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Brahms: Complete Piano Music Box set, Import


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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Brahms Complete Piano Music Aug. 6 2007
By Amy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Brahms composed an astounding amount of piano music. Variations were a Classical form that long fascinated him. His most famous are The Handel Variations Opus 24, and the difficult Paganini Variations in which he shadowed the style of Liszt. Today this work is often compared with Bach's Goldberg and Beethoven's Diabelli Variations. Some of his shorter works include his Intermezzos,Romanzes, Rhapsodies,Caprices,and Fantasies. To me these are Brahms's most most important and expressive pieces he composed. My favorite pieces are Intermezzo 116 No. 4 and Intermezzo 118 No. 2. He brought these short forms to a new level of eloquence and expression. The first Intermezzo of Opus 118 is the very essence of Brahms's unmistakable sound and complexity in his music. I'll confess, I bought this set to fill the gaps in my piecemeal Brahms cd collection. Martin Jones' playing grows on me, much the same way Brahms music itself does. A word of warning if you are someone who likes pianists who play music slowly and passive. Yes, Martin Jones does play fast, but not always. He's generally fastest in the earlier works, where a case can be made for doing so. This applies to the first 2 sonatas, and the Paganini variations. Why would anything associated with Paganini lack virtuosity? The main thing is,it works. Every track is worth hearing. Martin doesn't put in a bad performance in the whole set.
29 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Worthwhile, especially if you like Brahms Feb. 27 2000
By Mark Swinton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Johannes Brahms was one of the key figures in Romantic Piano Music. His output for the instrument was varied and large, and this four-disc set is ample testament to that output. As it was with their complete Beethoven Sonatas set (by Bernard Roberts), so it it here: Nimbus have enlisted a fine artist with a good command of the piano to record all of Brahms' solo piano music, and whilst I am not a Brahms addict myself, I am sure it will give great pleasure to collectors and serious Brahms fans.
I could offer a critique of all the works on these discs, but it is enough to single out a particular highlight. Martin Jones is particularly stunning with his rendition of the Hungarian Dances (which in their piano solo versions are not easy at all). The recording quality throughout is superb, enhancing the subtleties of Jones' performance.
All in all this is a worthwhile purchase. If anything, it is perfect for discovering Brahms in perhaps his most 'comfortable' genre. I should say that I came across this recording in the course of studying Romantic Piano Music for A-levels, and for that purpose it was invaluable.
4 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Have another performer for same work Aug. 18 2009
By Mr. Carl G. Tuckwell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
While I can't comment on Martin Jones (I have Julius Katchen playing the complete Brahms solo piano works), I can comment on the compositions. There is only one piece I didn't like on CD1 (Ballade Op.10, No.4). (I realise this box set may have different pieces on each CD, so I'll specify the pieces I don't like.) Again, on CD2 there was only one piece: the Scherzo in Ebmin. Op.4. Only one movement from Sonata No.1 (Cmaj. Op.1) and two from Sonata No.2 (F#min. Op.2) weren't 'up to scratch' for my taste. There were only two of the seven Fantasias (Op.116) I didn't like, and only one of the 6 Pieces (Op.118). I think Brahms' Hungarian Dances are the equal of Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies (but it seems that Liszt had the idea first). There are only 3 of the 10 solo piano Hungarian Dances I don't like, and maybe one of the 11 duet Hungarian Dances. Speaking of 'who had the idea first', Brahms' "Variations on a Theme of Paganini" predate Rachmaninov's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" by some 70 years! and are not that different! (I really enjoyed those, just as I equally love Rachmaninov's piano + orchestra piece.) So, the 3-stars rating is a conservative one only because I don't know the pianist.


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