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The Classical Explorer

Brahms, but Not for Purists!

Naxos 8.554817

Johannes Brahms

String Sextet #1 in B Flat Major, Op. 18 (1860)
String Sextet #2 in G Major, Op. 36 (1865)

Silke-Thora Matthies & Christian Köhn, piano four-hands
Naxos 8.554817 74:35

This is Volume 13 of the Naxos series of releases of Brahms' arrangements for either piano four-hands or for two pianos. So far the traversal has covered many of his works including the symphonies, the concertos, the chamber music for four or more players, and the German Requiem, and a few works by other composers, notably Schumann's Piano Quintet. All are performed by these two fine players: there are 17 CDs in all, of which this is a representative sample.

There are some music lovers who find arrangements of any kind something to avoid, usually citing the composer's intentions. The difference in this case is that the arrangements are by the composer, for the usual reason, to make them accessible to a wider audience. Hearing these familiar works in this guise points up details not always noticed from the originals and refreshes one's interest in the works generally. The whole series is very recommendable indeed.

[ Available on CD: Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe ]