REVIEW: Pianist Nada – Brahms: 'Variations on a theme by Paganini', Klavierstücke Op 118, Fantasien Op 116, Sonata No 3 in F minor and more


By Erica Worth

27 May 2021

Pianist editor Erica Worth gives four stars to this Brahms release


Pianist Nada

Brahms: Variations on a theme by Paganini, Klavierstücke Op 118, Fantasien Op 116, Sonata No 3 in F minor and more

MEII Enterprises 6 82131 86689 4
(3CD)

⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

In this fifth and final instalment of Pianist Nada’s traversal of the complete Brahms solo piano music, we find ourselves presented with a varied programme spanning the virtuoso Paganini Variations, the engaging Op 116 and 118 sets of piano pieces and the less frequently heard Chorale Preludes for Organ Op 122 – arranged by the pianist and dispersed cleverly throughout the three-CD album. Pianist Nada offers up Baroque grandeur and elegance in the chorales, with an understanding of the instrument for which they were written.

Enjoy her performance of Brahms Sonata Op 1 in C below.

 

 

The Opus 116 gems are given all the loving care that they need (from the tender No 4 Intermezzo to the turbulent No 7 Capriccio), as are the Op 118 set. And what a treat to hear the feisty No 4 from the Five studies after JS Bach, played with determination and a flowing forward drive. Despite a somewhat muffled recorded sound, there is much here to discover and surprise.