Brahms: Late Piano Music Opp. 76, 79 & 116-119 / Owen

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Steinway ambassador, Guildhall professor, and cofounder of the London Piano Festival, Charles Owen turns to the late piano works by Johannes Brahms for his latest AVIE release. Within this collection of Capriccios, Rhapsodies and Intermezzi, Charles reveals myriad moods with the composer harking back as well as facing forward- from evocations of Schubert, Schumann and Liszt in the Eight Klavierstucke, Op. 76; winter-like darkness in the two Op. 79 Rhapsodies; Hungarian foot-stomping dance forms in the seven Fantasies that comprise Op. 116; nostalgic contemplation in the Op. 117 Intermezzi; romantic inflections in Op. 118 Klavierstucke which were dedicated to Clara Schumann; and the tonally forward Klavierstucke, Op. 119. “A class above the rest… His performances are underpinned by an unwavering musicality that is enhanced by close attention to the score.” (International Piano) “Exemplary. Classic. Spellbinding. And enthusiastically recommended.” (Fanfare) “Fantastically versatile… he hits the nail on the head… very stylish, very faithful.” (BBC Radio 3 Record Review)

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REVIEW:

In the Op. 117 Owen finds an apt simplicity to its opening number, while the second has a nice gentleness. The third is filled with a tangible sadness, and is nicely inward—altogether more urgent than Jonathan Plowright, who produces one of the most touchingly withdrawn readings on record. In Op. 116 Owen is particularly telling in the A minor Intermezzo, which has a pleasing intimacy, contrasting with the turbulence of the following number and the sonorously beautiful E major Adagio that forms the set’s centrepiece.

The two Op 79 Rhapsodies are another highlight of this set, with Owen conveying the requisite sense of power, surmounting their difficulties with ease and making the much-played G minor very much his own.

– Gramophone


Product Description:


  • Catalog Number: AV2397


  • UPC: 822252239720


  • Label: Avie


  • Composer: Johannes Brahms


  • Performer: Charles Owen