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John Puccio
Sensible Sound, December 2001

"Idil Biret's playing seems perfunctory in the opening sections but most able in the final movements...slightly mechanical, never quite expressing either the grandness of the first movement or the poetry of the slow movement, but she does playfully dance about in the closing part. The orchestral accompaniment can range from burdensomely obscure to moodily transparent, depending I suppose, on the mood of the engineers. I found the accompanying Schumann piano work closer to my liking, being more concisely treated as well as striking a better balance between orchestra and soloist. At a low bargain price, this Brahms issue may seem a bargain."

Peter M. Knapp
The Patriot Ledger, November 2001

"Biret's virtuosity and mature musicianship are on display in another blockbuster, Brahms' Piano Concerto NO.2 on new Naxos CD. Given strong support by the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (Katowice) led by Antoni Wit, Biret plays this magnificent work with a winning mixture of power and lyricism. With Biret's flying fingers and hot-blooded approach, this appealing work sizzles from start to finish."

Robert Cummings
Classical Net, September 2001

"The two Schumann works are fine bonuses, both rendered with the same commitment and insight from soloist and orchestra. In the end, one must assess all these performances as quite extraordinary and fully competitive with the best. Sound is good, if a bit boomy in the Brahms First. At Naxos's prices potential buyers can hardly go wrong."

Lawson Taitte
The Dallas Morning News

"Idil Biret is among the few classical musicians who have made a major reputation by recording on a budget label. Alfred Brendel did it nearly 50 years ago and is now among the grand old men of pianists. Ms. Biret, born in Turkey and trained mostly in Paris, hasn't moved to a more expensive label, as Mr. Brendel did. But critics have taken seriously her complete sets of the piano music of Rachmaninov, Chopin and Brahms. And audiences have bought them in droves.

"Her performance of the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 shows why. She's primarily a poetic performer but with plenty of muscle for when the going gets tough. She has mastered the long Brahms musical line, and she can whip up excitement when she needs too - the titanic scherzo movement, for instance... The bonus performance of Schumann's Introduction and Allegro appasionato is a treat."

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