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Classical 101

A Timeless Brahms Piano Concerto with Barenboim and Dudamel

Daniel Barenboim and Gustavo Dudamel with the Staatskapelle Berlin, performing two great works by Brahms.

Two great maestros, with a nearly 40 year age gap, combine forces with the Berlin State Orchestra for a timeless work by Brahms. 

Daniel Barenboim, now 73 years old, has become one of the leading elder statesmen of the classical music world.  As a conductor, he's led the Berlin State Orchestra since 1992, served as music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Paris Orchestra, and La Scala in Milan.  He has long been a very accomplished pianist, something that continues to this day.

Gustavo Dudamel, now 35, is now one of the biggest names in classical music.  Having risen from the Venezuelan "El Sistema" music education program he was the first to lead the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra to great acclaim, he also became the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and regularly guest conducting other great orchestras around the world.

A new recording from Deutsch Grammophon features Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Berlin State Orchestra with Daniel Barenboim as the soloist for the two piano concertos of Johannes Brahms, performed together at one concert in September of 2014.  Age and experience combine in this recording for great music making for these two demanding Romantic concertos, each lasting over three quarters of an hour.

On the next Symphony @ 7, Thursday evening on Classical 101, I'll have the Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor from that recording.  The dramatic First Concerto of Brahms from 1858 is so imposing, it seems to begin where Beethoven's Ninth Symphony left off.  In the same key of D minor, it's seriousness of purpose is not in doubt.  The scale and grandeur of this work point toward Brahms' First Symphony which was still years away, not appearing until 1876.

This great piano concerto is certainly symphonic in scope and fills the bill (and nearly the hour) for the next Symphony @ 7.  I hope you can join me for this exciting performance from two great artists of our time, one old, one young, but united in timeless spirit in the music of Johannes Brahms.