Brahms: Theme and Variations in D minor (arr. from String Sextet, Op. 18)

This page lists all recordings of Theme and Variations in D minor (arr. from String Sextet, Op. 18), by Johannes Brahms (1833-97) on CD, SACD & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.

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Instrumental Choice
April 2013
Editor's Choice
November 2010

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Brahms: Ballades and Fantasies

Brahms: Ballades and Fantasies


Brahms:

Theme and Variations in D minor (arr. from String Sextet, Op. 18)

Ballades (4), Op. 10

Fantasies (7 piano pieces), Op. 116


Bold, turbulent defiance sit alongside pained introspection and bittersweet reverie in this penetrating recital of Brahms piano works by the acclaimed young Russian pianist Denis Kozhukhin in his eagerly awaited second recording for PENTATONE.

By turns placid, sparse, restive and impassioned, the highly personal and contemplative late piano pieces of Brahms have been described as "the mirrors of his soul". The seven pieces comprising the Fantasias, Op. 116 are quite different in mood but are nevertheless intricately constructed to produce poetic miniatures of great depth and sonority, requiring sensitive artistry to convey their sense of unity and poignancy.

Brahms is in a more full-bloodied and demonstrative mood with the four character pieces in the much earlier Ballades, Op 10. But these too show moments of transcendent beauty as in the closing ballade where the tenor melody is woven into the mellifluously undulating pianissimo accompaniment. And in the rarely heard Theme and Variations, Op. 18b, Brahms makes a sumptuous and instantly seductive arrangement of the second movement of his own String Sextet, producing an arresting and magisterial work with exquisite tone colorations and a hushed, sublime ending.

Kozuhukin's first recording with PENTATONE of the Grieg and Tchaikovsky's Piano concertos was widely praised. Radio Bremen hailed him as "...already one of the greats of the black and white keys". Gramophone magazine named the release 'Editor's Choice' for May 2016, noting "Above all, [Kozhukhin] is natural ... His inerrant rhythmic sense is pliant yet taut; his sound unalloyed silver. Listening to Kozhukhin, you're left with one thing: the music - incontestable, complete." And The Herald Scotland was unequivocal. "If you want to add these old warhorses to your music library, however, there are few better places to start than here... [PENTATONE] uses the slogan 'Sit back and enjoy', and that is the way to appreciate a recording that could hardly be better for its balanced capturing of the performances."

“The Ballades confirm his mastery of sonority, balance and deportment. Kozhukhin takes care to articulate each note, where the majority of pianists phrase by the bar...this is worth pursuing.” Diapason, April 2017 *****

“Pentatone has given Denis Kozhukhin a beautifully warm acoustic for this Brahms recording, setting his performances in the best possible light…[he] is alive to the Baroque feel [of the Theme and Variations], which emanates from the archaic-sounding D minor theme, with its turn to the major, is particularly beautifully rendered…I’m very taken with what Kozhukhin has to say in this music” Gramophone Magazine, May 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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Pentatone - PTC5186568

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Brahms: The Complete Variations

Brahms: The Complete Variations

for solo piano


Brahms:

Theme and Variations in D minor (arr. from String Sextet, Op. 18)

Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24

Variations on an Original Theme in D major, Op. 21, No. 1

Variations on a Hungarian Song in D major, Op. 21 No. 2

Variations on a theme by Schumann in F sharp minor, Op. 9

Variations on a theme by Paganini in A minor, Op. 35


American pianist Garrick Ohlsson, whose Complete Chopin set was acclaimed as one of the most important anniversary releases of 2010, now turns to another significant, though often overlooked, body of Romantic piano music – Brahms’s complete variations.

The coruscatingly difficult Paganini variations, a bravura display of pyrotechnic virtuosity, frequently feature in piano competitions, performed to demonstrate extraordinary technique. In this performance, Garrick Ohlsson also displays remarkable musicality.

The Variations and Fugue on a theme of Handel is one of the summits of his entire keyboard output, showing the composer at the height of his powers. This 2-disc set also contains some little-known gems, including the wonderful Variations on an Original Theme.

