Brahms: Sonatas for Viola & Piano

Brahms: Sonatas for Viola & Piano

by Roberto Díaz
     
 

It was not until the very end of his life that Brahms first developed his love affair with the clarinet. A chance introduction to clarinetist Richard Mühlfield presented the instrument in an entirely new light and was to be the catalyst for a flurry of chamber compositions including the "Clarinet Quintet," "Clarinet Trio," and of course the twoSee more details below

Overview

It was not until the very end of his life that Brahms first developed his love affair with the clarinet. A chance introduction to clarinetist Richard Mühlfield presented the instrument in an entirely new light and was to be the catalyst for a flurry of chamber compositions including the "Clarinet Quintet," "Clarinet Trio," and of course the two clarinet sonatas. When he published these two late, great works, Brahms himself marketed them as being appropriate for either clarinet or viola, and today both instruments hold the sonatas in high esteem within their literature. While the two instruments share some of the same tonal characteristics and range, they differ greatly in their ability to project sound. The viola often struggles to overcome the sometimes dense writing in the piano. This Naxos album, featuring violist Roberto Díaz and pianist Jeremy Denk, gives listeners a full, powerful, easily audible viola sound. It seems to come at a slight cost in that Denk appears to hold back slightly, not giving the full, robust fortes that might be hoped for. Apart from this minor shortcoming, however, this disc is sublime. Díaz's tone is sultry and nuanced, and his attention to pacing and subtle variations in dynamics create an atmosphere of intimacy. Denk's playing is likewise elegant and refined, with clear voicing and a sense of symbiosis with the viola. The album also contains a transcription of the "Op. 78 Violin Sonata" (heard here in the key of D, similar to the familiar transcription for cello) in which Díaz and Denk provide an entirely convincing performance of which Brahms' surely would have approved.

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/27/2010
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0747313082773
catalogNumber:
8570827
Rank:
132387

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Sonata for Clarinet (or viola) & Piano No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 120/2  - Johannes Brahms  - Roberto Díaz  - Jeremy Denk
  2. Sonata for Clarinet (or viola) & Piano No. 1 in F minor, Op. 120/1  - Johannes Brahms  - Roberto Díaz  - Jeremy Denk
  3. Sonata for violin & piano No. 1 in G major ("Regen"), Op. 78  - Johannes Brahms  - Roberto Díaz  - Jeremy Denk

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