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Lebanese pianist Nada Loutfi was trained in Paris before moving to the States. The Yamaha instrument here is caught in a rather bright-toned recording which takes the music away from the characteristic warmth associated with Brahms. There is also some loss of bass definition. Yet there is no doubting Nada’s resonance with Brahms’ writing: she explores the quicksilver Variations on a Hungarian Theme with aplomb, and finds dignity in the Bach/Brahms Chaconne, the Baroque gestures beautifully melding with the more Romantic pedalling. Loutfi’s performances of three of the 11 organ Chorales is claimed to be the first recording on piano. The three chosen are written only for the organ manual and are poignant miniatures. Brahms’ Sonata No 1 is given a nicely variegated performance in which Loutfi finds both lyricism and muscularity. The Etude on a Schubert Impromptu is a glorious encore.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Piano International, 2016 - ©Rhinegold Publishing