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These arrangements by Christoph Ewers were requested by the present piano duo, along with arrangements of Schubert and Schumann (these latter apparently to follow; on the strength of the Brahms arrangements, they will be well worth hearing).

Brahms’ Lieder output is one of the glories of the Romantic era, yet they are often overshadowed in the concert hall by Schubert and Schumann. Carles & Sofia set out to right that wrong, be it in the famous Wiegenlied or in the sheer loveliness of Sapphische Ode (with its silvery decorations) or Wie Melodien.

The dark, rich side of Brahms surfaces in the Vier ernste Gesänge. No substitute for Hans Hotter and Gerald Moore, for sure, but Carles & Sofia are poignant nonetheless. Beautiful arrangements in good sound.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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