Brahms: Rhapsodies (2), Op. 79

This page lists all recordings of Rhapsodies (2), Op. 79, 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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Brahms: Works for Solo Piano Volume 4

Brahms: Works for Solo Piano Volume 4


Brahms:

Ballades (4), Op. 10

Rhapsodies (2), Op. 79

Klavierstücke (4), Op. 119

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


The theme of Paganini’s 24th Caprice for solo violin has tempted a number of composers to elaborate on it – from Liszt to Lutosławski and Andrew Lloyd Webber. In 1863, Johannes Brahms was one of the first to take on the challenge, with his virtuosic Paganini Variations. Playing the set has famously been described as requiring ‘fingers of steel, a heart of burning lava and the courage of a lion’ and possibly the demands that they place on the performer is the main reason why Brahms organized his 28 variations into two books of 14 each. For the fourth instalment in his series of Brahms’s piano music, Jonathan Plowright has chosen to place the two books at either end of the programme.

Between them we are presented with works spanning almost 40 years of Brahms’s life. Of the four Ballades from 1854, it is only for the first, the so-called ‘Edward’ Ballade, that a model in literature is known – a Scottish ballad about the murder of a father. The set has nevertheless been compared to the slow movements in Brahms’s three piano sonatas, composed around the same time, and all with literary references.

25 years later, Brahms had entered a phase where his works for piano were growing ever shorter and more concise, but with his Op. 79 Rhapsodies he made something of a return to the grandeur and passion of his early piano writing. This development was short-lived, however, and the following works for solo piano, of which the four piano pieces of Op. 119 from 1893 would be the last, have been compared to ‘the golden lustre of parks in autumn and the austere black and white of winter walks’. Previous discs in Jonathan Plowright’s survey have received critical acclaim worldwide, and the series has already been dubbed ‘the benchmark Brahms survey for some time to come’ in Gramophone.

“As we reach Volume 4 of this complete solo Brahms traversal, there’s no doubt that Jonathan Plowright and old Johannes are on the best of terms...Even Brahms’s most strenuous technical demands [in the Paganini Variations] hold no fears...But more telling still is the sense of playfulness that Plowright brings not only to the theme itself but to myriad variations.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2017

“Jonathan Plowright is among the very finest of present-day British pianists…The late and elusive Op 119 pieces find Plowright at his best, with an outstanding singing tone and wonderfully long, sustained lines.” Pianist Magazine, April 2017 *****

“… the warmth of Brahms' affection for his friends shines through in Plowright's playing - still keeping a respectful distance from overdone histrionics, but letting the notes speak for themselves - at times in all their strangeness - in the best possible way.” MusicWeb International, May 2017

“Plowright’s Brahms could easily be described as rugged: thunderclouds often loom and there are few moments of brighter outlook along the way…dark Brahms, then, but Plowright’s powerful, uncompromising vision has plenty of attitude and unfailing conviction, helping to make this a rewarding listen” BBC Music Magazine, July 2017 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2017

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BIS Brahms: Works for Solo Piano - BIS2137

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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)

$12.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Kempff plays Brahms – Volume I

Kempff plays Brahms – Volume I


Brahms:

Rhapsodies (2), Op. 79

Ballades (4), Op. 10

Klavierstücke (8), Op. 76

Fantasies (7 piano pieces), Op. 116

Intermezzi (3), Op. 117

Klavierstücke (6), Op. 118

Klavierstücke (4), Op. 119


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.

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4806639

(CD - 2 discs)

$12.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Brahms: Rhapsodies, Intermezzi & Klavierstücke

Brahms: Rhapsodies, Intermezzi & Klavierstücke


Brahms:

Rhapsodies (2), Op. 79

Intermezzi (3), Op. 117

Intermezzo in E major, Op. 116 No. 6

Klavierstücke (6), Op. 118

Klavierstücke (4), Op. 119


Jonas Vitaud (piano)

Jonas Vitaud is an acclaimed young French pianist, and this is his debut solo CD recording.

Includes all of Brahm’s final solo piano pieces, plus the Rhapsodies Op.79.

Jonas has been passionate about Brahms since an early age, and this CD is the culmination of a long-established desire to record Brahms’ music.

