Two works bookend Brahms’s mastery of the symphonic form: the first piano concerto and his majestic Fourth Symphony.
During its long gestation the piano concerto was conceived as a symphony, and the epic shape and heightened emotion remain. The pianist is hero, pitted against the sometimes-antagonistic forces of the orchestra. Peace prevails in the central slow movement, the very heart of the work. It is a ravishing love-song which makes time stand still. The intensity of feeling in this concerto is something only an ardent 25-year-old could generate. Cédric Tiberghien brings his ‘youthful exuberance and intelligence’ to Brahms’s deeply personal music.
From his maturity, the tragic force unleashed by Brahms’s Fourth Symphony has an unforgettable, cathartic power. Conductor Simone Young has earned a global reputation as one of the most vital and elegant interpreters of Brahms’ creations.