Brahms & Schumann - Paganini Variations & Etudes | Onyx ONYX4236

Brahms & Schumann - Paganini Variations & Etudes


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Label: Onyx

Cat No: ONYX4236

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 26th November 2021



Paganini’s Caprices have exerted a mesmeric attraction for composers since their publication in 1820: Liszt, Chopin, Berlioz, Rachmaninov to name a few.

Schumann’s two sets of Études were the result of hearing Paganini play in Frankfurt in April 1830. From these early works to his last days in the asylum at Endenich, where he composed a piano accompaniment to the 24th Caprice, Paganini was still working his magic on Schumann.

Brahms, also fascinated by Paganini, composed his Variations on a theme by Paganini for the great virtuoso pianist Karl Tausig. Brahms takes the 24th Caprice and turns his Studies for Pianoforte: Variations on a theme by Paganini into a tour de force: ‘Hexenvariationen’ as Clara Schumann called them. Tausig loved them, writing to Brahms, “I had a devil of a time with them… everyone considers them unplayable.”

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