Piano Concerto No. 3 In D Major After Violin Concerto, Op. 77 (2010)


Dejan Lazic

Robert Spano

Influences and the Process of Arrangement:
From Historical Backgrounds to Composing of an Original Cadenza My source of inspiration was a joint one: the piano versions of the Violin Concertos of Bach and Beethoven, which were made by the composers themselves.
I started working on this project in early 2003 and completed it in 2008. The violin was always a favourite love, and I continue to hold violinists in high esteem, realising just how wonderful their literature is. Thus far, I have been tremendously lucky to have had many an opportunity to perform with some wonderful colleagues. And it is with a degree of pride that I present – after Bach and Beethoven – the third “great B” in the present arrangement.

Subjectivity plays a role of course, and I have always found this particular concerto, along with Beethoven's 4th Piano Concerto, to be amongst the best instrumental concertos ever written. Naturally, I felt the challenge to arrange the Brahms early on. I was intrigued by the idea of rendering it in an idiomatic version for piano and orchestra. The ultimate aim was clear: I wanted to perform it myself!

The desire to arrange a violin concerto as a piano concerto just because one envisages donning the garb of the soloist, is not a good enough motive to take on this challenge. But I also do not feel there is any other romantic violin concerto that would survive the transformation.
At a musicological level, the correspondence between Brahms and his dedicatee Joseph Joachim played a major role for me. After numerous changes, much good advice, and actual corrections by Joachim it remains quite clear that Brahms had always composed as a pianist (at the piano) and therefore felt this music as a pianist, if also as a symphonic composer (originally, Brahms wrote the Violin Concerto in four movements, which was typical for a symphony). It is quite obvious that the Violin Concerto had its roots in both friendship and practicality: his aim was to write a concerto for Joachim, from which we can infer the term concerto took on a greater significance than the violin itself. But we are skating on thin ice here, what I mean to say is that it is quite justified to speculate about what would have happened if Joachim had been a cellist or a clarinettist, or even… a pianist!  

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Dejan Lazic

Pianist and composer Dejan Lazic was born into a musical family in Zagreb, Croatia, and grew up in Salzburg, Austria, where he studied at the Mozarteum. He is quickly establishing a reputation worldwide as “a brilliant pianist and a gifted musician full of ideas and able to project them persuasively” (Gramophone). The New York Times hailed his performance as “... full of poetic, shapely phrasing and vivid dynamic effects that made this music sound fresh, spontaneous and impassioned”. After a highly successful Edinburgh Festival recital, The Scotsman wrote recently: "Dejan Lazic shines like a new star!"

As recitalist and soloist with orchestra Dejan Lazic has appeared at major venues in Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Australia, and has been invited to numerous international festivals, including the world-famous BBC Proms in summer 2011.

In Spring 2008 he gave his orchestral debuts at New York’s Lincoln Center with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Iván Fischer and at London’s Royal Festival Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Kirill Petrenko. He also gave highly successful recital debuts at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, London Queen Elizabeth Hall, Munich Prinzregententheater, Washington Kennedy Center, in Montreal, Tokyo, Beijing and in Istanbul. In Summer 2008 he performed Beethoven's 3rd Piano Concerto at the Beijing Great Hall of People in a televised pre-olympic gala concert for an audience of 7,000.

He also performed very successfully with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Vladimir Ashkenazy, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Giovanni Antonini, Atlanta and Seattle Symphonies under Robert Spano, Swedish Radio, Danish National, Indianapolis, and Sapporo Symphonies, as well as with the Seoul, Hong Kong, and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestras. In Winter 2010 he toured Spain with Bamberger Symphoniker under Jonathan Nott.

Other orchestral engagements lead him to the BBC Symphony in London, BBC Philharmonic in Manchester, Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Glasgow and Edinburgh, SWR Symphony in Stuttgart, MDR Symphony in Leipzig, Residentie Orkest in The Hague, Helsinki Philharmonic, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Orquesta Ciudad de Barcelona, and Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo. With Basel Chamber Orchestra and Giovanni Antonini he performs on tour, among others, at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Munich Herkulessaal, Cologne Philharmonie, and Brussels Palais des Beaux Arts. From 2008/09 season Dejan Lazic is “Artist in Residence” with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra in Amsterdam.

