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Brahms Piano Works

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Posted on Jun 13, 2011 11:17:40 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Dec 25, 2012 3:00:31 PM PST
One pianist who never gets mentioned is Edith Picht-Axenfeld. She was well into her 80s when she played her last concert, and the listener must make some allowances, but I find her playing of Brahms Op. 117 to be one of the most tender and insightful performances of these works I've ever heard: Edith Picht-Axenfeld: The Last Piano Concert (her Op. 118 and 119 have some occasional rough patches).

Another pianist who rarely gets mentioned, but is among my favorite Brahms players is Dmitri Bashkirov. This recording is a classic in my view: Bashkirov Plays Brahms: Piano Sonata No. 2; Intermezzi, Op.76/3, Op.117/1, Op.118/6; Capriccio, Op.76/2; Rapsodie, Op.79/2..

Nor does pianist Carl Friedberg ever get mentioned. Friedberg was a friend of Brahms, and Clara Schumann, but made his only recordings late in life: Carl Friedberg : the Brahms / Schumann Tradition.

Posted on Jun 13, 2011 11:40:31 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 13, 2011 11:43:11 AM PDT
Larkenfield says:
Wonderful Brahms by Edith Picht-Axenfeld. She seems to capture more than most others do of what the composer said about his Op. 117... that "even one listener is too many." So very warm, seasoned, and intimate.

Posted on Jun 13, 2011 11:51:21 AM PDT
Piso Mojado says:
MRS, the venerable Carl Friedberg has been mentioned eight or nine times in these discussions, always favorably, as the "search" feature here will show, but I knew Edith Picht-Axenfeld only as harpsichordist, thanks.

Posted on Dec 24, 2012 3:38:03 AM PST
Mandryka says:
Richter played all four op 119 pieces in 1992, I have a non commercial record of it.

Anyway, what struck me was the unity of it, he made it sound like a single work of four movements. Maybe others do too, but I hadn't noticed before.

Is that right? Did Brahms see op 119 as a single four movement work?

By the way, it's remarkable that Richter played all four parts of op 119. He very rarely played all the parts of a collection, something which makes me think that he was deliberately out to create an integrated performance.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 24, 2012 5:06:23 AM PST
George says:
Thanks for the tip on Alexeev. I enjoy his Rachmaninov and haven't heard his Brahms.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 25, 2012 1:02:34 PM PST
scarecrow says:
My first Brahms was Julius Katchen; the Scherzo, and the rest of it, the Intermerzzi, Rhapsodies,;later I grew to like Wilhelm Kempf; and Paul Badura Skoda. . . . . then Claudio Arrau, and Richter always;
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Discussion in:  Classical Music forum
Participants:  19
Total posts:  81
Initial post:  Oct 26, 2010
Latest post:  Dec 25, 2012

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