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Naxos Recording of Brahms’s Handel Variations Named an ‘Essential Recording’

March 8, 2009

Julian Haycock writing in BBC Music Magazine’s March 2009 issue has nominated Jenö Jandó’s recording for Naxos of Brahms’s Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Handel as the essential recording of this masterpiece of Romantic piano literature:

‘Combining the polyphonic majesty of Bach with the physicality of Beethoven and Schumann’s poetic flair, Brahms’s Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Handel provided him with a career triumph. Even Wagner (never a great Brahms fan) conceded that the work showed ‘what could be done with the old forms’. Dating from 1861 and intended as a birthday gift for Clara Schumann, this variation powerhouse is taken from Handel’s Suite in B flat HWV434, on which the earlier composer had himself written a charming set of five variations. Brahms’s 25 variations embrace a wealth of musical styles, such as a Siciliana and a ‘music-box’ Musette, climaxing in a devastating fugue.’

BRAHMS: Rhapsodies Op 79, Waltzes Op 39, Intermezzi Op 117, Variations and Fugue
on a Theme of Handel Op 24


Jenö Jandó has long been a star among Naxos recording artists. His extraordinary Naxos discography includes the highly acclaimed Complete Piano Sonatas of Haydn.

HAYDN: Complete Piano Sonatas (10 CD Box set)

‘The sound of these discs is uniformly excellent with the Naxos engineers providing a rich, full tone to the piano. They avoid the dryness and close-miking that often accompanies piano recordings, allowing a natural bloom to envelop the instrument and surrounding it with a softly resonant space. The ear never tires as it is gently massaged by this acoustic warmth.’ – Audiophile Audition

Jenö Jandó Biography & Discography


Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group