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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great new Brahms recording, 31 May 2012
By 
schumann_bg - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Brahms: Works For Solo Piano Vol 1 (Chandos: CHAN 10716) (Audio CD)
Barry Douglas is a scintillating pianist, one of the truly great virtuosos. I heard him recently breathe new life into Rachmaninov's 2nd piano concerto and it was not an experience I'm likely to forget. He has the most amazing technical resources, but beyond this, and more important, a tremendous feeling that comes across in great waves of emotion. This applies equally to this first instalment of his Brahms cycle, where the power allied to a sense of the architecture of the music would in themselves make the recording worth hearing, but it is what he gets into the notes that fully brings them to life. The pick-and-mix approach is very pleasing, refusing to straightjacket the music by presenting it like a catalogue; and the final Handel Variations have a sense of cumulative exhilaration that makes you think: THIS IS IT!! That rare thing, an experience of the music that is strong enough to make you forget all cares and anxiety and just live totally in the present moment!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life of Brahms, 25 Mar 2014
By 
J. W. Rainey (Belfast, N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brahms: Works For Solo Piano Vol 1 (Chandos: CHAN 10716) (Audio CD)
The running order of tracks on this recording give the impression of a live concert performance, rather than a staid recording session. The beauty of Brahms later pieces steal the show here - Douglas manages to capture the wistful yearning of a comtemplative man looking back on his life with some profound regret - "Frei aber einsam". Brahms later works including his mellow clarinet pieces are to be treasured, and Barry Douglas has allowed us a glimpse into Brahms soul. His Brahms and Schubert recording projects are daunting in their complexity, but I feel sure they will be deeply rewarding.
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