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Brahms: Complete Variations
     

Brahms: Complete Variations

by Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy
 

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Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy is a superb pianist and a superlative Brahms player. While he may not have the final degree of supreme virtuosity needed to play the most excruciatingly difficult pages of the "Variations on a Theme of Paganini," those pages have stymied nearly every pianist, and there is no shame in dropping some notes and smudging

Overview

Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy is a superb pianist and a superlative Brahms player. While he may not have the final degree of supreme virtuosity needed to play the most excruciatingly difficult pages of the "Variations on a Theme of Paganini," those pages have stymied nearly every pianist, and there is no shame in dropping some notes and smudging some lines if the heart and soul and spirit are there. And, in all of Schmitt-Leonardy's performances, the heart and soul and spirit are right there, inhabiting the vigorous but melancholy world of Brahms. Of course. Schmitt-Leonardy's mind is there, too: the intellectual power of his "Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Handel" is dazzling. But the essence of Schmitt-Leonardy's performances, like the core of Brahms' music, is in the chiaroscuro, in the shades between light and shadow and the distance between joy and sorrow. Schmitt-Leonardy's "Variations on a Hungarian Theme" and especially his "Variations on a Theme of Robert Schumann" find Brahms' heart and soul and spirit in the alternations of fast and slow, in the tones between major and minor, in the space between the here and now, the there and then, and there yet to come. There have been many recordings of Brahms' piano music over the years and certainly other recordings of the works one should hear, but for anyone who loves heartfelt, soulful, and spiritual Brahms playing, Schmitt-Leonardy's recordings will be deeply appreciated. Brilliant's sound is loud and close but it does not quite live up to its name in clarity.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/31/2005
Label:
Brilliant Classics
UPC:
0842977025125
catalogNumber:
92512

Related Subjects

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Variations (28) on a Theme of Paganini, for piano, in A minor, Op. 35

    1. Book 1: Thema' Non troppo presto  (00:29)
    2. Book 1: Variation 1  (00:25)
    3. Book 1: Variation 2  (00:29)
    4. Book 1: Variation 3  (00:30)
    5. Book 1: Variation 4  (01:12)
    6. Book 1: Variation 5: Espressivo / Molto leggiero  (00:45)
    7. Book 1: Variation 6: Molto leggiero  (00:29)
    8. Book 1: Variation 7  (00:28)
    9. Book 1: Variation 8: Staccato  (00:30)
    10. Book 1: Variation 9: Legato  (01:28)
    11. Book 1: Variation 10: Sotto voce  (01:19)
    12. Book 1: Variation 11: Andante, molto legato e dolce, espressivo  (01:45)
    13. Book 1: Variation 12: Molto dolce  (01:12)
    14. Book 1: Variation 13: Vivace e scherzando  (00:34)
    15. Book 1: Variation 14: Ben marcato, con fuoco-Presto, ma non troppo  (02:21)
    16. Book 2: Thema: Non troppo presto  (00:31)
    17. Book 2: Variation 1  (00:54)
    18. Book 2: Variation 2: Poco animato, poco forte espressivo, legato  (00:41)
    19. Book 2: Variation 3: Leggiero, espressivo  (00:37)
    20. Book 2: Variation 4: Poco Allegretto, con grazia  (00:58)
    21. Book 2: Variation 5: Dolce  (00:26)
    22. Book 2: Variation 6: Poco più vivace, leggiero  (00:24)
    23. Book 2: Variation 7: Leggiero e ben marcato  (00:22)
    24. Book 2: Variation 8: Allegro, leggiero, quasi pizzicato  (00:37)
    25. Book 2: Variation 9  (00:56)
    26. Book 2: Variation 10: Feroce, energico  (01:03)
    27. Book 2: Variation 11: Vivace, non legato e scherzando  (00:30)
    28. Book 2: Variation 12: Un poco Andante, dolce espressivo  (01:22)
    29. Book 2: Variation 13: Un poco più Andante, poco espressivo  (01:08)
    30. Book 2: Variation 14: Presto, ma non troppo, scherzando  (01:40)
  2. Variations (25) and Fugue on a Theme of Handel, for piano, in B flat major, Op. 24

