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Brahms: 4 Ballads; Variations on a theme by Paganini / Alessio Bax, piano

Album Summary

>Brahms, Johannes : Ballades (4) for piano, Op. 10
>Brahms, Johannes : Pieces (8) for piano, Op. 76
>Brahms, Johannes : Variations (28) for Piano on a theme by Paganini, Op. 35
>Brahms, Johannes : Hungarian Dance for piano, 4 hands, in G minor, WoO 1/5
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The Italian-born pianist and Leeds competition winner Alessio Bax returns with his third solo recital disc for Signum. His program surveys a selection of highlights from Brahms' pianistic output, charting his development from the early lyrical collection '4 Ballades' (1854) through to the 'eight perfect gems' that are the 8 Klavierstücke Op.76 (1871-78). Bax also tackles Brahms' fiendish set of 'Variations on a Theme of Pagainini, Op.35', which Bax describes in the program notes as one of "the most fearsome works ever written for piano".

American Record Guide, March / April 2013
Bax embraces this music as a natural. This is easily determined after only a few minutes of listening. Given his superb technical ability and the compelling rightness of his phrasing, the first impression in the Ballades is of a pianist more concerned with beauty of sound. There is an ease to this playing that I find most attractive.

BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2012
Bax plays Brahms: Alessio Bax, that is. His Paganini Variations are a bit of a roller-coaster, the Op. 10 Ballades curiously inexpressive. Best is a thoughtful account of the Op. 76 Klavierstücke.

MusicWeb International, January 2013
I relished this recital programme by Alessio Bax from start to finish. Demonstrating such a high level of musicality there is no sense that Bax is distracting focus away from the composer to the soloist. Bax's splendidly assured playing is satisfying and the recording has the benefit of splendid sound quality.

Gramophone Magazine, May 2013
While others struggle to clarify Brahms's potential opacity, Bax makes light of every devilish demand...Signum's sound is excellent and the company is surely blessed to have such an artist on its books.

Pianist Magazine, June/July 2013
His enthusiastic performance of the Paganini Variations is enough to secure him a place among the very best.



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Works Details

>Brahms, Johannes : Ballades (4) for piano, Op. 10
  • Performer: Alessio Bax (Piano)
  • Running Time: 23 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1854

>Brahms, Johannes : Pieces (8) for piano, Op. 76
  • Performer: Alessio Bax (Piano)
  • Running Time: 24 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1871-1878

>Brahms, Johannes : Variations (28) for Piano on a theme by Paganini, Op. 35
  • Performer: Alessio Bax (Piano)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1862-1863

>Brahms, Johannes : Hungarian Dance for piano, 4 hands, in G minor, WoO 1/5
  • Performer: Alessio Bax (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1858-1868