This is Volume 4 in Barry Douglas’s monumental project to record the complete works for solo piano by Johannes Brahms. Each volume has been released to critical acclaim, the first one, in 2012, being seen by BBC Music as ‘a triumph of Brahmsian thought, with playing that gets right to the heart of the composer’. Once again, the album is presented as a stand-alone recital, prominently featuring the C major Sonata, which was Brahms’s first published work. The influence on Brahms of his early romantic predecessors Beethoven and Schubert is obvious here, not only in the virtuoso demands on the performer but also in the opening, which recalls both Beethoven’s ‘Hammerklavier’ Sonata, Op. 106 and Schubert’s ‘Wanderer’ Fantasy.
While Sergey Rachmaninov is justly celebrated for his piano concertos and symphonies, his sets of variations shouldn't be overlooked, for they are among his most inventive and satisfying works. Russian pianist Danil Trifonov plays the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, the Variations on a Theme of Chopin, and the Variations on a Theme of Corelli on this 2015 Deutsche Grammophon release, and he offers his own special tribute to the composer in his solo piano suite, Rachmaniana. For the Rhapsody, Trifonov is joined by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra, an ensemble that counts historic performances with Rachmaninov as part of its heritage, and plays with its characteristic lush sound and passionate expression…
The two concertos are worth lisenting although not masterpices. The second in the disk is better. Spada's playing is delicate and precise although the tempi in both finales is rather slow. Not to be compared with those concertos by Mozart but good. The overture to "Les Horaces" is beautifully composed in a Gluckian style. Its final subject heard by the end is very inspired and heroic. The overture to "Semiramide" (presented as to either "La Secchia Rapita" or "Il Ricco di un Giorno" -I can not remember exactly- in other Salieri's CD) is less interesting and Spada's slow tempo reinforces the mediocrity of the piece.
A genius signed to Decca in 1946 who defined Deccas piano sound in the 1950s and 1960s with ravishing cantabile and depth of sonority borne of matchless technique. Complete Decca Recordings on 35CDs, including new-to-CD early recordings remastered from 78s, plus some of Deccas first-ever LPs.
"…In many ways Dupré may be viewed as a 'Paganini' of the organ - being a virtuoso of the highest order, he contributed extensively to the development of technique (both in his organ music and in his pedagogical works) although, like Paganini, his music is relatively unknown to musicians other than those who play the instrument for which the music was written. A fair and objective critique of his music should take into account the fact that, occasionally, the emphasis on virtuosity and technique can be detrimental to the musical content and substance. However, his more successful works combine this virtuosity with a high degree of musical integrity, qualities found in works such as the Symphonie-Passion, the Chemin de la Croix, the Preludes and Fugues, the Esquisses and Évocation, and the Cortège et Litanie…" ~wikipedia
Noriko Ogawa and the Malmö Symphony Orchestra return to the works of Rachmaninov with a disc featuring his first and fourth piano concertos and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Rachmaninov’s first concerto was written while he was a student at the Moscow Concervatory, but underwent considerable revisions up to 1917.