Alessio Bax

Alessio Bax Plays Brahms

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AllMusic Review by

For his 2012 release on Signum Classics, Alessio Bax presents a well-rounded program of Brahms' piano music that reveals a wide range of expressions and techniques. Bax begins with the 4 Ballades, Op. 10, which are for the most part subdued and introspective in moods reminiscent of Chopin, and he continues in the same quiet vein with the 8 Klavierstucke, Op. 76, a set of Capriccios and Intermezzos that reflect Brahms' intensely lyrical style. In sharp contrast, the two books of Variations on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 35, are flamboyant pieces that give Bax a chance to display more than his gifts of smooth phrasing and legato playing. Instead, these fantastic variations on Paganini's famous Caprice in A minor let him show off his prodigious skills in a brilliant tour de force. In conclusion, Bax offers up a high-voltage performance of the Hungarian Dance No. 5, which was arranged by Hungarian pianist György Cziffra and given addition fireworks by Bax. Signum's reproduction is generally clear and focused, though the sound is a little dry at times and the microphone is perhaps too close to the piano.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
4 Ballades, Op. 10
1 4:21
2 6:19
3 3:39
4 9:14
8 Klavierstucke, Op. 76
5 3:39
6 3:21
7 2:13
8 1:56
9 3:02
10 4:41
11 2:56
12 3:58
Variations on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 35
13 0:24
14 0:22
15 0:24
16 0:27
17 0:52
18 0:45
19 0:22
20 0:23
21 0:21
22 1:12
23 1:17
24 1:16
25 1:03
26 0:29
27 1:41
28 0:47
29 0:34
30 0:34
31 0:45
32 0:21
33 0:20
34 0:18
35 0:31
36 0:49
37 0:40
38 0:27
39 1:25
40 0:47
41 1:16
42 3:42
blue highlight denotes track pick