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Jonathan Plowright|Johannes Brahms : Piano Sonata No. 3 - Handel Variations

Johannes Brahms : Piano Sonata No. 3 - Handel Variations

Jonathan Plowright (piano)

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British pianist Jonathan Plowright enters a crowded field of recordings of two Brahms keyboard standards with this release on Sweden's BIS label, and he doesn't even have especially original interpretations to offer. What he does accomplish are detailed, near-flawless readings of two vast, complex works, both pulsing with the energy of Brahms' youth. The Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor, Op. 5, was completed in 1852, when Brahms was 20. In many ways it's the first work of his maturity, uniting lyrical fantasy and structural unity in startling, daring ways. Sample Plowright's treatment of the finale of the sonata's unusual five-movement sequence, which is a series of quasi-improvisatory gestures tied together with iron logic. He never lets any detail fall out of place, and he is alert to the ways in which central European dance music, the warmth, life-affirming counterpart to Brahms' intellect, is never far from even the most intricate phrases. In the Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24, he is equally good in a work that is almost exclusively about register and texture: until the end, it is composed almost entirely of diatonic harmonies. Plowright's Steinway sounds clean and powerful, and he keeps control over processes lasting many minutes. The engineering from BIS, working in Britain's acoustically superior Potton Hall, is nonpareil: it puts you squarely in front of Plowright's piano, right where intelligent observers in the Schumann circle would have been at Brahms' original performance of the work in 1852, but it does not fetishize extraneous noises. A superior Brahms recital.
© TiVo

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Johannes Brahms : Piano Sonata No. 3 - Handel Variations

Jonathan Plowright

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Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor, Op. 5 (Johannes Brahms)

1
I. Allegro maestoso
00:10:46

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

2
II. Andante espressivo
00:13:59

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

3
III. Scherzo. Allegro energico
00:04:39

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

4
IV. Intermezzo (Ruckblick): Andante molto
00:05:16

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

5
V. Finale. Allegro moderato ma rubato
00:07:56

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24 (Johannes Brahms)

6
Aria (Live)
00:00:53

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

7
Variation 1 (Live)
00:00:54

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

8
Variation 2: Animato (Live)
00:00:54

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

9
Variation 3 (Live)
00:00:49

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

10
Variation 4: Vivace (Live)
00:00:49

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

11
Variation 5 (Live)
00:01:14

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

12
Variation 6 (Live)
00:01:18

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

13
Variation 7: Molto vivace (Live)
00:00:33

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

14
Variation 8 (Live)
00:00:34

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

15
Variation 9: Poco più sostenuto (Live)
00:01:41

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

16
Variation 10: Vivace (Live)
00:00:32

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

17
Variation 11 (Live)
00:00:52

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

18
Variation 12: Più moto (Live)
00:00:53

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

19
Variation 13: Un poco largamente (Live)
00:01:46

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

20
Variation 14: Vivace (Live)
00:00:36

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

21
Variation 15 (Live)
00:00:41

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

22
Variation 16 (Live)
00:00:32

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

23
Variation 17 (Live)
00:00:37

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

24
Variation 18 (Live)
00:00:56

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

25
Variation 19: Molto vivace e leggiero (Live)
00:01:06

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

26
Variation 20 (Live)
00:01:34

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

27
Variation 21 (Live)
00:00:51

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

28
Variation 22 (Live)
00:00:53

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

29
Variation 23: Molto vivace (Live)
00:00:35

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

30
Variation 24 (Live)
00:00:34

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

31
Variation 25 (Live)
00:00:44

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

32
Fugue (Live)
00:06:33

Jonathan Plowright, Performer - Johannes Brahms, Composer

(C) 2013 BIS (P) 2013 BIS

Album Description

British pianist Jonathan Plowright enters a crowded field of recordings of two Brahms keyboard standards with this release on Sweden's BIS label, and he doesn't even have especially original interpretations to offer. What he does accomplish are detailed, near-flawless readings of two vast, complex works, both pulsing with the energy of Brahms' youth. The Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor, Op. 5, was completed in 1852, when Brahms was 20. In many ways it's the first work of his maturity, uniting lyrical fantasy and structural unity in startling, daring ways. Sample Plowright's treatment of the finale of the sonata's unusual five-movement sequence, which is a series of quasi-improvisatory gestures tied together with iron logic. He never lets any detail fall out of place, and he is alert to the ways in which central European dance music, the warmth, life-affirming counterpart to Brahms' intellect, is never far from even the most intricate phrases. In the Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24, he is equally good in a work that is almost exclusively about register and texture: until the end, it is composed almost entirely of diatonic harmonies. Plowright's Steinway sounds clean and powerful, and he keeps control over processes lasting many minutes. The engineering from BIS, working in Britain's acoustically superior Potton Hall, is nonpareil: it puts you squarely in front of Plowright's piano, right where intelligent observers in the Schumann circle would have been at Brahms' original performance of the work in 1852, but it does not fetishize extraneous noises. A superior Brahms recital.
© TiVo

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