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Brahms - Piano Works Vol. 5

Composer Johannes Brahms
Performer Jonathan Plowright
Period Romantic
Catalogue Number BIS-2147 SACD
EAN 7318599921471
Format SACD Hybrid

This hybrid disc plays on both CD and SACD players
SACD Surround - SACD Stereo - CD Stereo

Release date Sep 2017
Total time 68'59

Last disc in the series
Having opened his survey of Brahms's music for solo piano with the third piano sonata, Jonathan Plowright has saved the composer's Opus 1, Piano Sonata No. 1 in C major, for the closing disc in the series. Brahms brought the sonata with him when he went to Düsseldorf in October 1853 in order to meet Robert and Clara Schumann – an encounter which has gone down in music history. It was possibly the C major sonata, with its opening reminiscent of Beethoven’s Hammerklavier Sonata, which caused Schumann to liken Brahms to ‘a young eagle’ and a ‘true apostle’.&&&

Very soon after the meeting, Schumann’s mental health began to decline, to the point of him attempting suicide in February 1854. Composed in the same year, Brahms’s Op. 9 Schumann Variations were closely connected with these events and with Robert and Clara. Brahms chose a theme – from Schumann’s collection Bunte Blätter – which Clara herself had composed a set of variations on, and dedicated it to her. Schumann died, hospitalized, in 1856, but Clara and Brahms remained intimate friends and some forty years later, Clara was one of the first persons to whom Brahms showed the newly composed set of Fantasies, Op. 116: ‘wonderfully original’ was her reaction, and later performers and listeners have agreed with her.

Jonathan Plowright has been described as ‘a true and moving poet of the keyboard’ by Gramophone magazine and his Brahms cycle has received critical acclaim, with instalments being singled out in Gramophone (Editor’s Choice), BBC Music Magazine (Instrumental Choice of the Month) and on ClassicsToday.com (‘10/10’).
 
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  Johannes Brahms
  Piano Sonata No.1 in C major, Op. 1
01 I. Allegro 11'35
 
02 II. Andante 6'01
03 III. Scherzo. Allegro molto e con fuoco 5'39
04 IV. Finale. Allegro con fuoco 6'46
 
  Johannes Brahms
  Fantasies, Op. 116
05 I. Capriccio in D minor. Presto energico 2'10
 
06 II. Intermezzo in A minor. Andante 3'34
07 III. Capriccio in G minor. Allegro passionato 3'13
08 IV. Intermezzo in E major. Adagio 4'23
09 V. Intermezzo in E minor. Andante con grazia ed intimissimo sentimento 2'04
10 VI. Intermezzo in E major. Andantino teneramente 3'13
11 VII. Capriccio in D minor. Allegro agitato 2'06
 
  Johannes Brahms
  Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann in F sharp minor, Op.9
12 Thema. Ziemlich langsam 1'12
 
13 Variation I. L’istesso tempo 1'05
14 Variation II. Poco più mosso 0'29
15 Variation III. Tempo di tema 1'02
16 Variation IV. Poco più mosso 0'41
17 Variation V. Allegro capriccioso 0'45
18 Variation VI. Allegro 0'46
19 Variation VII. Andante 0'59
20 Variation VIII. Andante (non troppo lento) 1'18
21 Variation IX. Schnell 0'30
22 Variation X. Poco Adagio 2'06
23 Variation XI. Un poco più animato 0'52
24 Variation XII. Allegretto, poco scherzando 0'40
25 Variation XIII. Non troppo Presto 0'30
26 Variation XIV. Andante 0'55
27 Variation XV. Poco Adagio 1'48
28 Variation XVI. Adagio 2'21
  Album total 68'59
ComposerBrahms, Johannes
PianoPlowright, Jonathan

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