Notes and Editorial Reviews
BRAHMS Piano Sonata No. 3 in f. Intermezzos: in a, op. 118/1; in A, op. 118/2; in e?, op. 118/6. Rhapsody in g, op. 79/2 • Zora Mihailovich (pn) • CENTAUR 2813 (58: 07)
Unlike Beethoven’s catalog of works, Brahms’s is less likely to be spoken of in terms of distinct periods, early, middle, and late. Or, as David Dubal was quoted by Mihailovich above: “From the beginning to the end, Brahms was Brahms.” In choosing works that, chronologically speaking, do span Brahms’s earliest to latest years, Mihailovich reaffirms something she said in our interview—if I may be allowed to expand on it—which is that what links all of the composer’s works from beginning to end is not necessarily to be found, as it is in Beethoven, in specific
melodic motifs and gestural language that recur throughout his music, but in the constancy of his manner of expression. The striding, striving, confident boldness of youth heard in the F-Minor Piano Sonata is reflected antipodally and in microcosm in the contemplative confessions of the op. 118 intermezzos. One hears these connections in Mihailovich’s readings, which makes this a highly engaging and enormously satisfying recital, recorded in mid-October 2005 at Little Bridges Hall, Pomona College in Claremont, California. Mihailovich plays a Steinway D, captured in rich detail by recording engineer Sonny Ausman. Mihailovich is an artist of profound musical intelligence and, for me, a wonderful discovery. Her Brahms is one I shall return to often.
FANFARE: Jerry Dubins
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