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Johannes Brahms: Glenn Gould 10 Intermezzi For Piano


If you mainly connect the name Brahms with opulent symphonies, passionate concertos and weighty piano music, you will be in for a big surprise when you listen to the Intermezzi op. 117. The music critic Eduard Hanslick talks of a more restrained, detached style and clearly means the calm, simple and immensely expressive flowing melodies, which characterize the late piano music of this Romantic composer.

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Just how sensitively the performer must tackle these precious miniatures is described by
Clara Schumann with the words »… the intellectual technique in them demands a fine
comprehension and one must be very familiar with Brahms to play them as Brahms
had imagined them«.
When it comes to Brahms, Glenn Gould – famous for his analytically strict and emphatic interpretation of Bach’s keyboard works – proves himself to be a true poet and
thinker at the keyboard. Driven by the melancholy force, his thoughts find their way,
sometimes hesitantly, then moving on with a deep breath, as it were, to the next deceleration.
In op. 118 no. 1 the Canadian pianist begins with a passion that wrests expansive cascades of sound from the keyboard, then finds his way back to introvert mellifluous
tones (op. 118 no. 2) and increases the drama in the will-o’-the-wispish and futile attempts to come to a redemptory final cadence (op. 118 no. 6). It would be hard to find
a more closely-knit and intense rendering than on the present recording.

1 LP / standard sleeve

– Intermezzi op. 76 no. 6 in A major, no. 7 in A minor
– Intermezzo op. 116 no. 4 in E major
– Intermezzi op. 117 no. 1 in B-flat major, no. 2 in B-flat minor, no. 3 in
C-sharp minor
– Intermezzi op. 118 No. 1 in A minor, No. 2 in A major, No. 6 in E-flat
– Intermezzo op. 119 No. 1 in B minor


Additional information

Weight 0.480 kg
Dimensions 32.0 × 32.0 × 2.0 cm