Nils Anders Mortensen

In finstrer Mitternacht Brahms op. 5 & o p . 7 9 AlbumPurchased

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POETIC BRAHMS "In finstrer Mitternacht" is pianist Nils Anders Mortensen’s second solo CD on the LAWO Classics label. Here we meet Johannes Brahms as young Romantic and as established middle-aged composer. "Sonata No. 3 for Piano", op. 5 (1853) bears impressive testament to young Brahms’s formidable gift as a composer and pianist. One of the greatest Romantic works composed for piano, on a par with Listzt’s Sonata in B Minor and Beethoven’s late piano sonatas, it has never been recorded by a Norwegian pianist. In contrast to most of his later compositions, which were more along the lines of “absolute music”, this youthful work is through and through a Romantic narrative. The point of departure in the second movement is a love scene from a poem by C. O. Sternau. Familiar songs are quoted, we encounter the F-A-E motif often used in composer circles in Brahms and Schumann’s time, and even Beethoven’s famous Fate motif knocks on the door in the fourth movement subtitled “Rückblick”. The recording opens with "Two Rhapsodies", op. 79, from 1879, when Brahms was in his mid-forties and at the height of his career. It closes in a pensive mood with "Ballad op. 10", no. 1, inspired by the Scottish balland "Edward". Nils Anders Mortensen’s previous solo album, "Im Freien" (LWC1032), included Grieg’s Ballade in G Minor and works of Debussy and Bartók. The Norwegian newspaper Morgenbladet wrote: “When Nils Anders Mortensen plays, one is advised to listen. A personal voice sounds through the precision.” Mortensen has released albums with double bassist Knut Erik Sundquist (“Classical Album of the Year”, Dagsavisen, 2011) and Marianne Beate Kielland (Grammy nomination in 2012). He performed Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor during the tradition-rich closing concert of the 1998 Bergen International Festival, and in 2004 he received the Robert Levin Memorial Prize. REVIEWS «Apparently this music had never been recorded by a Norwegian pianist before this disc was made. Mortensen demonstrates a high regard for Brahms, especially in bringing out the Lisztian influence of the composer.» John Miller, HR Audio.net http://hraudio.net/showmusic.php?title=11124#reviews «I rather like this well considered, poetic approach, and this carries through to the Second Rhapsody in which the drama sizzles underneath rather than being pitched with fury. Mortensen gives himself plenty of places to go, rather than ending up in a constant retreat from too explosive an exposition. […] I have spent quite a bit of time with Nils Anders Mortensen’s recording and have come to appreciate its excellent qualities more each time I’ve returned to it. Rather than supplanting other versions, this recording informs and complements them, adding a personal, sensitively tuned and remarkably intelligent voice to the traditions around these remarkable pieces.» Dominy Clemens, MusicWeb International http://musicweb-international.com/classrev/2016/Jan/Brahms_piano_LWC1084.htm «His technique is sound— and would have to be to propel him through Brahms’s knotty sonata—but more, he plays with great sympathy for Brahms and his dark muse. There’s much beautiful playing here, enhanced by a very natural surround-sound recording from LAWO. Recommended for your darkest-midnight listening pleasure.» Lee Passarella – Audiophile Audition http://www.audaud.com/brahms-piano-trios-vienna-piano-trio-md-brahms-rhapsodies-piano-sonata-3-ballade-mortensen-p-lawo/
Bonus content included for FREE with purchase of complete release:  Booklet (PDF)
1. Zwei Rhapsodien, op.79: Nr. 1. Agitato 00:10:08 2.00 USD
Main artist Nils Anders Mortensen
Composer Johannes Brahms
Performers Nils Anders Mortensen
Producers Vegard Landaas
2. Zwei Rhapsodien, op.79: Nr. 2. Molto passionato, ma non troppo allegro 00:07:07 1.80 USD
Main artist Nils Anders Mortensen
Composer Johannes Brahms
Performers Nils Anders Mortensen
Producers Vegard Landaas
3. Sonate Nr. 3, op. 5: I. Allegro maestoso 00:07:57 1.80 USD
Main artist Nils Anders Mortensen
Composer Johannes Brahms
Performers Nils Anders Mortensen
Producers Vegard Landaas
4. Sonate Nr. 3, op. 5: II. Andante espressivo 00:12:47 2.00 USD
Main artist Nils Anders Mortensen
Composer Johannes Brahms
Performers Nils Anders Mortensen
Producers Vegard Landaas
5. Sonate Nr. 3, op. 5: III. Scherzo 00:04:16 1.50 USD
Main artist Nils Anders Mortensen
Composer Johannes Brahms
Performers Nils Anders Mortensen
Producers Vegard Landaas
6. Sonate Nr. 3, op. 5: IV. Intermezzo (Rückblick) 00:03:44 1.50 USD
Main artist Nils Anders Mortensen
Composer Johannes Brahms
Performers Nils Anders Mortensen
Producers Vegard Landaas
7. Sonate Nr. 3, op. 5: V. Finale 00:07:27 1.80 USD
Main artist Nils Anders Mortensen
Composer Johannes Brahms
Performers Nils Anders Mortensen
Producers Vegard Landaas
8. Ballade op. 10: Nr. 1 00:04:53 1.50 USD
Main artist Nils Anders Mortensen
Composer Johannes Brahms
Performers Nils Anders Mortensen
Producers Vegard Landaas