Brahms: Works for Solo Piano, Vol. 3 Barry Douglas
- Johannes Brahms (1833 - 1897): 16 Waltzes, Op. 39:
- 1No. 1 in B Major00:50
- 2No. 2 in E Major01:17
- 3No. 3 in G-Sharp Minor01:05
- 4No. 4 in E Minor01:31
- 5No. 5 in E Major01:10
- 6No. 6 in C-Sharp Major01:03
- 7No. 7 in C-Sharp Minor01:57
- 8No. 8 in B-Flat Major01:23
- 9No. 9 in D Minor01:10
- 10No. 10 in G Major00:34
- 11No. 11 in B Minor01:31
- 12No. 12 in E Major01:24
- 13No. 13 in B Major00:35
- 14No. 14 in G-Sharp Minor01:20
- 15No. 15 in A-Flat Major01:33
- 16No. 16 in C-Sharp Minor01:21
- Theme and Variations in D Minor, Op. 18b:
- 17Theme and Variations in D Minor, Op. 18b10:57
- 4 Piano Pieces, Op. 119:
- 18No. 1, Intermezzo in B Minor03:00
- 19No. 3, Intermezzo in C Major01:51
- 7 Fantasien, Op. 116:
- 20No. 5, Intermezzo in E Minor03:10
- Piano Sonata No. 2 in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 2:
- 21I. Allegro non troppo, ma energico06:12
- 22II. Andante con espressione06:19
- 23III. Scherzo. Allegro03:58
- 24IV. Finale. Sostenuto - Allegro non troppo e rubato12:04
Info for Brahms: Works for Solo Piano, Vol. 3
Barry Douglas returns for the highly anticipated third volume in his series devoted to Brahms's solo piano music, the first two volumes having been met with widespread critical acclaim. Of Vol. 2, International Record Review wrote, 'this is indeed Brahms playing of the utmost integrity and authority... this cycle looks set to become a benchmark'.
The selected Intermezzi performed here come from the collections of short piano pieces which Brahms published in 1892 93, his last works for piano. A sense of wistful, melancholic reflection pervades these exquisitely crafted masterpieces of Brahms's late maturity.
Composed at the other end of his life, at the age of twenty, the Piano Sonata in F sharp minor is full of a youthful, strident energy. It was among the pieces that, when he heard them privately, convinced Robert Schumann of Brahms's genius. It was dedicated to Robert's wife, Clara, who was to remain a key figure in Brahms's life. Indeed it was Clara who, having heard the movement, begged Brahms for a piano transcription of the noble Andante from the String Sextet in B flat major, the Theme with Variations in D minor heard here.
Brahms's set of sixteen Waltzes, Op. 39 were originally conceived for piano four hands and were arranged, by popular demand, for solo piano soon after, in 1867. They capture the sense of joyful abandon often associated with the genre but their romanticism and nostalgia are uniquely Brahmsian.
"Barry Douglas has reached the third volume of his survey of Brahms's piano works, continuing his mix-and-match policy of bringing together pieces from all periods of the composer's output, often as incomplete works. The latest collection includes a sequence of late intermezzos the first and third from the four pieces of Op 119, followed by the fifth of Op 116 but the rest of the disc does consist of three complete works as Brahms published them: the Sonata in F sharp minor Op 2, the 16 Waltzes of Op 39 and the set of D minor Variations, one of the greatest of all Brahms early inspirations, which is better known as the second movement of the Op 18 String Sextet. The performances are generally first-rate, with a real Brahmsian mix of toughness and slightly gruff charm about them; Douglas is at his best in the early Sonata, but his account of the jewel-like intermezzos Clara Schumann described the first of Op 119 as a grey pearl are most subtlely coloured too." (Guardian)
"This is indeed Brahms playing of the utmost integrity and authority. IRR, Dec'14 /// The youthful op2 Sonata finds Douglas on excellent form, standing tall in the light pf his main rival (Richter). The Chandos recording is top notch, enabling granitic chords and trill-encrusted lines alike to shine." (International Piano)
"Outstandingly recorded and presented, this is a fine addition to Brahms, to music which in such hands leaves you a different person." (Gramophone)
Barry Douglas, piano
has established a major international career since winning the Gold Medal at the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, Moscow. As Artistic Director of Camerata Ireland and the Clandeboye Festival, he continues to celebrate his Irish heritage whilst also maintaining a busy international touring schedule.
Barry Douglas Picture 2015Barry opened the 17/18 season performing Tchaikovsky with the Halle Orchestra, after which he began new collaborations with both the Endellion String Quartet and the Borodin Quartet. He toured in recital in the UK and USA and performed with orchestras across the globe from Canada to Europe to China to Russia. During the 16/17 season Barry performed two full Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto cycles in Ireland with the RTE Orchestra in Dublin and the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast. He also gave performances of Tchaikovsky’s first Piano Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra, and opened the St. Petersburg Philharmonic’s concert season, all marking the 30th anniversary of his Tchaikovsky International Competition win.
Other recent and future highlights include performances at BBC Proms in the Park with the Ulster Orchestra, a UK tour with the Russian State Symphony Orchestra, and appearances with Orchestre de Auvergne, Barcelona Symphony, Bogota Philharmonic and Vancouver Symphony orchestras. He also recently gave the premiere of Kevin Volans’ fourth piano concerto with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, and performed in recital at the Verbier Festival.
He has previously given concerts with the BBC Scottish Symphony, London Symphony, Russian National, Cincinnati Symphony, Singapore Symphony, Berlin Radio Symphony, Staatskapelle, Halle, Orchestre National de France, Seattle Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Hong Kong Philharmonic orchestras, among others. Barry regularly plays in recitals throughout the world, with recent performances in the UK, the Netherlands, Armenia, Mexico, China and the US.
Barry is an exclusive Chandos recording artist. He recently completed recording the full works for solo piano of Brahms, the six albums of which have received much critical praise. International Record Review wrote that “this is indeed Brahms playing of the utmost integrity and authority… this cycle looks set to become a benchmark version.” The interesting programming of each disc presents each album as a stand-alone recital, providing a varied and engaging listening experience. His current recording project focusses on the solo piano works of Schubert; the fourth and final disc will be released next season. Last season he also began a new series, recording Tchaikovsky solo piano music. Also with Chandos Barry is exploring Irish folk music through his own arrangements, working with ancient melodies through to pieces by contemporary song writers. The first in this series, Celtic Reflections, was released in September 2014 and was followed in 2016 by a second disc: Celtic Airs.
In 1999 Barry Douglas founded the chamber orchestra Camerata Ireland to celebrate and nurture the very best of young musicians from both Northern and the Republic of Ireland. In addition to striving for musical excellence, one of the orchestra’s aims is to further the peace process in Ireland by promoting dialogue and collaboration through its musical education programmes. Barry regularly tours with Camerata Ireland throughout the world and visited the US in the spring of 2018. Highlights of past seasons were Camerata Ireland’s debut at the BBC Proms in London and a world premiere of a new cantata commissioned by The Honourable The Irish Society, “At Sixes and Sevens”, alongside the London Symphony Orchestra to celebrate Derry-Londonderry becoming City of Culture 2013. Barry Douglas received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2002 New Year’s Honours List for services to music.