE SUFRAN LOS ENEMIGOS DE LOS TEUTONES.
    NADA QUE VER CON LA MÚSICA MODERNA DIABÓLICA, ROCK,POP, METAL,Y EL VULGAR RAP, DODECAFONICA RUIDOSA ATONAL.SIN NADA BELLO,Y SIN MELODÍA QUE NOS QUIERE IMPONER LA RETORCIDA ÉLITE DOMINANTE MASONA Y SUS AMOS JUDÍOS O JUDÍO-SIONISTAS, QUE PARA MI SOLO ES, ATRONADORA BASURA, YO LLAMARÍA A ESTOS RUIDOS SATÁNICOS : "EL NIHILISMO MUSICAL", LA NADA ,LA MIERDA.
    ADEMAS GRACIAS DIOS MIO, POR LOGRAR ANTES DE MI MUERTE ,CONOCER A TAN HERMOSA DAMA Y GRAN INTERPRETE, A LA QUE AMO Y ADORO,
    UN BESO-TE Y UN ABRAZO INMENSO PARA LA DIOSA , DEL PIANO, HELENE GRIMAUD.
    EXTRAORDINARIO BRAHMS.
    UN SALUDO DESDE COLOMBIA,

  9. brahms is the only one who has multiple lines of music in your ear at same time.
    thats amazing about him. so much beautiful complexity

  10. Υπέροχη εκτέλεση από την Hélène Grimaud του πιο υπέροχου κοντσέρτου του Johannes Brahms.

  11. Out of this world. I cannot belive what I am seeing. At times, I cannot follow her hands. She is the perfection. I humbly surrender to her music.

  12. at least between 38:45 and 50:39 when I close my eyes, I am sure Brahms is for a moment back on stage. Even Brahms would stand on his feet and clapping his hands in all colors for this magical moment, who is given us to the most impressive woman of classical music,, we had – have and will ever have Hélène Grimaud, the woman from the wolves.

  13. At the end of the second movement the timpani plays the fifth not he tonic note. Is that unusual for the timpani since the movement is at a cadence ?

  14. After this performance I think there´s no doubt that Grimaud is a great pianist. Playing on this level with Michael Gielen….!!! Playing one of the most difficult pieces ever.

  15. Not a pretty sound like Beethoven or Mendelssohn but great drama and originality. Helene Grimaud as always compelling to see and hear.

  16. I think Helene Grimaud is the top for Brahms music: for me Helene and Glenn Gould are simply superb for Brahms music. This execution deserves to be mentioned as (the) One of the most beautiful performance of Brahms piano concerto n.1

  17. When I listen to majestic, magnificent music such as this I ask myself why o why is Europe filling itself with people who are hostile to our culture and civilisation?

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