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Jonathan Plowright - Johannes Brahms: Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol.3 (2016)

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Jonathan Plowright - Johannes Brahms: Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol.3 (2016)

Jonathan Plowright - Johannes Brahms: Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol.3 (2016)
Variations, Op.21 No.2; Piano Pieces, Opp.76 & 118; Waltzes, Op.39

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 217 Mb | Artwork included
Genre: Classical | Label: BIS | # BIS-SACD-2127 | 01:21:20

Critical acclaim for Jonathan Plowright's two previous discs in his series of Brahms’s works for solo piano includes distinctions such as ‘10/10’ on the website Classics Today and top marks in Diapason as well as ‘Instrumental Choice of the Month’ in BBC Music Magazine. On his third disc Plowright presents the listener with two seemingly contradictory aspects of Johannes Brahms: the deeply serious, emotionally charged, but also meticulously constructed late Piano Pieces of Op. 118 and their precursor Op. 76 appear side by side with the unapologetic extroversion and scintillating verve of most (if not all) of the 16 Waltzes Op. 39, and the flamboyant Variations on a Hungarian Melody. Brahms’s fascination with Hungarian gypsy music stemmed from his friendship with the violinist Eduard Reményi, and found an outlet in several works, among which the Hungarian Dances are probably the most famous. The composer was also a friend and admirer of Johann Strauss II, and in his Op. 39 trespassed – with great success – into the domains of Vienna's 'Waltz King'. It is tempting to think that Brahms early experience as a pianist in taverns and restaurants induced him to compose this sophisticated light music, but there were also commercial reasons: he composed the waltzes for piano four hands and subsequently made no less than two arrangements for solo piano of the entire set.

Jonathan Plowright - Johannes Brahms: Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol.3 (2016)


Jonathan Plowright’s complete Brahms piano music for BIS, inaugurated in 2013, has now reached Vol 3, with all its intelligence, subtlety and power in full blossom. Other pianists – Leon McCawley, Stephen Hough and Andreas Haefliger among them – have hinted at a new direction, or perhaps a restoration, in Brahms interpretation. Plowright, in his original, thoughtful way, leads the pack. Thick, muddy textures awash in pedal (sounds patently unachievable on the latest pianos Brahms knew) and leaden tempi so characteristic of the mid-20th-century approach to this music are rapidly and happily becoming things of the past.

One thing that makes Plowright’s interpretations so compelling is that they sound totally fresh, as though a fully formed, cultured musician, unencumbered by conventional approaches or received wisdom, took up these scores for the first time in maturity. The results are often unexpected, yet always apt and never less than convincing.

The B minor Capriccio (Op 76 No 2) is unrushed, diffident, as though confiding its drolleries in a whisper. The robust C sharp minor Capriccio (No 5), with its swaggering cross-rhythms and passionate assertions, creates a miniature epic. It’s difficult to think of another performance that delineates the mercurial mood-swings of the C major Capriccio (No 8) with greater finesse and insight.

Delicacy and heartfelt sentiment characterise the gracious A major Intermezzo (Op 118 No 2), illustrating Plowright’s gift for evoking sentiment without sentimentality. The story told in the G minor Ballade (No 3) is filled with lean, mean, no-nonsense resolve, while the much-belaboured E flat minor Intermezzo (No 6) emerges here unequivocally powerful, its eloquence partly due to secco staccatos and crystalline textures.

The Waltzes, Op 39, for all their unfettered ebullience, present the same wealth of detail that characterises Opp 76 and 118. The Variations on a Hungarian Melody provide a charming overture to the programme. I have a feeling this is going to be the benchmark Brahms survey for some time to come.

Review by Patrick Rucker, Gramophone

This third volume in Jonathan Plowright’s series of recordings of Brahms’s piano works lives up to the high promise of the first two, and it opens with an early work which is rarely played and little esteemed. Brahms was only 20 when he composed his Variations on a Hungarian Melody, and though they seem perfunctory in comparison with the music that was to come, they do have his hallmarks: the textures and turns of phrase are already there, as is the expressive economy and bursting invention.