He also enjoys a growing following in the Far East to where he returned last season for a tour with NHK Symphony Orchestra. Other engagements there include those with Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra (including concerts at Tokyo's Suntory Hall & Metropolitan Art Space), Sapporo Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, NSO Taiwan, as well as a series of recitals throughout Japan and at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, China.

In November 2009 he toured Australia with the Australian Chamber Orchestra led by Richard Tognetti, including concerts at the world famous Sydney Opera House. In 2010/11 season he toured Europe, South America, and Asia with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Iván Fischer.

Alongside his solo career Dejan Lazic is also a passionate chamber musician.

He records exclusively for Channel Classics and has released a dozen of recordings so far. The 1st volume of his new "Liaisons" series with works by Scarlatti and Bartók was released in 2007 to great critical acclaim; the 2nd volume with a Schumann/Brahms programme was released in 2009, the 3rd volume with a C.P.E. Bach/Britten programme was released in 2011. In Fall 2008 he released a CD with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Kirill Petrenko playing Rachmaninov's famous 2nd Piano Concerto - a live recording that has earned rave reviews from critics and audiences worldwide and in addition it won the prestigious German Echo Klassik Award 2009. In February 2011 he released a disc featuring Beethoven's 4th Piano Concerto which was recorded live in Sydney with the Australian Chamber Orchestra led by Richard Tognetti.

Dejan Lazic is also active as a composer. His works include various piano compositions, chamber music (including String Quartet op. 9, written for Mstislav Rostropovich's 70th birthday gala), and orchestral works, as well as Cadenzas for Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven Piano Concertos. In 2007/08 season he premiered his piano cycle "Kinderszenen – Hommage à Schumann" op. 15 at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.

His recent arrangement of Brahms’s Violin Concerto for piano and orchestra saw its World Premiere on October 1, 2009 in Atlanta, USA, with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under their music director Robert Spano. This concert was also recorded live by Channel Classics and the CD was released in January 2010 to great critical acclaim.

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Piano Concerto No. 3 In D Major After Violin Concerto, Op. 77 (2010)


Dejan Lazic


Je luistert met de viool in je geheugen en krijgt dan een totaal en tonaal andere klank, maar Dejan heeft het zó gedaan dat je verwarring meteen omslaat in bewondering en zelfs snel gewenning biedt, een groot compliment!

    La Presse

l’exercice est pleinement convaincant et parfois même supérieur à l’original (…) (…) Bref, l’impression est celle d’entendre un troisième concerto pur piano que Brahms aurait pu signer, surtout que les nuances et les dynamiques sont scrupuleusement respectées (…)

    Das Orchester

Dejan Lazic fügt deren Lineatur so manche harmoniefüllende Begleitstimmen und gedoppelte Instrumentalstimmen aus dem Orchestersatz, akkordische Auffüllungen wie arpeggierende Auflösungen von Intervallsprüngen, nachschlagende Oktavparallelen wie mitlaufende Terz- und Sextparallelen hinzu. Er tut dies in unanfechtbarem, großem Respekt gegenüber Brahms’ originaler Textur und weiß sich mit Robert Spano und dem ihn empfindsam und mit klanglicher Wärme begleitenden Atlanta Symphony Orchestra einig in der Intention eines hoch differenziert gezeichneten Ausdrucksspektrums und einer schlüssigen Balance wie homogenen Einbindung in den Orchestersatz.(…) Man könnte diese klangliche Gestalt des D-Dur-Konzerts ohne Zweifel für einen echten Brahms halten (…) Wäre da nicht der für einen Klaviersolopart doch recht schweifende Gedankenreichtum, der dem ursprünglichen Violinsolo nun einmal eigen ist und der in der unterschiedlich dicht gearbeiteten Adaption ein wenig von der einheitsstiftenden Verklammerung verliert. Der in der Symphony Hall in Atlanta live mitgeschnittenen Einspielung angefügt und im niederländischen Eindhoven nachproduziert worden sind die beiden Brahms’schen Rhapsodien b-Moll und g-Moll op. 79 und das Scherzo es-Moll op. 4. Hier zeigt sich ein weiteres Mal die ausgeprägte künstlerische Persönlichkeit, die Dejan Lazic auszeichnet, in den Rhapsodien eine gleichsam erzählerisch modellierende Lesart in sensibel und feingeschliffen ausgesteuerter Klang- und Formgebung, im Scherzo eine ungemein detailfreudige, artikulations- und akzentscharfe.

