Music Review
12:00 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Music Review: Murray Perahia Perfects Brahms

  • Brahms Six Piano Pieces, Op 118, No 1, Intermezzo; performed by Murray Perahia on Murray Perahia - Brahms, Sony Classical.

An American concert pianist and conductor, Murray Perahia has had his fair share of success and struggle. 

Several times Perahia has overcome hand and finger injuries, making piano touring and recording difficult.  He has canceled many tour dates due to these injuries, but he continues to return to the stage and the recording studio. 

Two Rhapsodies (Op. 79) was the best selection on this recording, it had plenty of dynamic contrast and rubato tempo.  The other pieces on the album, though they are played perfectly, have the feeling of missed emotion.  Perahia has expressed that he doesn’t like to perform or play contemporary music, and that is fine because he doesn’t seem to have the fire that more contemporary music requires.

Murray Perahia gives the prefect performance, but as with every musical endeavor there is the fine line between perfection and passion. The casual listener almost always prefers passion, and most will not notice a few minor technical mistakes if emotion is portrayed.  Perahia seems to have forgotten about the passion as he has obviously chosen technical perfection.

Born in 1947 in New York City, Perahia started piano lessons at age four but his talent and desire to play blossomed at the age of fifteen.  In the eighties, Perahia was invited to play with Vladamir Horowitz, and this has defined him as a pianist since. 

Overall, the album is one of high caliber and Murray Perahia has great talent and a true understanding for romantic piano technique.  One worry that many have is that Brahms pieces can become long and tedious, but Perahia chose pieces that don't seem to drag on.  Though emotion is lacking, but these are still wonderful pieces that would excite the casual listener.