“Ohlsson’s muscular performance does not ignore the yearning that lies beneath the surface.” The Telegraph, 22nd October 2010 ***

“These highly absorbing discs bring together all Brahms’s freestanding variation sets for piano in poised, intense performances.” Sunday Times, 3rd October 2010 ***

“An near to flawless collection of piano variations from the American piano virtuoso” The Times, 9th October 2010 ****

“These early variations [Op. 18] are light years away from the intimacy of Brahms's late piano pieces, and Ohlsson's iron-clad technique and robust, forward tone generally suit them well.” The Guardian, 14th October 2010 ***

“he's a born Brahmsian, equipped at the highest level with the necessary speed and power, the muscular strength and facility of finger tempered by breadth of outlook and solidity of intellect.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2010 *****

“Here is none of the turgid, bass-heavy portentousness that so often bedevils recordings of Brahms's music...This is a great Brahms recording that elevates and illuminates the music with a lightness of touch and heart that eludes many (yet he can darken the tone when required, as in Var. 13)” Gramophone Magazine, November 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2010

Hyperion - CDA67777

(CD - 2 discs)

$14.25

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Der Wanderer

Der Wanderer


Brahms:

Theme and Variations in D minor (arr. from String Sextet, Op. 18)

(arr. for guitar duo)

Franck, C:

Prélude, Fugue et Variation Op. 18

(arr. for guitar duo)

Mertz:

Am Grabe der Geliebten: Adagio

(arr. for guitar duo)

Unruhe

(arr. for guitar duo)

Ich denke dein

(arr. for guitar duo)

Tarantelle

(arr. for guitar duo)

Schubert:

Der Tod und das Mädchen, D531

(arr. for guitar duo)

String Quartet No. 9 in G minor, D173

(arr. for guitar duo)


Wanderer Guitar Duo (guitar duo)

Under the name Wanderer - the iconic figure of Romanticism - the guitar duo formed by Giacomo Copiello and Michele Tedesco makes its debut with a recording containing an exceptionally romantic repertoire. The performers' careful choice of instruments offers the listener a varied range of historic guitars sounds: early 20th century instruments for the transcribed repertoire of Brahms, Schubert and Franck while the works of Mertz are played on the traditional 19th century romantic instruments they were originally intended for.

Stradivarius - STR37069

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Brahms: The Complete Piano Transcriptions

Brahms: The Complete Piano Transcriptions


Brahms:

Theme and Variations in D minor (arr. from String Sextet, Op. 18)

Piano Studies (5)

Hungarian Dance No. 1 in G minor

Hungarian Dance No. 2 in D minor

Hungarian Dance No. 3 in F major

Hungarian Dance No. 4

Hungarian Dance No. 5

Hungarian Dance No. 6 in D flat major

Hungarian Dance No. 7

Hungarian Dance No. 8 in A minor

Hungarian Dance No. 9 in E minor

Hungarian Dance No. 10 in F major

Gavotte after Chr. W. Gluck (arranged for piano)

Study for the Left Hand after Schubert (Impromptu, D889 No.2)


Georg Friedrich Schenck (piano)

Castigo Classic Recordings - Castigo02410

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Brahms: Works for Solo Piano Volume 3

Brahms: Works for Solo Piano Volume 3


Brahms:

Piano Sonata No. 2 in F sharp minor, Op. 2

Intermezzo in B minor, Op. 119 No. 1

Intermezzo in C major, Op. 119 No. 3

Intermezzo in E minor, Op. 116 No. 5

Theme and Variations in D minor (arr. from String Sextet, Op. 18)

Waltzes (16), Op. 39


Barry Douglas returns for the highly anticipated third volume in his series devoted to Brahms’s solo piano music, the first two volumes having been met with widespread critical acclaim. Of Vol. 2, International Record Review wrote, ‘this is indeed Brahms playing of the utmost integrity and authority... this cycle looks set to become a benchmark’.

The selected Intermezzi performed here come from the collections of short piano pieces which Brahms published in 1892 – 93, his last works for piano. A sense of wistful, melancholic reflection pervades these exquisitely crafted masterpieces of Brahms’s late maturity.

