Spellbinding Brahms and Schumann

Rachel Roberts has found the ideal partner in Lars Vogt and together they perfectly capture works by Brahms and Schumann

Composer: Brahms, Schumann
Repertoire: Viola Sonatas Nos 1 & 2 (Brahms); Märchenbilder (Schumann)
Artists: Rachel Roberts (vla), Lars Vogt (pf)
Rating:  5/5
Genre: Chamber
Label: Cavi-Music AVI8553181

The Music: Brahms’s viola sonatas are late works, combining athletic dynamism with passages of autumnal nostalgia. Schumann’s inspired
miniatures were composed in just four days.

The Performances: Fans of the Philharmonia Orchestra will know the fabulously gifted Rachel Roberts both as soloist and leader of the viola section (she recently joined the Dante Quartet). She brings to the Brahms sonatas an expressive intensity and sense of nostalgic longing that goes straight to the heart of these miraculous scores. She also captures memorably the spellbound fantasy of Schumann’s elusive Märchenbilder (‘Fairy Tale Pictures’) and finds the ideal partner in Lars Vogt, one of the finest chamber pianists around and a Brahmsian of the first order.

The Verdict: The way Roberts and Vogt gently ease the tempo and sensitively shape the magical coda of the Second Sonata’s opening movement is worth the asking price alone. Highly recommended.

Want More? Roberts has recorded three
more volumes of chamber music for Cavi (AVI 8553163, 8553164 and 8553165).