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Piano Works

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Product Details

  • Performer: Alexandra Oehler
  • Composer: Brull Ignaz
  • Audio CD (Aug. 25 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Cpo
  • ASIN: B002CAOW1E
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #306,853 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa31faa80) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3436654) out of 5 stars Good Stuff!! April 21 2013
By Boomer49 - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Flowingly romantic era music performed soildly makes you want more from this relativly unkown composer. Nothing extraordinary here, just good melodic piano music. It is delightful to listen to time after time. A super buy!
HASH(0xa320df90) out of 5 stars 3.5 stars – Immaculate Performances of Uneven Schumannesque Piano Music May 25 2016
By Hexameron - Published on Amazon.com
At one point Ignaz Brüll (1846-1907) was a shining star in the musical firmament of the 19th century, highly regarded for his pianism and enjoying some celebrity for his opera Das goldene Kreuz. He belonged to the Brahms circle and yet rarely absorbed influences beyond Mendelssohn and Schumann. It is certainly Schumann (and perhaps early Brahms) who informs the Piano Sonata in D minor (1894), the finest work on this disc. Things begin auspiciously with a serious “Moderato,” notable for somber bass writing, busy figurations, and a contrapuntal development section. Next is a frolicking but rather standard “Scherzo,” followed by an earnest and reflective “Andante” where Brüll shows off his lyrical vein. The best characteristics of Schumann appear in the finale: a flowing and dramatic rondo with stormy episodes, swirls of diminished and minor chords, mollified by the occasional ray of sunshine.

The Suite No. 2 in D major (1894) is structured like a sonata with its intermediary scherzo and a concluding rondo. Most of the writing harkens back to Schubert and Mendelssohn, but too few of its ideas made an impression on me. There’s a sober arpeggiated “Praludium,” a rhythmically lively and insistent “Scherzo,” and a graceful rondo ‘in the old style’ which emulates Haydn. My attention was held by the “Quasi Variazioni” movement with its variety of moods and a theme faintly resembling “Auld Lang Syne.” The Suite No. 3 in A minor (1896) adheres to a more traditional formal structure and only two selections from it are recorded here: “Legende” is a tender nature piece and the “Sarabande” is a solemn and elaborated hymn. Neither are particularly strong. A little more impassioned bite appears in the “Cavatine” from the Suite No. 4, which has some edgier expression and interesting harmony.

I cannot help but hear watered-down Schumann in the Albumblatter fur die Jugend (1879). This cycle of seven easy pieces is probably enjoyable to play, but concentrated listening is rarely rewarded. A majority of the pieces are rustic and cheerful dances with pastoral droning effects.

Since first hearing Alexandra Oehler in the magisterial recording of Teresa Carreno’s piano music, I have been enthralled by her playing. Here she doesn’t let me down either. Her performances are sensitive, impeccable, sincere, and as good as it gets with this kind of literature.

Bottom line: Brüll’s talents as a composer are better demonstrated in his piano concertos, which I recommend instead of this disc. His noble Piano Sonata does stand out, but the remaining pieces are uneven and strike me as generic Romantic miniatures. If you’re seeking good lesser-known German Romantic piano music, you might want to explore Schuncke, Burgmüller, and Herzogenberg.