Composed at the other end of his life, at the age of twenty, the Piano Sonata in F sharp minor is full of a youthful, strident energy. It was among the pieces that, when he heard them privately, convinced Robert Schumann of Brahms’s genius. It was dedicated to Robert’s wife, Clara, who was to remain a key figure in Brahms’s life. Indeed it was Clara who, having heard the movement, begged Brahms for a piano transcription of the noble Andante from the String Sextet in B flat major, the Theme with Variations in D minor heard here.

Brahms’s set of sixteen Waltzes, Op. 39 were originally conceived for piano four hands and were arranged, by popular demand, for solo piano soon after, in 1867. They capture the sense of joyful abandon often associated with the genre but their romanticism and nostalgia are uniquely Brahmsian.

“I can only wonder at his Brahms, which is superbly masterful in technique and musicianship (an indissoluble blend). There is no trace of distortion or egocentricity...Instead you hear an unfaltering commitment to exclusively musical matters and the results are as moving as they are exemplary.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2015

“The performances are generally first-rate, with a real Brahmsian mix of toughness and slightly gruff charm about them; Douglas is at his best in the early Sonata, but his account of the jewel-like intermezzos – Clara Schumann described the first of Op 119 as a “grey pearl” – are most subtlely coloured too.” The Guardian, 2nd October 2014 ****

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Chandos Barry Douglas Brahms Solo Piano Music - CHAN10833

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Imogen Cooper plays Brahms & Schumann

Imogen Cooper plays Brahms & Schumann


Brahms:

Theme and Variations in D minor (arr. from String Sextet, Op. 18)

arranged for solo piano by Brahms

Schumann:

Fantasiestücke, Op. 12

Kreisleriana, Op. 16


This is Volume 1 in Imogen Cooper’s new series on Chandos Records, dedicated to the complete works for piano by Robert Schumann. Recognised worldwide as a pianist of virtuosity and poetic poise, Imogen Cooper has established a reputation as one of the finest interpreters of the classical and romantic repertoire. She has dazzled audiences and orchestras throughout her distinguished career, bringing to the concert platform a unique musical understanding and lyrical quality.

‘Duality, intermingling and juxtaposing identities, the dream world, the subconscious, wild humour, the supernatural, disguise, the outsider’. These are all words used by Imogen Cooper to describe the inner world of Robert Schumann. On this recording, she offers her interpretations of two works by this deeply inspired composer: Fantasiestücke and Kreisleriana. Both display in full Schumann’s extraordinary ability to express the gamut of human emotions in a highly imaginative language that draws the best from both piano and performer.

Schumann dedicated his Fantasiestücke to a young Scottish pianist by the name of Roberta Laidlaw, with whom he had a close, if brief, relationship during his eighteen-month-long separation from Clara Wieck, whom he was patiently courting. In one of the most important early studies of Schumann’s music, published in the journal Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, Franz Brendel compared this work to ‘a landscape painting in which the foreground gains prominence in sharply delineated, clear contours while the background becomes blurred and vanishes in a limitless perspective’.

Kreisleriana was inspired by a complex character created by the writer E.T.A Hoffmann: Kapellmeister Johannes Kreisler. In reflecting the complex personality of Kreisler, Schumann’s Kreisleriana seems to take on the very same alternating characteristics that are ascribed to this character. At times the music comes across as wild, eccentric, and clever, at others it displays a mood that is truly tender, lyrical, and romantic.

The last work on this disc is the solo piano arrangement which Johannes Brahms made of the Theme and Variations movement from his String Sextet, Op. 18, and dedicated to Clara Schumann. She received the manuscript of this arrangement on her forty-first birthday, 13 September 1860. She was delighted to be able to play the variations herself, as she wrote in a letter to Brahms three days later. Nonetheless, the first public performance did not take place until a concert in Frankfurt on 31 October 1865.

