BRAHMS Rhapsodies, Capriccios, Intermezzi; Sonatas Nos 1 & 2 for piano and viola
RECORDS OF THE WEEK Rudolf Firkusny (piano) William Primrose (viola) Recorded 1958-1959 EMI CDM5 66065 2
Friday 04 April 1997
Ten solo selections occupy roughly half the disc, whereas the rest is given over to a pair of melodically effusive sonatas that Brahms originally composed for clarinet but later transcribed for viola. Again, Firkusny relates Brahms's innate melancholy without fuss or exaggeration, while his partner-in-dialogue - William Primrose, the "Heifetz of the Viola" - proves an elegant virtuoso whose expressive tone is ideal for chamber music.
Pearl have recently issued Primrose's more lustrous early recordings (with Gerald Moore and William Kapell), but these stereo re-makes supplement the expected warmth with an extra degree of perception.
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