Brüll: Piano works

Review by: David Hurwitz

Artistic Quality: 10

Sound Quality: 10

If you love really good German romantic music, then this disc is a must. Ignaz Brüll’s sonata consists of four beautifully proportioned movements (scherzo second), and it simply oozes Germanic passion–no, it’s not as frightening as it sounds. From the opening “chords of doom” through the passionate initial allegro, you know you’re in for a satisfying ride, and so it proves. Alexandra Oehler never lets the music turn heavy or clunky, as it so obviously can. She’s always pushing the tempo urgently, but never hectically, balancing the music’s turbulence with an intensely lyrical cantabile that pays big dividends not just in the sonata, but in the Romanze and Cavatine that conclude the recital.

The other major work here, the Second Suite, is pure delight. Yes, it’s a bit of a pastiche, but a very well-made one. The concluding “Rondo in the Old Style” pays affectionate tribute to Haydn and (especially) Mozart without ever sounding arch, and that’s no mean achievement. Again, Oehler’s playing is about as accomplished as we have any right to hope, and the sonics capture her liquid tone magnificently. Brüll may not have been a big-name composer, but great music speaks for itself, and he’s at his best here. This is one of the most enjoyable piano recitals to come along in quite some time. Don’t miss it. [8/3/2009]



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Recording Details:

Reference Recording: None

IGNAZ BRÜLL - Piano Sonata in D minor; Suite No. 2; Seven Album-leaves for the Young; Legende; Sarabande; Romanze; Cavatine

  • Alexandra Oehler (piano)
  • CPO - 777 446-2
  • CD

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