- Rhapsodies (2) for piano, Op. 79
- Intermezzi (3) for piano, Op. 117
- Pieces (6) for piano, Op. 118
- Pieces (4) for piano, Op. 119
While Beethoven wrote piano sonatas throughout his life, Brahms composed just three sonatas, and all were penned at the beginning of his career. Instead of writing sonatas, Brahms turned to smaller forms, often calling them simply "Klavierstücke" (Piano Pieces). Just a few years before his death he composed four sets of these, three of which are included on this album. What's astonishing is how much Brahms is able to say in a short piece. This concision is partly achieved through the intense concentration of mood, as in the hushed, lullabylike sweetness of the first piece of Opus 117, or the deep, disconsolate sadness of Opus 119, No. 1, with its tearful, nostalgic smiles. Radu Lupu's reputation as a pianist of unusual sensitivity is due, at least in part, to these penetrating interpretations. Widely acclaimed when it was first released in the 1970s, the analog recording sounds gorgeous, even by today's standards, and the performances are as potent as ever.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a beautiful recording. Lupu doesn't bang around like some others do with Brahms. His sensitivity brings the full passion of the pieces to the fore. I listen to this one over and over again.