Anna Gourari plays the late piano pieces of Johannes Brahms – this new recording has been eagerly awaited by many people and represents at the same time the Russian pianist's debut on the Berlin Classics label.
While her emphasis hitherto has been on the Russian and modern repertoire, her reading of this entirely unusual music will undoubtedly arouse considerable attention. In the early 1890s, Johannes Brahms had already begun to take his leave of composing, yet once released from high-flying plans or commissions, he again found the freedom, time and inclination to write a few gems, which are all the more personal as a result.
This applies in particular to the Piano Pieces op. 116-119, and Anna Gourari is able in a most touching manner to marry the intensive emotional and structural characteristics of the composer's microcosm. Praised for her "almost mystical piano playing", Anna Gourari eschews any showy virtuosic veneer, which would be lethal poison for such music; on the contrary, she brings to even the intimate, almost unadorned moments a soft yet intense bloom.