Brahms - Piano Sonata no.3, Paganini Variations | Alpha ALPHA557

Brahms - Piano Sonata no.3, Paganini Variations


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Label: Alpha

Cat No: ALPHA557

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 25th October 2019



After the Second Piano Concerto (ALPHA395), Nelson Goerner presents here his first solo Brahms recital with the Sonata op.5, a youthful composition that is ‘impetuous, full of ardour and vitality,’ says Goerner, ‘but which requires an interpreter who has reached maturity in his or her development to express all that it contains’. In fact, the Argentinian pianist has had this sonata in his repertory since the start of his career and has played it extensively in concert.

Many composers have taken an interest in Paganini and written variations on his famous theme: Liszt before Brahms, and Rachmaninov and Lutosławski after him. ‘Brahms displays exuberant invention in his Variations, which are at once highly virtuosic and very profound, and above all overflowing with imagination. Brahms gives the name “Études” to these variations which, like the études of Chopin and Liszt, go far beyond the superficially off-putting nature of the title,’ concludes the pianist. ‘It’s a marvel of inventiveness!’


If ever there were a piano sonata with a symphony lurking inside, it is the Brahms F minor. To Goerner’s immense credit, he doesn’t detonate the instrument in an effort to accommodate the occasionally overblown writing but has mastered its details so thoroughly that, for all the breadth and heft of the musical ideas, the piece sounds proportionate to the piano. ... In Goerner’s hands the Paganini Variations, Brahms’s tribute to the virtuosity of his friend Carl Tausig, becomes an exploration of the piano’s expressive and sonorous potential.  Patrick Rucker
Gramophone December 2019
Gramophone Editor's Choice

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