Brilliant Classics

Brahms: Piano Sonata Op.5, Klavierstucke Op. 116-119

Brahms: Piano Sonata Op.5, Klavierstucke Op. 116-119
Composer Johannes Brahms
Artist Philipp Kopachevsky piano
Format 2 CD
Cat. number PCL10141
EAN code 5029365101417
Release March 2018

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About this release

Philipp Kopachevsky made his Piano Classics debut in 2016 with an ambitious selection of late Scriabin and Liszt, and Bryce Morrison in Gramophone was impressed: ‘haunting in confidentiality… no less powerful in storm and stress… never less than sensitive.’

Now he places those qualities of sensitive pianism at the service of Brahms, with another innovatively programmed album that effectively bookends the composer’s career and with it, the latter course of 19th-century German Romanticism. At one end is the Beethovenian muscularity of the Sonata Op.5, which the 20-year-old Brahms wrote in a white heat of Inspiration following an initial encounter with Clara Schumann that would change the course of his life, personal and professional.

Every bar of the Sonata burns with longing and passion thwarted, even the Andante tellingly prefaced with lines from the Romantic poet Sternau: ‘The twilight falls, the moonlight gleams, two hearts in love unite, embraced in rapture’. Almost four decades later, Brahms signed off as a composer with the more subtle and even playful spirit of a sublimely allusive quartet of opus numbers, the three Intermezzi Op.117, the seven Fantasias Op.116 and the two sets of mixed genre-pieces that make up Opp. 118 and 119.

These demand the most refined command of phrasing and harmony – at points they come closer than any other work of Brahms to casting loose from the anchor of tonality and anticipating the world of Schoenberg, for whom Brahms was an exemplar – and are eminently suited to a pianist such as Kopachevsky who has already proved himself at home in the twilit world of Liszt and Scriabin, in music on the brink of extinction. A richly rewarding release for all lovers of Romantic piano music and another feather in the cap of a superb young pianist. 

This 2-CD set presents a musical portrait of Johannes Brahms in piano works from his early and later years.

The Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor Op. 5 is a masterpiece (strongly admired by Robert Schumann, who called it a “veiled symphony”). Here Brahms is at his most passionate, impulsive  and grandiose, a young hero about to conquer the world. Skipping several decades we enter the world of late Brahms, here the passion is tinged with a sweet melancholy, reflective and resigned. Brahms called his later Klavierstücke “Wiegenlieder meiner Schmerz” (Lullabies of my sorrow).

Young Russian pianist Philipp Kopachevsky’s musical intuition is the key to enter the musical world of Brahms, his quasi improvisatory playing makes the music come to life under his hands. His sound, from a thundering heroism to a murmuring chiaroscuro, touches the listener’s soul directly.

Philipp Kopachevsky is one of the most remarkable pianists of the younger generation. Winner of several international competitions he is in much demand as a soloist, having played with conductors like Rostropovich, Gergiev, Spivakov, Pletnev and many others.

This is Philipp Kopachevsky’s third CD for Piano Classics. His first CD (PCL0084, Liszt/Schubert/Janacek) received rave reviews:

“..a rare discovery…extraordinary talent…a great musician..” Piano World

“..technical mastery and deeply searching musicality…a must…6 Stars..” Piano News Germany

“…Kopachevsky’s hands communicate real musical thought, he adds a touch of intensity to every bar..personal and intriguing…” Fanfare

A return to Piano Classics for one of the most accomplished Russian pianists of his generation.

Philipp Kopachevsky made his Piano Classics debut in 2016 with an ambitious selection of late Scriabin and Liszt, and Bryce Morrison in Gramophone was impressed: ‘haunting in confidentiality… no less powerful in storm and stress… never less than sensitive.’

Listening

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Johannes Brahms: Piano Sonata No. 3 in F Minor, Op. 5: I. Allegro maestoso
  2. Johannes Brahms: Piano Sonata No. 3 in F Minor, Op. 5: II. Andante espressivo
  3. Johannes Brahms: Piano Sonata No. 3 in F Minor, Op. 5: III. Scherzo, allegro energico
  4. Johannes Brahms: Piano Sonata No. 3 in F Minor, Op. 5: IV. Intermezzo, andante molto
  5. Johannes Brahms: Piano Sonata No. 3 in F Minor, Op. 5: V. Finale, allegro moderato ma rubato
  6. Johannes Brahms: 3 Intermezzi, Op. 117: I. Andante moderato in E-Flat Major
  7. Johannes Brahms: 3 Intermezzi, Op. 117: II. Andante non troppo in B-Flat Minor
  8. Johannes Brahms: 3 Intermezzi, Op. 117: III. Andante con moto in C-Sharp Minor

Disk 2

  1. Johannes Brahms: 7 Fantasien, Op. 116: I. Capriccio in D Minor. Presto energico
  2. Johannes Brahms: 7 Fantasien, Op. 116: II. Intermezzo in A Minor. Andante
  3. Johannes Brahms: 7 Fantasien, Op. 116: III. Capriccio in G Minor. Allegro passionate
  4. Johannes Brahms: 7 Fantasien, Op. 116: IV. Intermezzo in E Major. Adagio
  5. Johannes Brahms: 7 Fantasien, Op. 116: V. Intermezzo in E Minor. Andante con grazia ed intimissimo sentiment
  6. Johannes Brahms: 7 Fantasien, Op. 116: VI. Intermezzo in E Major. Andantino teneramente
  7. Johannes Brahms: 7 Fantasien, Op. 116: VII. Capriccio in D Minor. Allegro agitato
  8. Johannes Brahms: 6 Klavierstücke, Op. 118: I. Intermezzo in A Minor. Allegro non assai
  9. Johannes Brahms: 6 Klavierstücke, Op. 118: II. Intermezzo in A Major. Andante teneramente
  10. Johannes Brahms: 6 Klavierstücke, Op. 118: III. Ballade in G Minor. Allegro energico
  11. Johannes Brahms: 6 Klavierstücke, Op. 118: IV. Intermezzo in F Minor. Allegretto un poco agitato
  12. Johannes Brahms: 6 Klavierstücke, Op. 118: V. Romanze in F Major. Andante
  13. Johannes Brahms: 6 Klavierstücke, Op. 118: VI. Intermezzo in E-Flat Minor. Andante, largo e mesto
  14. Johannes Brahms: 4 Klavierstücke, Op. 119: I. Intermezzo in B Minor. Adagio
  15. Johannes Brahms: 4 Klavierstücke, Op. 119: II. Intermezzo in E Minor. Andantino un poco agitato
  16. Johannes Brahms: 4 Klavierstücke, Op. 119: III. Intermezzo in C Major. Grazioso e giocoso
  17. Johannes Brahms: 4 Klavierstücke, Op. 119: IV. Rhapsodie in E-Flat Major. Allegro risoluto