Johannes Brahms

Piano Concerto No. 2

Handel Variations


Royal Northern SInfonia
Lars Vogt, piano & conductor



Sleeve notes in English and German


April 2020

Catalogue No.:
ODE 1346-2


Track listing

CD 73:32
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat Major, Op. 83 46:46
1 I. Allegro non troppo 17:43
2 II. Allegro appassionato 9:05
3 III. Andante (solo cello: Steffan Morris) 10:31
4 IV. Allegretto grazioso 9:23
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24 27:59
5 Aria. Var. 1-25 22:31
6 Fugue 5:28

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Complete description

The second album in Lars Vogt’s Johannes Brahms concerto series with the Royal Northern Sinfonia includes Brahms’ 2nd Piano Concerto combined with a solo piano work, Handel Variations Op. 24, which was dedicated to Clara Schumann by the composer.


Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 is a romantic 4-movement concerto written two decades after its predecessor and one of the cornerstones in the concerto repertoire. This remarkable opus with a great number of beautiful solo passages and with a duration of over 45 minutes has been intrepreted by numerous pianists since its premiere in 1881. In this album, Vogt performs the concerto conducting from the keyboard.


Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel Op. 24 for solo piano were written by the young composer in his late 20s. This work, which includes some technically demanding passages for the pianists, reveals Brahms’ profound interest in the work of the great masters of the Baroque era which served as a source of inspiration in the composer’s creative work. This set of 25 variations and a fugue shows Brahms as a great successor to the tradition of piano variations exemplified by Mozart and Beethoven.


Lars Vogt was appointed the first ever “Pianist in Residence” by the Berlin Philharmonic in 2003/04 and enjoys a high profile as a soloist and chamber musician. His debut solo recording on Ondine with Bach’s Goldberg Variations (ODE 1273-2) was released in August 2015 and has been a major critical success. Lars Vogt started his tenure as Music Director of the Royal Northern Sinfonia in September 2015. Lars Vogt was nominated for Gramophone’s Artist of the Year award in 2017. His recordings of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 4 (ODE 1311-2) together with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and an album of Dvorák’s Piano Trios (ODE 1316-2) both received Gramophone’s Editor’s Choice as well as the recent album of Mozart’s Piano Sonatas (ODE 1318-2). The first installment in his current Brahms concerto series (ODE 1330-2) also received Gramophone’s Editor’s Choice in January 2020.