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After the Second Piano Concerto (Alpha 395), Nelson Goerner presents here his first solo Brahms recital with the Sonata op.5, a youthful composition that is ‘impetuous, full of ardour and vitality’, says Goerner, ‘but which requires an interpreter who has reached maturity in his or her development to express all that it contains’. In fact, the Argentinian pianist has had this sonata in his repertory since the start of his career and has played it extensively in concert. Many composers have taken an interest in Paganini and written variations on his famous theme: Liszt before Brahms, and Rachmaninoff and Lutosławski after him. ‘Brahms displays exuberant invention in his Variations, which are at once highly virtuosic and very profound, and above all overflowing with imagination. Brahms gives the name “Études” to these variations which, like the études of Chopin and Liszt, go far beyond the superficially off-putting nature of the title’, concludes the pianist. ‘It’s a marvel of inventiveness!’
"In the F minor Sonata, Goerner’s awareness of the architecture and ambition of the whole piece fields evident throughout, while the Variations possess a deep sense of the musicality within the virtuosity. [...] In Goerner’s hands, the Paganini Variations […] becomes an exploration of the piano’s expressive and sonorous potential.” “Perhaps the highest praise is that, far from being the arduous progress through an obstacle course that the Variations often seem, this performance is a seamless traversal of variegated terrain, effortlessly accomplished, emerging finally as a showcase for artistic finesse rather than technical display."
"A performance that balances dazzling virtuosity with exquisite delicacy."
BBC Music Magazine
"This is an impressive Brahms recital that is a very worthwhile listen."
"After his success with the recording of Brahms’ concert for piano and orchestra I B-flat major you can enjoy on Goerner’s new album - piano-playing of incredibly high class in the symphonic 3. Piano sonata in f-minor, where the cords magically transforms into melodies, and where all the complications dissolves into meltingly beautiful music."
"Goerner’s clarity and command are absolute (…) Goerner brings his own authority to every bar."