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An exceptional trio for Brahms: Rattle, Barenboim and the Berliner Philharmoniker.
A magic setting: the Herod Atticus Odeon in Athens. An exceptional line-up: Simon Rattle conducting, Daniel Barenboim on piano and the Berliner Philharmoniker. An irresistible programme: Brahms' First Piano Concerto and First Piano Quartet in an orchestral arrangement by Schoenberg. This special opening evening of the Athens Festival in 2004 was part of a series of European concerts that the Berliner Philharmoniker give once every year in a European city.
Perfectly mastered, as one might expect given the quality of the protagonists, the Brahms concerto was remarkable in finesse and sensitivity, particularly in the Adagio. As for the orchestral version of the First Quartet with Piano, it made it possible for all the sections of the orchestra to shine, especially the woodwinds. A real delight.