International Piano - January/February 2007 - Written by Julian Haylock

BRAHMS Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 5 Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24

What a relief to turn to Jerome Rose in Brahms's epic Third Sonata, who tantalisingly conveys a sense of surging emotions barely restrained by the music's complex emotional logic. Not since Julius Katchen's all-encompassing mid-1960s account for Decca (the 1949 version doesn't relax with such glowing contentment) have I felt so acutely aware of the dichotomy between surging restlessness and supreme calm that lies at the heart of this glorious work. The same extraordinary sense of inevitability, of a pianist totally at one with himself and what he wants to say, spills over into the Handel Variations, which radiates bonhomie throughout even the blackest of printed terrain. It would have been useful to have a separate track for each variation, especially for so rich and emotionally multi-layered a performance. Highly recommended.

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