Brahms - Piano Works Vol.5: Variations
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Label: MDG (Dabringhaus und Grimm)
Cat No: MDG9041974
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 25th November 2016
WorksVariations (11) on an Original Theme in D major, op.21 no.1
Variations (13) on an Hungarian Song in D major, op.21 no.2
Variations (28) on a theme of Paganini, op.35
Variations and Fugue on a theme by Handel, op.24
ArtistsHardy Rittner (piano)
The careful selection of lavishly and lovingly restored concert grand pianos perfectly suited to this task enhances the value of this pioneering edition even more. The present release comes with a double highpoint: Rittner performs the variation cycles, works of the highest virtuosity producing an extraordinary audience impact, on a Steinway & Sons concert grand piano, serial number 553, manufactured around 1860.
Hardy Rittner magnificently brings out the special qualities of historical pianos; silvery double octaves in the eleventh variation of the first volume of op.35, crystal-clear brilliance in numerous thirty-second runs, frequent fierce growling of the basses – the Steinway grand piano, even in its early years with its famous patented iron-cast plate and diagonal stringing, generates an enormous sound palette and shows itself from its very best side in Rittner’s sensitive and powerful hands.
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