Lupu's playing instantly strikes you as unassuming and purely musical. There is no virtuosity for its own sake, rather one detects a profound sensitivity (heard in the pianists incredible pianissimo and phrasing) and respect for the music.
So many of the Brahms Intermezzi, especially from Opus. 117, require voicing (bringing out one note in a chord above the others), and Lupu is nothing short of amazing in the way he brings out melodies and gives the music a deserving sense of depth and texture.
I highly recomend this cd. Overall, Lupu's playing does full justice to Brahms' complex music. It is nuanced, sensitive, and extremely profound. I confess I have a bias towards people like Lupu. While I like the showy pianists as well, they are often ill suited to play composers like Brahms. But Lupu seems perfectly at home with him and all the unique difficulties his music contains.
A little imperfection in sound quality is nothing compared to the quality of the music you will get on this cd.
Some have called Lupu a poet, or even an holy man of the piano, and I must agree with them. If you hear this cd, you probably will too. This cd is a must if you love music.