HD-Vinyl 24/192 (RCA Living Stereo) Johannes Brahms – Piano Concerto No. 1 (Rubinstein/Reiner)

Many thanks to our friend Jean-Luc for this beautiful reissue
The Brahms D minor Concerto is a difficult work to pull off successfully: the piano part is ungrateful, and often drowned out by an overorchestrated accompaniment. Also, many pianists–most notably Glenn Gould–tend to drag the tempos beyond all reason. Rubinstein, who was ten years old when Brahms died, would never have considered such a nonsensical approach. The Concerto was written early in Brahms career, and was the work of a passionate young man. In essence, Brahms without the beard. This is the first stereo recording, taped in 1954, to be made of this Concerto. (The stereo version, however, was not released until 1977).

# Composer:  Johannes Brahms
# Performer: Artur Rubinstein
# Orchestra:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
# Conductor: Fritz Reiner
# Vinyl (1954/200???)
# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: Flac
# Label: RCA Living Stereo
# DR-Analysis: DR: 13
# Size: 1.81 GB
# Scan: yes
# Server: FileFactory

This record reproduces the first stereo recording made of this concerto, in April of 1954. Despite the early date, the recording is first rate, characterized by an unusually close perspective on both piano and orchestra. Many of the details of Brahms’ scoring come through more clearly than in many later recordings, especially the woodwinds (which are unusually present, and spread across the stereo image) and the low strings, which are reproduced with superb fidelity. A slight mis-tuning of a couple of upper piano notes is the only notable flaw. (It is also interesting that Reiner had the Chicago Symphony strings in the older european seating plan with 1st. violins on the left, 2nd violins on the right, and the basses on the left, which the recording reproduces accurately. The following season, he had the strings adopt the “American” seating plan used by most orchestras today, with both violin sections to the left and basses to the right.)

Rubinstein’s way with Brahms is fascinating to listen to. He was known for his ability to clarify the musical phrasing of composers such as Chopin, and he does the same thing with Brahms, without ever neglecting Brahms’ counterpoint. Rubinstein has a natural feel for rubato that he constantly uses to shape musical phrases and enable a sense of forward motion. He is ably abetted in this by Fritz Reiner, who also understands the uses of rubato, without ever losing the sense of the music’s architecture. In that sense, this recording is an object lesson in romantic style.


  Piano Concerto No. 1 In D Minor, Op. 15 46:20
A Maestoso 21:37
B1 Adagio 13:17
B2 Rondo: Allegro Non Troppo 11:22

 Analyzed folder: /192k Brahms – Piano Concerto No. 1 – Rubinstein, Reiner
 DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
 DR13        -1.78 dB     -19.55 dB     A Brahms – Piano Concerto No. 1 In D Minor, Op. 15, Maestoso.wav
 DR14        -2.79 dB     -21.98 dB     B1 Brahms – Piano Concerto No. 1 In D Minor, Op. 15, Adagio.wav
 DR13        -1.86 dB     -18.57 dB     B2 Brahms – Piano Concerto No. 1 In D Minor, Op. 15, Rondo- Allegro Non Troppo.wav
 Number of files:    3
 Official DR value:    DR13


Ripping Infos


If You hear some clicks and pops here and there, Who cares?
Id rather have a few light anomalies instead of destroying the music.
Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops.
I tend more and more, in the last time, to de-click with an automatic setting between 0.7 and 1.2 so you can say, my rips are like half rough rips.

  • Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Very light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
  • DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
  • Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5

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I reinvest all donations in maintenance of my rig, for purchasing cleaning solutions and, most important of all, purchasing of new vinyls.

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PW: LaWally


13 thoughts on “HD-Vinyl 24/192 (RCA Living Stereo) Johannes Brahms – Piano Concerto No. 1 (Rubinstein/Reiner)

  1. I was very excited when I saw you post this, and in 24/192 to boot! Until now I only had a SACD rip. There is no comparison…

    Firstly the performance. To my mind and ear, this is absolutely the best performance of the Brahms No. 1 so far committed to record. The key is in the tempo set in the 1st movement. So many, including my otherwise beloved Mr Curzon, approach this with a tempo so slow and lagging that it almost robs this of its great drama and romantic pathos. Not so here with the great Rubinstein and Reiner. Rubinstein’s poetry is never more clearly on show than here and Reiner’s CSO is a perfect foil.

    Now to the wonderful rip provided by Rachmaninov. There were times when I thought I was listening to a completely different recording, even though I must have listened to this hundreds of times. Orchestral details (such as the woodwinds) seemed to jump out where I had never head them before. The bass notes at the conclusion of the 1st movement also seemed clearer, more defined, and to go on longer than I had previously remembered, and the respective weight given to the piano and orchestra also seems more defined and distinguished.

    This is a first rate rip of a first rate performance. Thank you Rachmaninov for this treasure 🙂

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