Brahms on the piano, volume 3

2016_cover_icsm008-copyJ. Brahms, Sonata No. 1 Op. 38 for piano and cello, Sonata No. 2 Op. 99 for piano and cello




Jozef Lupták, cello, & Ivo Varbanov, piano


Johannes Brahms often consolidated his mastery of freshly explored domains by writing two examples in a specific genre in quick succession. His output consequently features such complementary couplings as the Piano Quartets Nos. 1 and 2, Opp. 25 and 26; the String Quartets, Opp. 51, Nos. 1 and 2; the Clarinet Trio, Op. 114, and Clarinet Quintet, Op. 115; Six Piano Pieces, Op. 118, and Four Piano Pieces, Op. 119; and, in orchestral music, the Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80, and Tragic Overture, Op. 81.

A notable exception to this trend is provided by the two sonatas for cello, which are separated by some 21 years and reflect the composer’s changing circumstances: the first is the product of a young man serving notice of his scholarship and maturity, whereas the second is the work of an older man writing at the peak of his powers with remarkable vigour and intensity.

Jozef and Ivo long standing friendship, shows in their natural partnership. It is the best possible synergy for this repertoire which requires both a technical command of the instruments and an intelligent Central European chamber music making.