    Klassieke Zaken

Flexibel, speelt, uitdagend, flitsende uitvoeringen. Een en al souplesse en luchtigheid. De concertjes voor een of twee traversos sprankelen van vitaliteit. De musici maken er een dartel feest van en vooral wanneer een solofagot zijn partijtje meeblaast, is vrolijkheid troef. Mooi opgenomen, fraaier kan de akoestiek van de Waalse Kerk in Amsterdan niet tot zijn recht komen.


hier hat sich ein junger, hochbegabter Pianist mit ernsthaften kompositorischen Ambitionen und großem Geschick der schier unlösbaren Herausforderung gestellt und in einem fünf Jahre (!) währenden Arbeitsprozess das unbequeme Violinmonstrum in ein ähnlich symphonisch geprägtes Klavierkonzert umgeschrieben. (…)

    Opus Klassiek

Het klinkend resultaat van Lazics inspanningen als componist/bewerker en als pianist mag er zijn. De orkestpartij laat hij onaangetast en aan de vioolpartij voegt hij vele noten toe. Sommige snelle passages worden in oktaven gespeeld, andere in tertsen. De harmonieën van de akkoorden die hij toevoegt zijn typisch Brahms. Begeleidende linkerhandfiguren zijn deels ontleend aan de orkestpartij. Lazic maakte bij het eerste deel een virtuoze en idiomatische cadens. De bewerker is zorgvuldig met de partituur omgegaan (hij deed vijf jaar over het project) en heeft zich goed ingeleefd in de sfeer van Brahms’ muziek met als doel tot een volledig Brahmsiaans resultaat te komen. Lazic speelt als solist met verve zijn nieuwe partituur: enthousiast en virtuoos. De nadruk ligt op stevig vitaal pianospel, eerder heroïsch dan lyrisch – een aanpak die het stuk in deze gedaante best kan hebben. Dirigent Robert Spano begeleidt met het Atlanta Symphony Orchestra de solist voortreffelijk. Ten slotte de vraag: zaten we op deze bewerking te wachten? Misschien niet, misschien wel – maar de kennismaking met deze creatieve en zo goed gelukte realisatie van de droom van een enthousiaste jonge pianist-componist maakt dit soort vragen onbelangrijk.


Het lijkt gekkenwerk. Maar deed Beethoven niet hetzelfde met zijn eigen vioolconcert? Het aardige is dat de bewerking van Lazic volbloed pianistisch klinkt. De liveopname van dit Derde pianoconcert heeft de Kroaat gemaakt met het Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, gedirigeerd door Robert Spano. Dat Lazic een nog betere pianist is dan deze registratie laat horen, bewijzen de drie toegevoegde solowerken van Brahms - twee Rapsodieën en een Scherzo (...)


Nun haben die zwei Klavierkonzerte, ganz unvermittelt, eine Schwester erhalten. Sie kleidet sich in D-Dur und ist eigentlich und ursprünglich ein Werk für Violine und Orchester. Kein Geringeres als das Opus 77 desselben Komponisten, ein faszinierendes, schillerndes Werk. Brahms selbst aber kann nun nicht mehr widersprechen. Und so hat Dejan Lazi? sich anheischig gemacht, eben dieses Opus zu bearbeiten. Ein kühnes Unterfangen, so ungewöhnlich wie gewöhnungsbedürftig. (…) (…) in einigen Passagen singt das Klavier tatsächlich so schön wie eine Violine (und ebenso ausgreifend und inniglich wie das Atlanta Symphony Orchestra unter Robert Spano es ohnehin die ganze Zeit über tut).

