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Brahms: Complete Variations / Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy


Release Date: 05/31/2005 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 92512   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 39 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Pianist Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy masters Brahms' cruelly difficult Paganini Variations to the point where he downplays the music's burly bravura by choice rather than necessity. He shapes its textures from the bottom up, bringing bass lines and countermelodies into sharp relief while discovering new ones on the repeats. Similar scrutiny and clarification governs the pianist's Handel Variations. Although I miss the long-lined abandon and wider dynamic range distinguishing Kissin's more unfettered virtuosity in the Paganini set, or Serkin's unswerving cumulative drive in the Handel, Schmitt-Leonardy convinces on his own terms. He makes the most of the Variations on an Original Theme's ravishing lyrical passages, yet always holds back in the Read more Variations on a Hungarian Song's bigger moments. Fortunately, suppleness and lyricism are in bountiful supply throughout the Variations on a Theme of Schumann, as, for example, you observe in Variation 9's delicious dry-point articulation, Variation 13's shimmering runs, or Variation 15's gorgeously-spun legato. Fine sound, generous banding (each theme, variation, coda, fugue, etc. gets its own track), plus Brilliant Classics' rock-bottom price help make this release a worthy bargain.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Variations (28) for Piano on a theme by Paganini, Op. 35 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1862-1863; Austria 
Venue:  Vereinshaus, Fraulautern, Germany 
Length: 25 Minutes 3 Secs. 
2.
Variations and Fugue for Piano in B flat major on a theme by Handel, Op. 24 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1861; Germany 
Venue:  Vereinshaus, Fraulautern, Germany 
Length: 26 Minutes 56 Secs. 
3.
Variations (11) for Piano on an Original Theme, Set 1, Op. 21 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/13/2004 
Venue:  Vereinshaus, Fraulautern, Germany 
Length: 18 Minutes 0 Secs. 
4.
Variations (13) for Piano on a Hungarian Dance, Set 2, Op. 21 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/13/2004 
Venue:  Vereinshaus, Fraulautern, Germany 
Length: 7 Minutes 4 Secs. 
5.
Variations (16) for Piano in F sharp minor on a Theme by Schumann, Op. 9 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1854; Germany 
Venue:  Vereinshaus, Fraulautern, Germany 
Length: 19 Minutes 4 Secs. 

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