Finding a classical CD based on its contents only?
January 30, 2008 5:06 AM   Subscribe

Can I re-find a Brahms CD I once loved, if I know which pieces are on it (not a common combo of pieces) but don't remember much else about it?

- CD contents are Brahms opus 116, 117, 118 and 119 complete, and nothing else;
- pianist is male;
- CD was released in 1993 or earlier;
- it's definitely a stereo, 'modern'-sounding recording.

- label is at least semi-obscure (I think I remember not recognizing the label, and at that time I definitely knew the big labels like DG, London and Sony);
- pianist is at least semi-obscure, not a big name;
- cover graphic (at least for the version I had) is a line drawing or a simple grayscale image, not a photo and not in color.

I think I would recognize the cover and/or the pianist's name if I saw them(and certain tracks if I heard them).

I would love to hear any guesses, and/or any advice re. how I can view a list of CDs that have exactly that rep., and/or creative ideas for googling (since there's no exact-phrase that's really useful... I've tried including "116 through 119" and "116-119" along with brahms, cd, disc, etc.).

(p.s. It's not the Wilhelm Kempff 1992 recording on DG.)
posted by allterrainbrain to Media & Arts (8 answers total)
(And I have found some recent recordings with all those pieces, but what I'm looking for can't have been released post-1993 since I know I had the CD by that point.)
posted by allterrainbrain at 5:13 AM on January 30, 2008

If you're prepared to do some manual searching, here are some links


Use the formal names for those works from Wikipedia or AllMusicGuide.
posted by Gyan at 5:31 AM on January 30, 2008

Google idea would be:

Brahms 116 119 album -DG -sony -london

I'd suggest running something similar on and browsing images for album covers. It would probably go quicker.
posted by bfranklin at 5:32 AM on January 30, 2008

Shot in the dark: is it possibly Stefan Vladar? This is my favorite performance of these works, and meets your criteria.
posted by softlord at 5:44 AM on January 30, 2008

I bet if you email the folks at Arkiv Music they could help you find it.
posted by Silvertree at 5:45 AM on January 30, 2008

There's a Nicholas Angelich recording on Virgin.
posted by bassjump at 6:11 AM on January 30, 2008

Someone's CD collection has at number 146 a CD with these pieces performed by Richard North. A quick search with his name returns only one semi-useful page at I don't see any original release date mentioned there (a Babelfish translation suggests that it's a used disc; the date note on the right says "Adjusted: 16.11.2007").
posted by yz at 8:00 AM on January 30, 2008

I did find some evidence that the North disc mentioned above is an older one: a mailing list item mentions it:
Thanks, Tony, for citing this fascinating and useful item. I know I picked up some of these cheap CDs when I acquired my first CD player, as I suppose many of us did. One of my own favourite attributions was on a "Symphonia Digital Classics" CD (c. Tring, licensed from "Long Island Music Co. Ltd.). This was a recording of the Brahms short piano pieces, Opus 116-119. These were, according to the label, played by "The European Philharmonic Orchestra" with Richard North, piano. (The orchestra sure plays softly!)
posted by yz at 2:02 PM on January 31, 2008

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