    Frankfurter Neue Presse

Lazic überzeugt wieder einmal mit farbenreichem, höchts kultiviertem Spiel. Auch in den beiden Rhapsodien, op. 79 und dem Es-Moll-Scherzo.


Wie echter Brahms! (…) Dejan Lazic hat den Violinpart aber nicht nur ‘brahmisch’ sondern auch pianistisch wunderbar umgesetzt und so Mehrwert produziert. Nirgends hat man die Eindruck, die Musik klinge unnatürlich, und man hört sich die drei Sätse des Werks mit Interesse an. (…) (…) Excellent sind auch die Solostücke, die Lazic spielt, so dass man die Platte nur empfehlen kan.

    The Absolute Sound

Dejan Lazic's 2008 rendering of the work as a piano concerto (here in its first recording) is amazingly effective. It leaves the orchestration untouched and transforms the solo violin part into idiomatic Brahmsian piano figurations with appropriately rich chordal sonorities, sparkling arpeggios, and a fully elaborated first-movement cadenza. Lazic plays with flair, eloquence, and, in the lovely central adagio songful poetry.Recorded 'live in concert' the hybrid SACD conveys full throated weight and a judicious balance between soloist and orchestra, with the multichannel encoding offering extra ambience.

    International Record Review

Note for note Dejan Lazic has retained the original orchestral parts, so its purely the solo violin line which has been transferred into a piano part. This transcription is not a gimmick. Virtually 100 per cent successful and convincing. Well worth hearing, without preconceptions. Remarkably successful.


This is one outstanding recording, and Lazic has done everyone a service by coming up with this very serviceable and idiomatic arrangement (…) (…) pianists now have access to a work that is transformable and transferable to a new idiom that is able to convey its emotive and pristine core to an audience… And fortunately he includes the two Rhapsodies as well, and these readings are absolutely top-notch in every way, in tempo voicing, and overall arch. In fact, I now rank these with my three previous favourites, by Lupu, Rubinstein, and Klien."

    Audiophile Audition

The whole work sounds like it was a piano concerto to begin with. (…) (…) Lazic has done a masterful job of transcription as well as of performance (…) A unique and recommended recording!"


The result is persuasive for its idiomatic writing for piano, which has a sense of authenticity within the context of the Violin Concerto itself, and also in the style of piano writing Brahms used for his piano concertos. (…) (…) At bottom, though, it is important to listen for the musicianship that Lazic brings to the performance. The point of the arrangement is the way the music of Brahms’s Violin Concerto moves Lazic to find a way to perform the work. As a pianist, his mode of expression is to take the work to his instrument. This is by no means a new or controversial practice in music, but belongs to a tradition that can be found in a number of pieces by Bach, Liszt, Mahler, Britten and other figures. This is testimony to the deep impression some works make in prompting musicians to respond in a similarly creative manner. (…)

Piano Concerto No. 3 In D Major After Violin Concerto, Op. 77 (2010)


Dejan Lazic

Cables: van den Hul
Digital Converters: Meitner DSD AD/DA
Mastering Engineer: Jared Sacks
Mastering Equipment: B+W 803 diamond
Microphones: Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board: Rens Heijnis custom made
Producer: Jared Sacks
Recording Engineer: Jared Sacks
Recording location: Sydney Australia, Eindhoven Holland
Recording Software: Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64
Speakers: Audio Lab Holland

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29410: Piano Concerto No. 3 In D Major After Violin Concerto, Op. 77
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Piano Concerto No, 3 In D Major - After Violin Concerto, Op. 77 - Allegro non troppo
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Piano Concerto No, 3 In D Major - After Violin Concerto, Op. 77 - Adagio
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Piano Concerto No, 3 In D Major - After Violin Concerto, Op. 77 - Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo viv
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2 Rhapsodies, Op. 79 - no. 1 in B minor_ Agitato
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2 Rhapsodies, Op. 79 - no. 2 in G minor_ Molto passionato, ma non troppo allegro
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Scherzo In E-Flat Minor, Op 4 - Allegro molto e con fuoco (Rasch und feurig)
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