Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 83
I. Allegro non troppo
II. Allegro appassionato
III. Andante – Più adagio
IV. Allegretto grazioso – Un poco più presto
Russian pianist Anna Tsybuleva won the 2015 Leeds International Piano Competition with a magnificent performance of Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2. And here, joined by the fine Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and conductor Ruth Reinhardt for that very same work, she reminds us why. The concerto is colossal, with a huge architectural sweep, but Tsybuleva easily has its measure. She has the technique, of course, but it’s the way she lets the work sing and how she shapes its long phrases that is most impressive. The slow movement is particularly glorious, and she plays the solo works with a comparable poetry and lyricism.