Plowright dispatches these with brisk clarity before getting down to business with the Op. 76 piano pieces, which he presents as though they are a single monologue in subtly varied pastel hues. Until leading us out into bright sunlight with the final Capriccio, he keeps us in a subdued and understated realm; the second Capriccio is delivered with delicacy and at an unusually gentle pace, while the architecture of the A major Intermezzo is lovingly delineated.

Plowright’s pacing of the waltzes is masterly, his articulation is pellucid, and his touch poetically suggestive. No. 7 is not milked for emotion, and No. 15 is shorn of its hackneyed associations and made quite matter-of-fact, while No. 8 is played without pedal, thus emphasising its odd little lilt; No. 12 feels enigmatic.

The masterpieces of Op. 118 are delivered with fiery splendour. The first Intermezzo comes at us in tempestuous waves, and we are then taken through a series of dreamscapes. The final Intermezzo begins with a faint cry from a rocky crag which is answered by a rumble from the depths below; Plowright’s account of this supremely mysterious miniature is majestic.

Review by Michael Church, BBC Music Magazine 5/5

Jonathan Plowright - Johannes Brahms: Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol.3 (2016)



Jonathan Plowright - Johannes Brahms: Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol.3 (2016)



Tracklist:

Variations on a Hungarian Melody, Op.21 No.2
01. Thema (0:19)
02. Variation I (0:17)
03. Variation II (0:17)
04. Variation III (0:15)
05. Variation IV (0:18)
06. Variation V (0:22)
07. Variation VI (0:21)
08. Variation VII (0:31)
09. Variation VIII (0:42)
10. Variation IX (0:30)
11. Variation X (0:19)
12. Variation XI (0:18)
13. Variation XII (0:17)
14. Variation XIII (0:22)
15. Allegro (il doppio movimento) … (2:48)

Piano Pieces, Op.76
16. 1. Capriccio in F sharp minor (3:48)
17. 2. Capriccio in B minor (3:52)
18. 3. Intermezzo in A flat major (2:49)
19. 4. Intermezzo in B flat major (1:55)
20. 5. Capriccio in C sharp minor (3:00)
21. 6. Intermezzo in A major (4:12)
22. 7. Intermezzo in A minor (4:13)
23. 8. Capriccio in C major (3:56)

Waltzes, Op.39
24. No.1 in B major (0:47)
25. No.2 in E major (1:15)
26. No.3 in G sharp minor (0:46)
27. No.4 in E minor (1:14)
28. No.5 in E major (1:38)
29. No.6 in C sharp major (0:57)
30. No.7 in C sharp minor (2:26)
31. No.8 in B flat major (1:25)
32. No.9 in D minor (1:15)
33. No.10 in G major (0:32)
34. No.11 in B minor (1:17)
35. No.12 in E major (2:31)
36. No.13 in B major (0:38)
37. No.14 in G sharp minor (1:20)
38. No.15 in A flat major (1:16)
39. No.16 in C sharp minor (1:07)

Piano Pieces, Op.118
40. 1. Intermezzo in A minor (1:50)
41. 2. Intermezzo in A major (6:40)
42. 3. Ballade in G minor (3:32)
43. 4. Intermezzo in F minor (2:29)
44. 5. Romance in F major (4:31)
45. 6. Intermezzo in E flat minor (6:10)


Exact Audio Copy V1.1 from 23. June 2015

EAC extraction logfile from 23. March 2016, 8:41

Jonathan Plowright / Brahms - Variations, Op.21 No.2; Piano Pieces, Opp.76 & 118; Waltzes, Op.39

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Delete leading and trailing silent blocks : No
Null samples used in CRC calculations : Yes
Used interface : Native Win32 interface for Win NT & 2000

Used output format : User Defined Encoder
Selected bitrate : 128 kBit/s
Quality : High
Add ID3 tag : No
Command line compressor : C:\Program Files (x86)\Exact Audio Copy\Flac\flac.exe
Additional command line options : -V -8 -T "Date=%year%" -T "Genre=%genre%" %source%