    1. Aria: Rhythmisch, mit Humor  (00:54)
    2. Variation 1: L'Istesso tempo  (00:51)
    3. Variation 2: Con espressione  (00:41)
    4. Variation 3: Grazioso  (00:49)
    5. Variation 4: Risoluto, con fuoco, staccato  (00:53)
    6. Variation 5: Affetuoso, espressivo  (01:11)
    7. Variation 6: Sordo, e legato  (00:57)
    8. Variation 7: Con vivacita  (00:37)
    9. Variation 8: Martellato / Distinto, non legato  (00:38)
    10. Variation 9: Poco sostenuto, legato  (01:30)
    11. Variation 10: Energico  (00:34)
    12. Variation 11: Lusingando, con tenerezza, dolce, legato  (00:43)
    13. Variation 12: L'Istesso tempo, semplice, soave, legato  (00:56)
    14. Variation 13: Largamente, ma non più, espressivo  (01:34)
    15. Variation 14: Vivace, sciolto  (00:37)
    16. Variation 15: L'Istesso tempo  (00:42)
    17. Variation 16: Scherzando  (00:29)
    18. Variation 17: Più mosso, semplice  (00:36)
    19. Variation 18: Grazioso  (00:41)
    20. Variation 19: Leggiero e vivace, alla Siciliana  (01:04)
    21. Variation 20: Andante espressivo, legato  (01:00)
    22. Variation 21: Allegretto vivace, dolce / leggiero  (00:46)
    23. Variation 22: Alla Musette  (01:09)
    24. Variation 23: Vivace, sospetto, vivace e staccato  (00:33)
    25. Variation 24: L'Istesso tempo, tumultuoso, feroce  (00:35)
    26. Variation 25: Poco più lento, festivo, fieramente, con tutta forza  (00:43)
    27. Fuga: Allegro sostenuto e fermo  (05:15)

Disc 2

  1. Variations (11) on an Original Theme in D major for piano, Op. 21/1

    1. Thema: Poco larghetto, poco forte, molto espressivo e legato  (01:23)
    2. Variation 1: Molto piano e legato  (01:23)
    3. Variation 2: Più moto, espressivo  (00:56)
    4. Variation 3: Dolce  (01:15)
    5. Variation 4: [Poco più lento]  (01:25)
    6. Variation 5: Tempo di tema, Canone in moto contrario, molto dolce, teneramente  (01:31)
    7. Variation 6: Più moto, espressivo, legato  (00:53)
    8. Variation 7: Andante con moto, dolce  (01:47)
    9. Variation 8: Allegro non troppo  (01:11)
    10. Variation 9  (01:12)
    11. Variation 10: Espressivo agitato  (00:50)
    12. Variation 11: Tempo di tema, poco più lento, dolce  (04:14)
  2. Variations (13) on a Hungarian song for piano in D major, Op. 21/2

    1. Allegro  (00:17)
    2. Variation 1  (00:17)
    3. Variation 2  (00:15)
    4. Variation 3  (00:15)
    5. Variation 4  (00:16)
    6. Variation 5: Con espressione  (00:19)
    7. Variation 6  (00:29)
    8. Variation 7: Poco più lento, dolce espressivo / quasi pizzicato  (00:29)
    9. Variation 8: [Ancora un poco più lento] Espressivo, dolce  (00:32)
    10. Variation 9: Dolce  (00:16)
    11. Variation 10: Legato, dolce  (00:16)
    12. Variation 11: Dolce  (00:13)
    13. Variation 12: Espressivo  (00:14)
    14. Variation 13: Con forza-Allegro (il doppio Movimento)-Tempo 1 più animato  (02:59)
  3. Variations on a Theme of Schumann, for piano in F sharp minor, Op. 9

    1. Thema: Ziemlich langsam  (01:14)
    2. Variation 1  (01:14)
    3. Variation 2: Poco più moto, espressivo / staccato  (00:30)
    4. Variation 3: Tempo di tema  (01:02)
    5. Variation 4: Poco più moto, espressivo / leggiero  (00:49)
    6. Variation 5: Allegro capriccioso  (00:49)
    7. Variation 6: Allegro  (00:48)
    8. Variation 7: Andante  (01:00)
    9. Variation 8: Andante (non troppo lento), espressivo  (01:45)
    10. Variation 9: Schnell  (00:32)
    11. Variation 10: Poco Adagio, espressivo dolce  (02:08)
    12. Variation 11: Un poco più animato, sempre pianissimo dolcissimo  (00:58)
    13. Variation 12: Allegretto, poco scherzando, staccato e leggiero  (00:44)
    14. Variation 13: Non troppo Presto, molto leggiero  (00:28)
    15. Variation 14: Andante, expressico / staccato e leggiero  (01:22)
    16. Variation 15: Poco Adagio, espressivo  (01:40)
    17. Variation 16: Adagio  (01:55)

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