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Paul L. Althouse
American Record Guide, March 2020

This certainly is a fine performance, one I greatly enjoyed…

The Ballades are very nicely done, unhurried and beautifully detailed. The first (‘Edward’) is appropriately grim, the lefthand quasi-pizzicato in the return suggesting (in Vogt’s words) dripping blood! In the second he pedals freely in the outer sections, but here, as well as in the final movements, he lingers and colors the sound, capturing the romantic spirit well. © 2020 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

International Piano, February 2020

Vogt and his players prove as magical as any rival… this newcomer is a fine version. © 2020 International Piano

Hank Zauderer
My Classical Notes, January 2020

Pianist Lars Vogt continues his series of concerto recordings with the Royal Northern Sinfonia with this new recording of Johannes Brahms’ (1833-1897) First Piano Concerto together with Four Ballades (Op. 10) for solo piano. As in previous albums, Lars Vogt conducts from the keyboard.

Brahms’ Four Ballades, Op. 10 are works written in 1854 by a young composer barely in his 20s, yet these pieces are technically mature and profound in such a manner that they could even be compared to his final piano works. © 2020 My Classical Notes Read complete review

Patrick Rucker
Gramophone, January 2020

The music-making is nothing short of sensational.

This is a bold Brahms D minor with immense character, audacious and courageous. It is also perhaps the most sensitive and subtle reading of the score in recent memory. Tempos are spacious and rubato is ample, yet invariably organic. A wealth of seldom-heard orchestral detail emerges, with exquisite wind-playing especially prominent. Nothing is extraneous; every gesture seems bent towards maximum expressivity.

It’s rare to have the pleasure of witnessing a musician mid-career growing by leaps and bounds. Lars Vogt has always been a pianist of remarkable gifts but over the years his artistry has risen in stature in ways one scarcely could have imagined. I suspect that this is Brahms you will treasure in the long term and I urge you not to miss it. © 2020 Gramophone

Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, January 2020

…Lars Vogt scores impressively. The Düren, Germany native celebrates his recent appointment as music director of the Royal Northern Sinfonia at The Sage, Gateshead by playing and conducting Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 15, a really formidable undertaking for a work of such tremendous scope and complexity.

Vogt takes his exploration of the young Brahms, in all his passionate convictions, into his interpretations of the Four Ballades, Op. 10. Moving from the D Minor Concerto to these character pieces results, naturally, in a reduction in form but not, by any means, in emotive power. “They’re genuine dramas in a minature format,” observes Vogt, “but at the same time are actually kept quite simple.” The directness of expression in all four of these pieces is one of their greatest strengths. © 2019 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review

The Classic Review, December 2019

The entire performance is remarkable. © 2019 The Classic Review

The Sunday Times, London, November 2019

Lars Vogt digs deep in the dark Four Ballades, and in the composer’s First Piano Concerto, in D minor, achieves a close rapport with his players. © 2019 The Sunday Times, London

Remy Franck
Pizzicato, November 2019

The Ballads, on the other hand, are magnificently played, well detailed and excitingly transparent. Vogt is a clever narrator. With a healthy mixture of drama and restraint he tells us many things, but not everything. In this way he succeeds in fathoming the mystery, the unspoken of the Ballads. © 2019 Pizzicato Read complete review

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