After the Second Piano Concerto (Alpha 395), 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 Rachmaninoff and Lutoslawski after him. ‘Brahms displays exuberant invention in hisRead more 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.
Even in a crowded marketplace of great recordings Nelson Goerner joins these heady ranks with playing as moving as it is imperious. Less rhapsodic and subjective than Radu Lupu in the sonata, he creates a fine balance between sense and sensibility. Again in the Paganini Variations Goerner’s clarity and command are absolute.
A mistakeJanuary 8, 2020By Mark DeVoto (Medford, MA)See All My Reviews"Your own listing says that the Variations are the Handel Variations, but the CD cover says Variations on a Theme by Paganini! This is something you need to fix right away. From your loyal customer, Mark DeVoto"Report Abuse