“A deep, resonant tone, the way he plays immediately captures the attention and works miracles” Alain Cochard, Diapason

“Vitaud's intelligent musicianship, rock-solid technique and cultivated sonority impress, along with a few unusual yet convincing tempo options...Vitaud's finest moments are worth hearing and I look forward to following his career.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2012

“These well-contrasted pieces suggest that Vitaud has the technique to span the gamut of expressions, from wrathful heroism to tension-filled chiaroscuro. I felt an unduly restricted range of tone-colour, however...That apart, he produces highly sympathetic, beautifully phrased and voiced accounts of these pieces with their elusive moods and half-lights: a pleasure to hear.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2012 ****

Orchid Classics - ORC100020

(CD)

$15.00

(also available to download from $10.00)

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)

$13.00

(also available to download from $11.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Brahms - Piano Music

Brahms - Piano Music


Brahms:

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

Intermezzo in E flat major, Op. 117 No. 1

Intermezzo in A major, Op. 118 No. 2

Rhapsodies (2), Op. 79

Intermezzo in E flat minor, Op. 118 No. 6

Rhapsody in E flat major, Op. 119 No. 4


Ronan O'Hora (piano)

Regis - RRC1302

(CD)

$6.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Henri Bonamy plays Brahms & Schubert

Henri Bonamy plays Brahms & Schubert


Brahms:

Fantasies (7 piano pieces), Op. 116

Rhapsodies (2), Op. 79

Schubert:

Piano Sonata No. 17 in D major, D850


Henri Bonamy (piano)

Henri Bonamy is fast becoming one of the most ‘in demand’ young talents of his generation, on the concert platform today. A graduate of the Paris Conservatoire he has played extensively throughout Europe and the Far East, in concerto and solo performances. He is a regular chamber music recitalist and his performing partners include Julia Fischer, Marina Chiche and Wen-Sinn Yang.

Genuin - GEN88132

(CD)

$14.50

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Brahms - Piano Music

Brahms - Piano Music


Brahms:

Rhapsodies (2), Op. 79

Intermezzi (3), Op. 117

Klavierstücke (6), Op. 118

Klavierstücke (4), Op. 119


Radu Lupu (piano)

“Here are 71 minutes of the finest Brahms piano music, played by one of the outstanding Brahms exponents of our day. What's most treasurable about it is the quiet rapture of some of the most quintessentially Brahmsian moments; for example, the way Lupu sleepwalks into the last section of Op 117 No 3 and the revelation in Op 118 No 2 that the inversion of the theme is even more beautiful than its original statement. The Op 79 Rhapsodies are perhaps a fraction less memorable.
Decca's recording sounds a little bottom-heavy, in the manner of certain Ashkenazy records of this vintage, and in the heavier textures of the Rhapsodies Lupu compounds the problem by reinforcing the bass with octaves and even fifths.
Still, this remains as fine a selection of Brahms's piano works as you're likely to find on one disc.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

Decca - 4175992

(CD)

$13.00

(also available to download from $8.25)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Solomon plays Brahms

Solomon plays Brahms


Brahms:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 83

Philharmonia Orchestra, Issay Dobroven

Intermezzi (3), Op. 117

Klavierstücke (4), Op. 119

Rhapsodies (2), Op. 79


Solomon (piano)

Building a Library

First Choice - September 2001

Testament Solomon - SBT1042

(CD)

$13.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Anna Vinnitskaya plays Brahms & Bach

Anna Vinnitskaya plays Brahms & Bach


Brahms:

Transcription of Bach's Partita BWV 1004

Klavierstücke (8), Op. 76

Rhapsodies (2), Op. 79

Fantasies (7 piano pieces), Op. 116


Anna Vinnitskaya’s discography to date has been Franco-Russian. Here she tackles Brahms, whom she has frequently played in concert, notably this summer at the Festival of La Roque d’Anthéron. Here is what ResMusica had to say about that recital: ‘True to her reputation, the Russian pianist genuinely illuminated the scene, impressing us with the control and depth of her artistry . . . Each piece obeyed a flawless architectural rigour, focusing on melodic line and diversity of tone. Right from the first bars of Bach’s Chaconne transcribed by Brahms for the left hand, she produced a sound so full and nuanced as to make us forget that we were listening to just one hand. . . . There is always a great temptation to slide into Romantic emphasis, but the Russian artist achieved emotion with sobriety, using very little pedal. In the Klavierstücke of Brahms, this ability to penetrate the score down to its slightest inflections resulted in a version at the opposite pole from what one so often hears. Only the great Brahms interpreters possess the gift of not overloading a text already sufficiently dense in sentiments.’ This recording was made some weeks later, at the famous, indeed legendary concert hall of Neumarkt near Nuremberg.

“Vinnitskaya conveys [the transcription of Bach’s Chaconne] with all the conviction, line and power that it needs, everything balanced and well modulated. Elsewhere, with her emphasis on clarity of texture and purity of tone, Vinnitskaya achieves, at her best, exquisitely calibrated accounts, such as the twilit Intermezzo, Op. 116” BBC Music Magazine, July 2016 ***

Alpha - ALPHA231

(CD)

$14.75

(also available to download from $10.00)

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

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