Brahms: Piano Sonata

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This album contains a musical portrait of Johannes Brahms in piano works from his early and later years, presented by Piano Classics, a label of Brilliant Classics.

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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.

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.’

Composer: Johannes Brahms
Artist: Philipp Kopachevsky (piano)

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Piano Sonata No. 3 in F Minor, Op. 5:
00:00:00 I. Allegro maestoso
00:09:52 II. Andante espressivo
00:20:46 III. Scherzo, allegro energico
00:25:35 IV. Intermezzo, andante molto
00:29:17 V. Finale, allegro moderato ma rubato

3 Intermezzi, Op. 117:
00:36:30 I. Andante moderato in E-Flat Major
00:42:11 II. Andante non troppo in B-Flat Minor
00:47:24 III. Andante con moto in C-Sharp Minor

17 Fantasien, Op. 116:
00:54:07 I. Capriccio in D Minor. Presto energico
00:56:29 II. Intermezzo in A Minor. Andante
01:00:27 III. Capriccio in G Minor. Allegro passionate
01:03:32 IV. Intermezzo in E Major. Adagio
01:08:12 V. Intermezzo in E Minor. Andante con grazia ed intimissimo sentiment
01:10:58 VI. Intermezzo in E Major. Andantino teneramente
01:14:05 VII. Capriccio in D Minor. Allegro agitato

6 Klavierstücke, Op. 118:
01:16:17 I. Intermezzo in A Minor. Allegro non assai
01:18:15 II. Intermezzo in A Major. Andante teneramente
01:24:22 III. Ballade in G Minor. Allegro energico
01:27:54 IV. Intermezzo in F Minor. Allegretto un poco agitato
01:30:29 V. Romanze in F Major. Andante
01:34:41 VI. Intermezzo in E-Flat Minor. Andante, largo e mesto

4 Klavierstücke, Op. 119:
01:40:47 I. Intermezzo in B Minor. Adagio
01:44:33 II. Intermezzo in E Minor. Andantino un poco agitato
01:49:25 III. Intermezzo in C Major. Grazioso e giocoso
01:51:09 IV. Rhapsodie in E-Flat Major. Allegro risoluto

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