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Performing on a McNulty instrument after an 1830 Pleyel, Brautigam is on top form here. The characteristic pyrotechnics of Mendelssohn’s Rondo brilliant, along with beautifully off-the-cuff exchanges between soloist and orchestra, set things offin perfect style; the Capriccio brilliant offers similar, arguably more varied, delights. The First Piano Concerto marries power, velocity and a translucency that enables it to refresh and excite in equal measure. The orchestral discipline in the central Andante forms a bedrock on which Brautigam’s piano sings; the finale has both gossamer lightness and momentum.

The Second Concerto unfolds in a mixture of enigma and power, Brautigam sculpting phrases affectingly, the second movement a rhapsodic dream. The Serenade and Allegro giocoso’s brilliance closes the disc in perfect style.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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