Brahms Piano Duets

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"This is an interesting re-release by CRD of recordings made in Israel in 1983 by the long-standing duo pianists Bracha Eden (1928-2006) and Alexander Tamir (born 1931). I believe that the duo started in 1952 and they certainly recorded for Decca in the mid 1960s. So the partnership had been going for 30 years before these lovely recordings were made! I think, on balance, I prefer this pair of recordings to those from Matthies and Koln on Naxos (Brahms - Piano Duet Works, Vol. 1, for example), despite the fact that the latter offer a comprehensive survey of Brahms' piano transcriptions. I find Eden and Tamir a bit more romantic. This 2-CD set contains the Variations on the "St Antoni Chorale" for two pianos, four hands, The 16 Waltzes for one piano, four hands, the Neue Liebeslieder Waltzes for two pianos, four hands, Symphony No.3 for two pianos, four hands and the Variations on a theme by Robert Schumann for one piano, four hands. All have been sparklingly recorded in very good late analogue sound. We have to remember that Brahms earned rather a lot of money from these transcriptions in those long-ago pre-radio and gramophone days and one can imagine them being played by couples around the piano in Vienna, Berlin, and London. Whilst not really a substitute for the orchestral works, we have to remember that few would have heard the full versions in those far-off days. We are truly blessed nowadays with the bountiful riches in the record catalogues! If you are just looking for a selection of these piano transcriptions, this inexpensive CRD set is just the ticket - recommended"-Mr. Mark A. Meldon

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