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Brahms: Handel Variations, 7 Fantasies & Chorale Preludes / Treutler


Release Date: 04/27/2018 
Label:  Hänssler Classic   Catalog #: 17061  
Composer:  Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Annika Treutler
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Annika Treutler grew up in Detmold and is now based in Berlin. She studied with Prof. Matthias Kirschnereit at the Rostock College of Music and Drama and Prof. Bernd Goetzke at the Hanover College of Music, Drama and Media. The young artist won third prize at the Montreal International Piano Competition in 2014 and reached the semifinals of the ARD International Music Competition in Munich that year. Annika Treutler has appeared as a guest soloist with such orchestras as the Konzerthaus Orchestra of Berlin, the Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra, the German Symphony Orchestra of Berlin, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. On this release, she presents beautiful solo piano works by Johannes Read more Brahms. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Chorale Preludes (11) for Organ, Op. 122: no 4, Herzlich tut mich erfreuen by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Annika Treutler (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Austria 
Notes: (arr. for piano by F. Busoni). 
2.
Chorale Preludes (11) for Organ, Op. 122: no 5, Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Annika Treutler (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Austria 
Notes: (arr. for piano by F. Busoni). 
3.
Variations and Fugue for Piano in B flat major on a theme by Handel, Op. 24 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Annika Treutler (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1861; Germany 
4.
Fantasies (7) for Piano, Op. 116 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Annika Treutler (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Austria 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Beautifully Rendered Brahms December 27, 2018 By Joshua C. See All My Reviews "In the years since her 2010 debut with the Berlin Philharmonic, charismatic young pianist Annika Treutler has managed to keep herself quite busy! In addition to orchestral performances with the Neubrandenburg Philharmonic, the Berlin Radio-Symphonic Orchestra she established her OWN music festival, “Sommerklang”, to be held annually near Hamburg in addition to releasing two critically acclaimed CDs (Schumann's Fantasiestücke Op. 12 and a program of Mendelsohn's works for solo piano). Now, back in the studio, Ms. Treutler takes on a demanding and wide-ranging program of works from the pen of Johannes Brahms: the monumental Handel Variations op. 24, the haunting and haunted Seven Fantasies op. 116, and a selection of five of the 11 posthumous choral preludes for organ op. 122 in Busoni's piano version. Tackling Brahms is always a major challenge, which in part accounts for why his works for solo piano are not more frequently programmed and recorded but Treutler dives right in with great stylistic sensitivity, delivering a thoroughly convincing and deeply satisfying Handel Variations. This is a demanding, even symphonic score and a definite test of a pianists’ mettle and I LIKE how Treutler meets those challenges head-on! She exhibits a consistent sense of knowing where the piece is going and how to get there. Her choice of dynamics and voicing the Steinway D-604 had me on the edge of my seat; there are a number of WOW moments, to be sure! The shorter works also merit comment. Brahms’ 11 Orgelchoralvorspiele op.122 date from the final year of the composer’s life and were dedicated to the memory of his beloved Clara Schumann. The works evidently impressed Busoni enough for him to select six from the set to transcribe and rearrange for piano. Busoni was a masterful arranger of organ music, his numerous Bach transcriptions have long since become standard repertoire, however, his Brahms arrangements have failed to attract the same attention. More’s the pity since both Brahms’ originals and Busoni’s reworkings are deeply moving and quite effective when done well. Treutler keenly understands Busoni’s approach – he did, after all, take great pains to defend his approach in a 36-page essay "On the Transcription of Bach's Organ Works for the Pianoforte" - and shapes these meditative pieces as if they had been originally composed for piano. Then there are the Fantasies op. 116. During the early 1890s, Brahms compiled together the twenty pieces that were published during 1892-93 as the opp. 116-19. It is acknowledged that he composed more than the twenty pieces known to us today, and it is possible that some were drafted earlier. Each of these sets represent a gradual pairing down and turn inward for the composer, though the three capriccios provide flashes of drama and even virtuosity. The danger always in Brahms is to make let his left-hand with its fists full of chords weigh down the entire texture. Treutler masters these challenges with a lightness that breathes air into these melancholy autumnal mediations. Armed with a luminous piano sound, Annika Treutler plays with a confidence and assurance that left a powerful impression on me. This was one of the most consistently satisfying piano recordings I heard in 2018!" Report Abuse
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