Pianist Benjamin Hochman follows his critically acclaimed AVIE debut Homage to Schubert (AVR 2281), which paired two sonatas by the 19thcentury master with modern-day tributes by Kurtág and Widmann, with a like-minded program centered on the age-old musical form of variations. At the heart of the album is the Handel Variations by Brahms, a grand master of the art form. The four shorter Piano Variations on this recording are by major composers of the late 20th and early 21st centuries: Oliver Knussen, Luciano Berio, George Benjamin, and Peter Lieberson. Each composition is a piece of great beauty, but with results that are strikingly diverse.
He gives lucid, exciting performancesRead more of variations by Oliver Knussen, Luciano Berio, George Benjamin and Peter Lieberson, then ends with an exhilarating account of Brahms’s Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel.