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Brahms: Sonatas (2) for Clarinet & Piano; 6 Klavierstucke, Op. 118 / Lorenzo Coppola, clarinet; Andreas Staier, piano

Album Summary

>Brahms, Johannes : Sonata for clarinet (or viola) & piano no 1 in F minor, Op. 120/1
>Brahms, Johannes : Pieces (6) for piano, Op. 118
>Brahms, Johannes : Sonata for clarinet (or viola) & piano no 2 in E flat major, Op. 120/2
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The two Clarinet Sonatas, composed in 1894, were Brahms's last chamber works. Knowing that he could count on the virtuosity of their dedicatee, the prodigious clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld (1856-1907), Brahms enthusiastically exploited all the expressive possibilities of the instrument. On this recording, clarinetist Lorenzo Coppola and pianist Andreas Staier find the perfect balance between the technical brilliance and the remarkable range of emotions present in these Autumnal works.

Andrew McGregor, CD Review, 25/04/2015
[Music] you could hear both players exploiting there the intimacy of their two characters as the balance changes. Lorenzo writes persuasively in the notes about the colours moods and characters he hears in the two Brahms sonatas - these would be musically rewarding performances on modern instruments but embracing 19th century technology to such persuasive effect gives it an added dimension.

The Telegraph, April 2015
Lorenzo Coppola has an ample, flexible, bright tone ... there is a wonderful polished sheen to his playing, coupled with a poignant touch in the lyrical slow movements and a rich sonority when the clarinet is in its lowest registers. Musically these are thoroughly engaging performances, injected with fire when appropriate but also retreating into reflective territory where the poise of the clarinet playing is at its most affecting.

Irish Times, April 2015
Staier and Coppola's characterful playing seeks out muted shadings, blends and balances that constantly surprise the ear.

Gramophone Magazine, July 2015
Clashes of personality don't occur between Coppola and Staier. They interpret the texts within a framework of mutually passionate advocacy, rubato expressed through an elasticity of tempo that hews closely to the pulse, clean textures achieved through playing that reflects the timbres of each instrument...Superlatives all round.

BBC Music Magazine, September 2015
The two instruments blend so well that clarinet phrases can sometimes seem to emerge from the piano timbre and dissolve back into it again... the restless changefulness in colour and mood that these players find, especially in the F minor Sonata, certainly invites us to listen afresh.

American Record Guide, September/October 2015
Coppola and Staier present the hues and timbres that Brahms likely heard, their renditions of the Brahms sonatas hardly make sense. The playing is mannered. And while Coppola's cloudy and spread tone may be understandable in the boundaries of his instrument. Staier is an excellent pianist, with the perfect combination of sparkling clarity and prodigious technique for Brahms. The latter is natural, beautiful, and intimate. Readers looking for a solid and "authentic" Op. 118 for their collections will enjoy what Staier has to offer.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Teldex Studio Berlin (10/2013).



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Works Details

>Brahms, Johannes : Sonata for clarinet (or viola) & piano no 1 in F minor, Op. 120/1
  • Performers: Lorenzo Coppola (Clarinet); Andreas Staier (Piano)
  • Running Time: 21 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1894

>Brahms, Johannes : Pieces (6) for piano, Op. 118
  • Performers: Lorenzo Coppola (Clarinet); Andreas Staier (Piano)
  • Running Time: 20 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1892

>Brahms, Johannes : Sonata for clarinet (or viola) & piano no 2 in E flat major, Op. 120/2
  • Performers: Lorenzo Coppola (Clarinet); Andreas Staier (Piano)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1894