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Superbly produced, recorded and with carefully considered repertoire, this is a disc of intense, infinitely rewarding music. Brahms’s six Klavierstücke Op 118 are, arguably, the greatest challenge of Brahms’ late works – especially No 6, which inhabits a world all of its own. Napolitano realises the individuality of each movement yet also manages to trace a trajectory that moves inexorably onwards. The famous A major is given with ultimate sensitivity. This is great Brahms, up there with Gilels. Napolitano’s Op119 is just as fine.

Webern’s 1924 Kinderstück receives one of the finest performances in the catalogue: the composer’s innate, cantabile lyricism is captured, for once, on piano; while Webern’s late-Romantic 1906 Satz für Klavier with its flowing lines, is the ideal preface to Napolitano’s persuasive performance of Berg’s Sonata.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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