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

This page lists all recordings of Variations on a theme by Paganini in A minor, Op. 35, 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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Brahms: Paganini Variations & Prokofiev: Sonata No. 6

Brahms: Paganini Variations & Prokofiev: Sonata No. 6


Brahms:

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

Prokofiev:

Piano Sonata No. 6 in A major, Op. 82


Mikhail Faerman (piano)

Founded in 1937, the annual Queen Elisabeth Competition for violin and piano is still the best-known such event organised in Belgium, and is considered among the best and most demanding in the world. Following in the footsteps of his fellow countryman Emil Gilels, who won first prize for piano in 1938, Mikhail Faerman stunned both jury and public in 1975 with Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto, and duly carried off the palm.

On a now little-remembered series entitled Concours, Deutsche Grammophon issued live and studio recitals by young artists who had won recent prizes at prestigious competitions during the 1970s. The careers of Youri Egorov, Ewa Poblocka, Alexander Lonquich and others were launched by their first studio albums, which appeared on ‘Concours’. Having won the Queen Elizabeth Competition in 1975, however, Faerman did not go on to make more recordings except for this stunning live album of Brahms and Prokofiev, captured in Munich in 1980 and now receiving its first release on CD. Critics spoke of his ‘sensational talent’. His exceptional power at the keyboard excited admiration, as did his capacity for musical shaping and characterization.

These Brahms and Prokofiev works certainly play to the strengths of a young keyboard lion. Brahms, after all, wrote the ‘Paganini’ Variations with a reluctant but busy concert career in mind, to display what was by all accounts among the supreme piano techniques of his age: this is music that exults in its own recreation, as Faerman shows. The Sixth Sonata is the first of Prokofiev’s ‘War Trilogy’ of Sonatas, propelled in its outer movements by brutal motor rhythms and unpredictable outbursts of temperament. Set against them is a slow waltz in the composer’s most yearning and bittersweet manner.

“Mikhail Faerman won first prize in the 1975 Queen Elisabeth of Belgium Contest, hence he appears on DG's Concours series, although he plays well enough to appear anytime on a full-priced line. His Prokofiev is very dramatic and very spiky, and he brings out all the whimsy in this wonderful piece. The Brahms is beautifully articulated, with delicate gradations of touch.” Fanfare, July/August 1982

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4825876

(CD)

$8.75

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 & Paganini Variations

Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 & Paganini Variations


Brahms:

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

USSR Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky

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

USSR Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky

Klavierstücke (8), Op. 76


John Lill (piano)

Pianist John Lill, born in London in 1944, has long been associated with the music of Beethoven and Brahms. He catapulted to international fame, however, when he was the co-winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1970. The Concerto No. 2 presented here is a live recording from that competition, dating from 25 June. The audience’s vociferous response at the end speaks for itself. Lill’s expertise in this repertoire stems, in part, from his studies with Wilhelm Kempff. He also studied at the Royal College of Music. Together with the Paganini Variations and the Op. 76 Piano Pieces, these represent all the recordings Lill made for Deutsche Grammophon. All receive their first CD and digital release.

“you are clearly in the presence of a strong and confident artist […] This is an exciting record of a great occasion … and a fine account of the concerto by any standards.” Gramophone Magazine, July 1971 (Piano Concerto No. 2)

“strength, fluency, clarity and musicianly sense of proportion […] the engineering is very good” Gramophone Magazine, November 1970 (Opp. 35 & 76)

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4822878

(CD - 2 discs)

$12.00

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

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)

$14.25

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Yuja Wang - Transformation

Yuja Wang - Transformation


Brahms:

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

Ravel:

La Valse

Transcribed for piano solo by the composer

Scarlatti, D:

Keyboard Sonata K380 in E major

Keyboard Sonata K466 in F minor

Stravinsky:

Three Movements from Petrushka

Transcribed for piano solo by the composer


Yuja Wang (piano)

On the heels of her impressive Deutsche Grammophon debut recital album, pianist Yuja Wang’s return recording for the label – Transformation – categorically demonstrates that she is a young master of the Steinway.

Her new album excites with a demanding recital that includes some of the most electrifying pieces of piano literature – Stravinsky’s Pétrouchka, Brahms’s Variations on a Theme by Paganini, Scarlatti’s Sonatas in E and B minor, and Ravel’s La Valse.

Yuja Wang’s ability to take her music by storm is tempered by a sophisticated musicality that never distorts the line.

Transformation highlights Yuja Wang’s penchant for piecing together high concept programs the public adores. As The New York Times observes, “She seems to have everything: speed, flexibility, pianistic thunder, and interpretive nuance.”

