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British pianist Jonathan Plowright makes his début recording on BIS. Hailed by Gramophone as ‘one of the finest living pianists’, Plowright is recognised worldwide as a truly exceptional artist.
Brahms’s Piano Sonata No. 3 is heroic in scale, unconventional in layout and exudes high quality making it one of the most impressive sonatas since those of Beethoven and Schubert.
Brahms never wrote another piano sonata after completing No. 3 but instead concentrated on a series of large-scale sets of variations, among which the Handel Variations must be considered his crowning achievement. Completed in September 1861 the work shows Brahms at the height of his powers,
Johannes Brahms: Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor, Op. 5
I. Allegro maestoso
II. Andante espressivo
III. Scherzo: Allegro energico
IV. Intermezzo (Ruckblick): Andante molto
V. Finale: Allegro moderato ma rubato
Johannes Brahms: 25 Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24
Variation 2: Animato
Variation 4: Vivace
Variation 7: Molto vivace
Variation 9: Poco piu sostenuto
Variation 10: Vivace
Variation 12: Piu moto
Variation 13: Un poco largamente
Variation 14: Vivace
Variation 19: Molto vivace e leggiero
Variation 23: Molto vivace
“His warmth and sincerity combine with a superbly assured and powerful technique to create one of the finest performances [of the F minor Sonata] on record...His Handel Variations, too, are subtly and economically inflected, never searching for easy glamour or effect...One could hardly wish for more and I can scarcely wait for further volumes from this pianist, adding that both the piano concertos positively cry out for his attention.”
5th June 2013
“If Brahms ever wrote a symphony for the piano then the Sonata No. 3 Op.5 is very much this piece, and Plowright’s range of expression, his daring periods of absolute repose, extended passages of development and extremes of contrast deliver this impression as few other performances I have encountered.”