TOC of the extracted CD

Track | Start | Length | Start sector | End sector
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––-
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2 | 0:18.51 | 0:17.16 | 1401 | 2691
3 | 0:35.67 | 0:16.55 | 2692 | 3946
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23 | 31:45.37 | 3:56.29 | 142912 | 160640
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25 | 36:29.21 | 1:15.18 | 164196 | 169838
26 | 37:44.39 | 0:46.09 | 169839 | 173297
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31 | 44:46.21 | 1:24.69 | 201471 | 207839
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37 | 52:24.03 | 1:20.08 | 235803 | 241810
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39 | 54:59.60 | 1:07.15 | 247485 | 252524
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41 | 57:57.32 | 6:39.48 | 260807 | 290779
42 | 64:37.05 | 3:32.07 | 290780 | 306686
43 | 68:09.12 | 2:29.22 | 306687 | 317883
44 | 70:38.34 | 4:31.28 | 317884 | 338236
45 | 75:09.62 | 6:10.07 | 338237 | 365993


Range status and errors

Selected range

Filename C:\temp\BIS-SACD-2127 - Brahms - Variations, Op.21 No.2; Piano Pieces, Opp.76 & 118; Waltzes, Op.39\Brahms - Variations, Op.21 No.2; Piano Pieces, Opp.76 & 118; Waltzes, Op.39.wav

Peak level 95.3 %
Extraction speed 2.3 X
Range quality 100.0 %
Test CRC 6C5C72D9
Copy CRC 6C5C72D9
Copy OK

No errors occurred


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==== Log checksum E64257C9E859150EF41F7F82FEB1B9C5146098C2ABC5E6E074AEC27C7F4D44B8 ====

foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2017-04-20 04:25:49

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Analyzed: Jonathan Plowright / Brahms - Variations, Op.21 No.2; Piano Pieces, Opp.76 & 118; Waltzes, Op.39
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR11 -4.33 dB -18.86 dB 0:19 01-Variations on a Hungarian Melody, Op.21 No.2 - Thema
DR12 -1.51 dB -15.93 dB 0:17 02-Variations on a Hungarian Melody, Op.21 No.2 - Variation I
DR11 -12.20 dB -27.21 dB 0:17 03-Variations on a Hungarian Melody, Op.21 No.2 - Variation II
DR6 -6.53 dB -23.00 dB 0:15 04-Variations on a Hungarian Melody, Op.21 No.2 - Variation III
DR12 -1.80 dB -15.97 dB 0:18 05-Variations on a Hungarian Melody, Op.21 No.2 - Variation IV
DR11 -12.58 dB -29.28 dB 0:22 06-Variations on a Hungarian Melody, Op.21 No.2 - Variation V
DR11 -3.86 dB -19.24 dB 0:21 07-Variations on a Hungarian Melody, Op.21 No.2 - Variation VI
DR9 -19.33 dB -37.61 dB 0:31 08-Variations on a Hungarian Melody, Op.21 No.2 - Variation VII
DR10 -19.13 dB -34.76 dB 0:42 09-Variations on a Hungarian Melody, Op.21 No.2 - Variation VIII
DR11 -14.19 dB -31.74 dB 0:30 10-Variations on a Hungarian Melody, Op.21 No.2 - Variation IX
DR9 -20.23 dB -33.58 dB 0:19 11-Variations on a Hungarian Melody, Op.21 No.2 - Variation X
DR9 -11.44 dB -26.86 dB 0:18 12-Variations on a Hungarian Melody, Op.21 No.2 - Variation XI
DR10 -3.58 dB -17.43 dB 0:17 13-Variations on a Hungarian Melody, Op.21 No.2 - Variation XII
DR11 -3.51 dB -18.49 dB 0:22 14-Variations on a Hungarian Melody, Op.21 No.2 - Variation XIII
DR12 -0.51 dB -18.35 dB 2:48 15-Variations on a Hungarian Melody, Op.21 No.2 - Allegro (il doppio movimento) …
DR14 -4.42 dB -24.96 dB 3:48 16-Piano Pieces, Op.76 - 1. Capriccio in F sharp minor
DR14 -10.71 dB -29.93 dB 3:52 17-Piano Pieces, Op.76 - 2. Capriccio in B minor
DR13 -14.16 dB -34.18 dB 2:49 18-Piano Pieces, Op.76 - 3. Intermezzo in A flat major
DR12 -11.05 dB -28.73 dB 1:55 19-Piano Pieces, Op.76 - 4. Intermezzo in B flat major
DR13 -0.42 dB -19.46 dB 3:00 20-Piano Pieces, Op.76 - 5. Capriccio in C sharp minor
DR13 -8.49 dB -27.78 dB 4:12 21-Piano Pieces, Op.76 - 6. Intermezzo in A major
DR14 -12.50 dB -30.88 dB 4:13 22-Piano Pieces, Op.76 - 7. Intermezzo in A minor
DR14 -0.68 dB -22.32 dB 3:56 23-Piano Pieces, Op.76 - 8. Capriccio in C major
DR12 -3.68 dB -19.67 dB 0:47 24-Waltzes, Op.39 - No.1 in B major
DR11 -11.42 dB -26.54 dB 1:15 25-Waltzes, Op.39 - No.2 in E major
DR10 -13.97 dB -29.65 dB 0:46 26-Waltzes, Op.39 - No.3 in G sharp minor
DR11 -2.86 dB -18.10 dB 1:14 27-Waltzes, Op.39 - No.4 in E minor
DR12 -9.67 dB -29.53 dB 1:38 28-Waltzes, Op.39 - No.5 in E major
DR13 -7.71 dB -24.92 dB 0:57 29-Waltzes, Op.39 - No.6 in C sharp major
DR15 -7.75 dB -29.37 dB 2:26 30-Waltzes, Op.39 - No.7 in C sharp minor
DR14 -11.69 dB -33.18 dB 1:25 31-Waltzes, Op.39 - No.8 in B flat major
DR13 -12.60 dB -32.92 dB 1:15 32-Waltzes, Op.39 - No.9 in D minor
DR12 -11.43 dB -26.05 dB 0:32 33-Waltzes, Op.39 - No.10 in G major
DR12 -4.56 dB -23.58 dB 1:17 34-Waltzes, Op.39 - No.11 in B minor
DR14 -8.56 dB -29.12 dB 2:31 35-Waltzes, Op.39 - No.12 in E major
DR13 -2.76 dB -18.37 dB 0:38 36-Waltzes, Op.39 - No.13 in B major
DR12 -1.13 dB -18.66 dB 1:20 37-Waltzes, Op.39 - No.14 in G sharp minor
DR12 -12.47 dB -29.04 dB 1:16 38-Waltzes, Op.39 - No.15 in A flat major
DR11 -13.02 dB -29.68 dB 1:07 39-Waltzes, Op.39 - No.16 in C sharp minor
DR12 -2.52 dB -20.16 dB 1:50 40-Piano Pieces, Op.118 - 1. Intermezzo in A minor
DR14 -9.40 dB -30.61 dB 6:40 41-Piano Pieces, Op.118 - 2. Intermezzo in A major
DR13 -2.11 dB -21.49 dB 3:32 42-Piano Pieces, Op.118 - 3. Ballade in G minor
DR12 -4.73 dB -23.29 dB 2:29 43-Piano Pieces, Op.118 - 4. Intermezzo in F minor
DR15 -11.94 dB -32.54 dB 4:31 44-Piano Pieces, Op.118 - 5. Romance in F major
DR15 -0.81 dB -23.59 dB 6:10 45-Piano Pieces, Op.118 - 6. Intermezzo in E flat minor
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 45
Official DR value: DR12

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 370 kbps
Codec: FLAC
================================================================================

Jonathan Plowright - Johannes Brahms: Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol.3 (2016)

All thanks to original releaser - A-Z

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