“Wang makes light of even the fiercest complexity...she has a dazzling way of lightening even the heaviest textures so that her entire performance gleams with an astonishing brilliance and verve....you will find her as musically beguiling as she is breathtakingly fleet.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2010

“The brilliant Chinese pianist dazzles with more than technical panache. She understands what she plays; she’s sensitive and has poise. She’s also a clever programme builder, successfully mixing shape-shifting works by Stravinsky, Brahms and Ravel with two Scarlatti sonatas.” The Times, 29th May 2010 ****

“The Petrushka movements...have a unique fizz and excitement and quite the most orchestral range of colour I've heard...Her poise in the two Scarlatti sonatas is admirable, the textures beautifully transparent, the interplay of voices superbly balanced...Altogether one of the most stimulating recitals I've heard this year.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2010 *****

“[Wang] approaches repertory staples with original, illuminating ideas. Her sharp articulation and the deftness with which she moves between thunder and sparkle yield vivid performances of Stravinsky and Ravel, a searching account of Brahms’s Variations on a Theme of Paganini and uncommonly graceful readings of two Scarlatti sonatas.” New York Times, 26th November 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - July 2010

DG - 4778795

(CD)

$13.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

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

Brahms:

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

Schumann:

Arabeske in C major, Op. 18

Études symphoniques, Op. 13

Incl Appendix


One of Jean-Yves Thibaudet's early Decca recitals, these are some of the most engaging and thrilling readings of a program of essentially concert etudes. To the Schumann, Thibaudet places the five posthumous variations as an appendix, and his reading of the Brahms Paganini is one of the most scintillating of all.

“Predictably the technical challenges of Brahms's Paganini Variations hold few fears for him. Even Horowitz once admitted that in Liszt's Faust Waltz he'd heard Thibaudet's fingers do things that his own couldn't in dexterity, clarity of articulation and general command... his fingers sing as finely as they sparkle... Sound reproduction throughout is at once natural and never too forward for comfort in your own room” Gramophone Magazine

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4768503

(CD)

$8.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

L'Arte della Variazione

L'Arte della Variazione

Paganini & Beyond - Critics' choice


Blacher:

Variations on a Theme of Paganini Op. 26

Brahms:

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

Liszt:

Étude d'exécution transcendante d'après Paganini, S. 140 No. 6

Lutosławski:

Variations on a Theme by Paganini, for two pianos

Paganini:

Caprice for solo violin, Op. 1 No. 24 in A minor

Rachmaninov:

Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43

Szymanowski:

Paganini Caprice, Op. 40 No. 3


It has been two centuries since Paganini, consummate violinist, wrote this piece of bravura for his own performances. It was eventually published in 1817 and was to inspire numerous variations (29 to date), ranging from low key (for solo guitar) to grandiose (for a full Straussian orchestra), some (by Schumann, Milhaud, Casella, Dallapiccola and others) now curiously forgotten. The theme has never ceased to serve as a showcase of technical prowess, the latest being Andrew Lloyd Webber’s acclaimed variations for cello and rock band (1977). Featured here are choice masterpieces - for solo piano (Liszt, 1851 and Brahms, 1863), for violin and piano (Szymanowski,1918), for piano and orchestra (Lutoslawski, 1978 and Rachmaninov,1934) and for symphony orchestra (Blacher,1947).

Praga - PRD250338

(CD)

$14.25

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Felipe Browne Volume 3

Felipe Browne Volume 3


Beethoven:

Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 'Pathetique'

Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 2 ‘Moonlight'

Brahms:

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

Liszt:

Étude d'exécution transcendante d'après Paganini, S. 140 No. 6

Liebestraum, S541 No. 3 (Nocturne in A flat major)


Felipe Browne (piano)

Felipe Browne's press well documents his brilliance as a musician. The UK's Musical Opinion wrote: '... a glorious performance of Liszt's 2nd Ballade... What a treat to hear Chopin's strangely neglected Prelude in C-sharp minor Opus 45, of which we heard a magical interpretation' and The Washington Post in the USA wrote of him: 'Browne dazzled the crowd with his keen sense of articulation, brilliant finger speed and tempering of power with eloquent sensitivity.'

Claudio - CR60346

(DVD Audio)

$23.25

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Felipe Browne Volume 3

Felipe Browne Volume 3


Beethoven:

Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 2 ‘Moonlight'

Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 'Pathetique'

Brahms:

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

Liszt:

Étude d'exécution transcendante d'après Paganini, S. 140 No. 6

Liebestraum, S541 No. 3 (Nocturne in A flat major)


Felipe Browne (piano)

Felipe Browne's press well documents his brilliance as a musician. The UK's Musical Opinion wrote: '... a glorious performance of Liszt's 2nd Ballade... What a treat to hear Chopin's strangely neglected Prelude in C-sharp minor Opus 45, of which we heard a magical interpretation' and The Washington Post in the USA wrote of him: 'Browne dazzled the crowd with his keen sense of articulation, brilliant finger speed and tempering of power with eloquent sensitivity.'

Claudio - CR60342

(CD)

$15.00

(also available to download from $10.00)

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

Brahms: Ballades, Paganini Variations and Klavierstücke

Brahms: Ballades, Paganini Variations and Klavierstücke


Brahms:

Ballades (4), Op. 10

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

Klavierstücke (8), Op. 76


Olaf John Laneri (piano)

Universal Music Italy - 4812284

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

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