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Nada’s series of Brahms recordings continues with a mix of early and late works. Her previously reviewed disc Vienna: Brahms & Nada was variable. This one is more consistent, but Nada’s strengths are scuppered by a shallow recording. It is nice to have the rare Sarabande and Gigue (both in B minor, both mid-1850s), the fetching Gigue a perfect foil for the melancholy Sarabande.

In Nada’s hands the Op 10 Ballades are atmospheric and considered, the first given ample space, the third sounding surprisingly modern in this crisp rendition, the expansive fourth the finest here, resonant and autumnal. Nada’s risks with the descending chains of thirds in the first of Op 119 pay off, while the fourth has grandeur. Finally, a well-disciplined Scherzo.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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