Brahms: The Hungarian Connection

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Brahms: The Hungarian Connection
Andreas Ottensamer (clarinet) with Leonidas Kavakos (violin), Antoine Tamestit (viola), etc

[ Deutsche Grammophon / CD ]

Release Date: Friday 10 April 2015

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In Andreas Ottensamer's brand new album, