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

This page lists all recordings of Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24, by Johannes Brahms (1833-97) on CD, SACD, DVD & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.

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András Schiff on the V International Tchaikovsky Competition (Live)

András Schiff on the V International Tchaikovsky Competition (Live)


Brahms:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15

Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra, Dmitry Kitayenko

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

Liszt:

La leggierezza - Étude de concert No. 2, S144

Pirumov:

Scherzo for piano

Prokofiev:

Piano Sonata No. 3 in A minor, Op. 28

Rachmaninov:

Étude-Tableau, Op. 33 No. 7 in E flat major (published as No. 4)

Shostakovich:

Prelude & Fugue for piano, Op. 87 No. 15 in D flat major

Tchaikovsky:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23

Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra, Dmitry Kitayenko

Theme & Variations (No. 6 from Morceaux (6), Op. 19)


Firma Melodiya presents never-before-released recordings of András Schiff made at the V Tchaikovsky International Competition in 1974.

One of the most prominent pianists of modern times, András Schiff is nevertheless does not belong to the so-called competition format. The musician who earned the pedestal of philosopher pianist, “a representative of intellectual musical tradition in its high apprehension,” has never had virtuosity, sonic lustre and visual artistry in his sphere of interests.

However, the live recordings of the then 21-year-old Hungarian are of unquestionable interest. Soviet music critic Leonid Gakkel described his impressions of Schiff’s performance in the following way: “From his very first note at the competition Schiff struck me with the vigour of his performance, and that was vigour of the highest festivity… What a touch on the piano, what a charge of energy, what burning fingers! Ultimate activity of a creating spirit at each moment of playing…”

At the competition, Schiff played piano works by Rachmaninoff, Liszt, Prokofiev and Shostakovich, variation cycles and concertos by Tchaikovsky and Brahms. In the opinion of Yevgeny Malinin, a competent judge and professor of the Moscow Conservatory, Schiff “read music without a drop of wilfulness: he lived in and with it.” The panel gave him only the fourth prize (“incomplete correspondence” with general virtuosity and competition standards had an impact). However, it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that it was the Tchaikovsky Competition that brought the first significant success and international repute to the outstanding pianist.

“It's especially fascinating to hear the youthful Schiff tackle 20th-century Russian repertory. The two live performances are very exciting, but the orchestra is all over the place in the Brahms.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2017 ****

“The 20-year-old András Schiff giving glimpses of his true potential at the 1974 Tchaikovsky International Competition.” MusicWeb International, 17th January 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Melodiya - MELCD1002386

(CD - 2 discs)

$20.00

(also available to download from $20.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Kempff plays Brahms – Volume II

Kempff plays Brahms – Volume II


Brahms:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15

Staatskapelle Dresden, Franz Konwitschny

Rhapsodies (2), Op. 79

Intermezzi (3), Op. 117

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

Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor, Op. 5

Scherzo in E flat minor, Op. 4


The two volumes of Kempff plays Brahms focuses on his 1950s recordings from both, the Decca and Deutsche Grammophon catalogues. Volume I features shorter pieces – the miniature Brahms, so to speak. Volume II features his only recording of the First Piano Concerto, and goes on to include the 1957 Deutsche Grammophon recordings of the Third Sonata, the Op. 4 Scherzo and the Handel Variations, as well as two curiosities – the two Rhapsodies, Op. 79 from 1950 and the Op. 117 Intermezzi from 1953, both recorded for Decca, and both receiving their first release on CD. Correspondingly, the 1953 recording of the Rhapsodies and the 1950 recording of the Intemezzi appear on Volume I.

“Kempff's only recording of the D minor Piano Concerto features here, lyrical and understated rather than barnstorming. The Handel Variations are superb; the Third Sonata is slightly underpowered.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2014 ***

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4808293

(CD - 2 discs)

$12.25

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Brahms: Handel Variations

Brahms: Handel Variations


Brahms:

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

Rhapsodies (2), Op. 79

Klavierstücke (6), Op. 118

Klavierstücke (4), Op. 119


Twenty years after his last Brahms disc, American pianist Murray Perahia has chosen to revisit this great composer’s works with a new recording featuring the great Handel Variations, Op. 24, a work Perahia considers on a par with Bach’s Goldberg variations. Alongside this are key works from Brahms’ middle and late piano periods. The Two Rhapsodies, Op.79 from his middle period, form the centrepiece of the disk and are deeply Romantic.

The album finishes with the introspective and autumnal Piano Pieces Opp.118 and 119, both from Brahms’ late period.

This is music of a mature composer performed by a pianist at the height of his powers. Murray Perahia has been an exclusive Sony Classical recording artist for almost 40 years, and is one of the most sought-after and cherished pianists of our time. He is the Principal Guest Conductor of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, with whom he has toured globally as conductor and pianist. In 2004 he was awarded an honorary KBE by Her Majesty The Queen, in recognition of his outstanding service to music.

Perahia’s previous recordings have garnered a Grammy® Award and several nominations, a Gramophone Award and a BBC Music Magazine Award.

“A prince amongst pianists” Financial Times

“Perahia deals seamlessly with the many subtle shifts of tempo, cementing the parts into a unified piece of light-spirited musicality that makes for a piquant contrast with the ten autumnal "Piano Pieces" from Brahms' late period, bridged here by the flightier "Two Rhapsodies".” The Independent, 19th November 2010 *****

“The virtuoso challenges of that set are met without ever drawing attention to their brilliance, and the way in which Perahia almost imperceptibly ratchets up the tension is exemplary...The Op 79 Rhapsodies balance power and poetry perfectly, the two sets of late pieces colonise their subtly different worlds with effortless ease. All hugely impressive.” The Guardian, 18th November 2010 *****

“[The miniatures] are held aloft by Perahia's unique ability to give each tiny piece close study and analysis, yet then to create a seemingly spontaneous flow of music-making. The B minor adagio (Op 119, No 1) is achingly beautiful, the G minor ballade (Op 118, No 3) fiercely impassioned.” The Observer, 28th November 2010

“Murray Perahia’s Brahms is outstanding in every way. He has the elegance to showcase the baroque inspiration of the Handel Variations, but also the sense of scale and architecture to encompass Brahms’s 30-minute musical journey...This is one of the most rewarding Brahms recitals currently available.” Financial Times *****

“Time and again Brahms's potential for strenuousness and opacity is clarified with a superfine musical intelligence and technique...I doubt whether the concluding and exultant fugure has often been given with a more formidable yet lightly worn articulacy in its entire history...you may well wonder when you last heard a pianist with a more patrician disregard for all forms of bloated excess of exaggeration.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2011

“Perahia brings his customary mastery to piano works by Brahms, a composer he is not usually associated with but whose blend of lyricism and rigour suits his gifts perfectly...Throughout, Perahia shapes the phrases in long-breathed arcs while bringing out every detail.” The Telegraph, 14th January 2011 ****

“His long experience with Bach's keyboard works gives him a natural point of entry to the Variations on a Theme of Handel, which is taken at quite fast tempos...Yet Perahia never draws attention to the technical challenges, and the music seems to flow out of him with complete naturalness.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2011 *****

“The middle period Rhapsodies are beautifully rounded. with the composer's bold heroics matched with lyrical, poetic playing. The final ten pieces are intimate and reflective, played with an intense mastery that is wonderful.” Classic FM Magazine, February 2011 *****

“This an astonishing performance, full of superb understanding and technical mastery...His command of the work is complete” International Record Review, January 2011

“one of [Perahia's] finest CDs yet. The set of Handel Variations is both elegant and totally authoritative...Excellent, vivid recording makes this an indispensable example of Perahia's special identification with the composer” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

GGramophone Awards 2011

Best of Category - Instrumental

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - February 2011

BBC Music Magazine

Disc of the month - February 2011

Sony - 88697727252

(CD)

$13.25

(also available to download from $11.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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)

$14.50

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Shai Wosner plays Schoenberg & Brahms

Shai Wosner plays Schoenberg & Brahms


Brahms:

Fantasies (7 piano pieces), Op. 116

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

Schoenberg:

Suite for Piano, Op. 25

Kleine Klavierstücke (6), Op. 19


Shai Wosner (piano)

The debut recording from Shai Wosner.

Wosner continues to attract international recognition for his exceptional artistry, musical integrity and creative insight.

With imaginative programming that communicates his intellectual curiosity, Wosner performs a wide-ranging repertoire from Mozart and Beethoven to Ligeti and composers of his own generation. Wosner’s virtuosity and perceptiveness have increasingly made him a favourite among audiences and critics alike.

In 2005, Wosner won an Avery Fisher Career Grant. In the same year, he received a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. He also continues his extensive performing and recording activity as a BBC New Generation Artist, which he was named in September 2007. He is in demand with orchestras and conductors worldwide.

Both Brahms and Schoenberg were indebted to the musical styles of earlier generations – and not just the mighty shadow of Beethoven. The baroque period intrigued both composers, and it is interesting to note that two of their most important works for solo piano – works in which they expressed their mature style and authority – are inspired by the baroque.

Shai Wosner calls the Suite by Schoenberg and the Handel Variations by Brahms ‘declarations of independence’. The Schoenberg was his first purely 12-tone work, and the Brahms was his first wholly successful solo piano work after the three early sonatas, yet both take their inspiration from the baroque period.

Brahms the revolutionary is highlighted by Wosner on this CD by interweaving the late op.116 Fantasies with Schoenberg’s early op.19 piano pieces – only 12 years separate the two – the surprises are many.

‘An artist to follow keenly ’ Financial Times

“This is a genuinely imaginative pairing of two composers who have more in common than their popular images might suggest...The sequence works well, and Wosner's understated playing suits it perfectly.” The Guardian, 26th August 2010 ****

“...if Brahms and Schoenberg may strike conservative listeners as odd bedfellows, Shai Wosner, a young Israeli pianist, does not see any dichotomy between "old" and "new" music, but an evolutionary rather than revolutionary process.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2010

“Paradoxically, the alternation of shorter pieces allows them to assert their individuality at the same time that it underlines their connections with one another. If, for even a very brief moment, one is caught asking oneself, 'Wait, is this Brahms or Schoenberg?', then Wosner's provocative idea is valid...I have not enjoyed a new piano recital as much in quite some time!” International Record Review, December 2010

Onyx - ONYX4055

(CD)

$14.50

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Brahms - Variations

Brahms - Variations


Brahms:

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

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

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


Olga Kern (piano)

Harmonia Mundi - HMU907392

(CD)

$13.25

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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

Brahms:

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

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

Schumann:

Études symphoniques, Op. 13


Julius Katchen, that colossus that bestrode the pianistic firmament for all too short a time, recorded the Brahms Handel and Paganini Variations three times, twice in mono and once in stereo. Surprisingly, these much-praised 1958 recordings have never before been issued on CD and are now being made available singly, on Eloquence as well as part of an 8CD 'Original Masters' tribute Decca box. All of Katchen's dare-devilry in the Paganini set comes to the fore. The coupling, Schumann's Etudes symphoniques, likewise also receives its CD debut.

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4768484

(CD)

$8.75

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Brahms: Piano Music Volume 5

Brahms: Piano Music Volume 5

Variations


Brahms:

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 and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24

Variations on a theme by Paganini in A minor, Op. 35: Books 1 & 2


Hardy Rittner (piano)

The conclusion and crowning culmination of an epochal project: Vol. 5 rounds off Hardy Rittner’s acclaimed Brahms complete recording on historical pianos.

The careful selection of lavishly and lovingly restored concert grand pianos perfectly suited to this task enhances the value of this pioneering edition even more. The present release comes with a double high point: Rittner performs the variation cycles, works of the highest virtuosity producing an extraordinary audience impact, on a Steinway & Sons concert grand piano, serial number 553, manufactured around 1860.

Hardy Rittner magnificently brings out the special qualities of historical pianos; silvery double octaves in the eleventh variation of the first volume of op. 35, crystal-clear brilliance in numerous thirty-second runs, frequent fierce growling of the basses – the Steinway grand piano, even in its early years with its famous patented iron-cast plate and diagonal stringing, generates an enormous sound palette and shows itself from its very best side in Rittner’s sensitive and powerful hands.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

MDG Scene Brahms Piano Music Rittner - MDG9041974

(SACD)

$14.50

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Grieg, Mendelssohn & Brahms: Variations Sérieuses

Grieg, Mendelssohn & Brahms: Variations Sérieuses


Brahms:

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

Grieg:

Ballade in G minor, Op. 24

Mendelssohn:

Variations sérieuses in D minor Op. 54


Gunilla Süssmann (piano)

“It’s crazy – I actually don’t like variations!” Gunilla Süssmann laughs. “Apart from certain exceptions.” Whenever she hears a theme restated ad nauseam, caught in unchanging harmonies, she finds her prejudices confirmed. “Then I feel trapped inside the music. Certain sets of variations have nevertheless managed to find their way into my repertoire.” The art of variation has close ties with the art of improvisation. Audiences revere musicians who can extemporize on a given theme, presenting it with refinement and elaborately increasing its effect. That kind of spontaneous music-making boomed in Mozart and Beethoven’s day: competitions pitting one star pianist against another were all the rage. Such improvisations gave rise to sets of variations which introduced the theme at the beginning and declined it according to skill. To score extra points with the audience, some virtuosos would choose themes from wellknown operas. Gunilla Süssmann has selected three sets of variations featuring themes with widely different origins and treated in thoroughly different ways.……."

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Avi Music - AVI8553360

(CD)

$15.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

Brahms: 4 Ballades, 2 Rhapsodies & Handel Variations

Brahms: 4 Ballades, 2 Rhapsodies & Handel Variations


Brahms:

Ballades (4), Op. 10

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

Rhapsody in B minor, Op. 79 No. 1

Rhapsody in G minor, Op. 79 No. 2


Pascal Rogé (piano)

Decca - 4338492

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

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