Claudio Records has what promises to be a winning series here, since this exceptionally satisfying CD is described as a First Volume of Brahms' piano works. Romain Descharmes is not yet thirty and has notched up some significant Competition prizes, including the 2006 AXA, which presumably have helped him to win high praise in New York and London, as well as in both China and Japan.
What this recording shows, however, is an artist who has learned to use a well disciplined technique to enable him to communicate true musicianship. For both these works, the first a relatively early but seriously considered Sonata cast in the challenging key of F minor, and the collation of six deceptively individual pieces, four Intermezzi embracing an evocative Ballade and an expressive Romanze, are gems. With his six Klavierstücke, the composer knew that they would all gain from being ingested as a whole meal, although capable of existing alone from time to time, or even occasionally in new company.
Descharmes understands that many of his CD listeners know and love this music and he also knows that what he has gleaned from studying them has given him new facets of interpreting Brahms' writing which it is his need to share. Which is exactly what he has done and Claudio have brilliantly put on disc.
Denby Richards - MO Magazine

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