“[in Op. 12] she relishes the haunting ebb and flow of 'Des Abends' and finds her way to the very heart of the composer in the delectably pointed romantic polyphony in the central section of 'In der Nacht'...the steadiness provides an always musicianly alternative to speed or hysteria...you remain grateful for the way Cooper tempers Schumann's hallucinatory art with her own more basic and fundamental musicianship” Gramophone Magazine, March 2013

“Throughout this superlative recital, Imogen Cooper's artistic sensibility - highly personal, interpretatively penetrating, yet never didactic - reflects a sympathy with the music so intimate and compelling that it seems for the most part to transcend the very concept of interpretation...for me, the highpoint of this marvellous release is her playing of the Brahms transcription...Forget that old canard that Brahms is 'thick'. The sound here is positively luminous.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2013 *****

“[Cooper] proves a wonderfully tactful and sympathetic guide to the boundless imagination of the piano writing. Other pianists may make this music sound more virtuosic or more winsome, but she projects the emotional turbulence of the fifth of the Fantasiestücke without making it overwrought” The Guardian, 21st March 2013 ****

“Cooper manages to capture just the right mood [in the Brahms Variations], emphasizing the dark hues. Her playing has great virtuosity and is highly polished.” MusicWeb International, 30th April 2013

BBC Music Magazine

Instrumental Choice - April 2013

Chandos - up to 40% off

Chandos - CHAN10755

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Romantic Rarities

Romantic Rarities


Brahms:

Theme and Variations in D minor (arr. from String Sextet, Op. 18)

Chopin:

Rondo a la Mazurka, Op. 5

Schubert:

Piano Sonata No. 11 in F minor, D625

Schumann:

Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6


Ian Holtham (piano)

Ian Holtham is a distinguished Melbourne-based pianist who has a long discography of Classical and Romantic music to his credit, especially including the music of Chopin.

In this, his first release on Tall Poppies, he has chosen a program of relatively rare works from the piano repertoire. In Ian’s own words:

“The repertoire chosen for the CD is a compilation unique in piano discography and in the history of piano performance. The version of the Schubert unfinished Sonata DV 625 contains completions of the outer movements in which I have had a creative hand and which have never been recorded or performed before. My own interest in commemorative repertoire is enriched through the inclusion of Brahms’ own transcription of the second movement of the string sextet Op. 18, which was a birthday present to Clara Schumann who had expressed fond admiration for the movement in its original string format. The score of this work was only discovered well into the twentieth century. Chopin’s Rondo a la Mazurka would be the least known of all this composer’s major piano output and similarly Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänze, Op 6 is the most significant of all his major piano cycles, but it is also by far the least performed."

Tall Poppies - TP219

(CD)

$15.50

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Brahms - Variations for Piano

Brahms - Variations for Piano


Brahms:

Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24

Theme and Variations in D minor (arr. from String Sextet, Op. 18)

Variations on an Original Theme in D major, Op. 21, No. 1

Variations on a Hungarian Song in D major, Op. 21 No. 2

Variations on a theme by Schumann in F sharp minor, Op. 9


David Korevaar (piano)

This recording was made possible through the support of The Ivory Classics Foundation and the Council on Research and Creative Work as well as the Graduate Council for the Arts and Humanities at the University of Colorado

In September 1853, Johannes Brahms arrived for his first meeting with Robert and Clara Schumann at their home in Düseldorf. Brahms, a youthful age of twenty ("hardly more than a boy" were the words of Robert Schumann's protégé Albert Dietrich), made an immediate and powerful impression on the older master, who in October wrote his famous essay, New Paths proclaiming...

Ivory Classics - 74004

(CD)

$13.50

Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.

Brahms: Piano Variations

Brahms: Piano Variations


Brahms:

Variations on a theme by Schumann in F sharp minor, Op. 9

Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24

Variations on a Hungarian Song in D major, Op. 21 No. 2

Theme and Variations in D minor (arr. from String Sextet, Op. 18)


Mikhail Rudy (piano)

Warner Classics - 2435737475

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Brahms: String Sextets Nos. 1 & 2

Brahms: String Sextets Nos. 1 & 2


Brahms:

String Sextet No. 1 in B flat major, Op. 18

Isaac Stern (violin), Cho-Liang Lin (violin), Michael Tree (viola), Jaime Laredo (viola), Yo-Yo Ma (cello), Sharon Robinson (cello)

Theme and Variations in D minor (arr. from String Sextet, Op. 18)

Emanuel Ax (piano)

String Sextet No. 2 in G major, Op. 36

Isaac Stern (violin), Cho-Liang Lin (violin), Michael Tree (viola), Jaime Laredo (viola), Yo-Yo Ma (cello), Sharon Robinson (cello)


Sony - G010000911656W

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