Franz Schubert: Works for Solo Piano
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His Brahms series being now complete in six volumes and widely praised, Barry Douglas continues his exploration of Schubert's piano music. The romantic, personal outlook developed in the course of the Brahms survey is fully expressed in this new Schubert volume: deeply characteristic works written in the nostalgic, yet prolific last years of the composer's short life. Throughout, Barry Douglas probes the romantic aspirations of Schubert's writing, whether in the intimate melodies and contrasts of the impromptus, or in the monumental Sonata in A, the extraordinary range and technical challenges of which call for the virtuosity of the interpreter while plunging the listener into the illness, pain, and hope of the composer's final years. Celebrating the thirtieth anniversary in 2016 of his winning the Tchaikovsky competition, Barry Douglas continues touring the most prestigious venues around the world and regularly appearing in renowned festivals in Europe.
Top Customer Reviews
Throughout the whole album, Barry plays the solo piano works by Brahms greatly expressing Brahms’ tenderness, fierceness and melancholy so splendidly. I adored this album and look forward to more recordings by Mr. Douglas playing solo piano works by Brahms.
What follows are various pieces from Opp. 116/117/118/119, the very last piano pieces Brahms wrote. The Ballade Op. 118, No. 3, couldn't be more different in tone from its earlier namesakes. It is sprightly, boisterous, yet lyrical. The Intermezzo, Op. 117, No. 2 unfolds graciously, songfully. But it is followed by the E Flat Rhapsody from Op. 119, bold and declarative. Then we get two Intermezzi from Op. 116, Nos. 2 & 6: gentle, musing, a little melancholy. The disc ends with a magnificent performance of the early Sonata No. 3 with its mixture of big dramatic moments, tender lyricism and, for its time, intriguingly Wagnerian harmonies (particularly in the second movement).
This is definitely a Brahms recording to treasure. For the last couple of days I've played it about five times and it doesn't seem to want to let me listen to anything else.