Brahms - Works for Solo Piano Vol.4
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Cat No: BIS2137
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 3rd March 2017
WorksBallades (4), op.10
Klavierstucke (4), op.119
Rhapsodies (2), op.79
Variations (28) on a theme of Paganini, op.35
ArtistsJonathan Plowright (piano)
For the fourth instalment in his series of Brahms’s piano music, Jonathan Plowright has chosen to place the two books at either end of the programme. Between them we are presented with works spanning almost 40 years of Brahms’s life. Of the four Ballades from 1854, it is only for the first, the so-called ‘Edward’ Ballade, that a model in literature is known – a Scottish ballad about the murder of a father. The set has nevertheless been compared to the slow movements in Brahms’s three piano sonatas, composed around the same time, and all with literary references. 25 years later, Brahms had entered a phase where his works for piano were growing ever shorter and more concise, but with his Op.79 Rhapsodies he made something of a return to the grandeur and passion of his early piano writing. This development was short-lived, however, and the following works for solo piano, of which the four Piano Pieces of Op.119 from 1893 would be the last, have been compared to ‘the golden lustre of parks in autumn and the austere black and white of winter walks’. Previous discs in Jonathan Plowright’s survey have received critical acclaim worldwide, and the series has already been dubbed ‘the benchmark Brahms survey for some time to come’ in Gramophone.
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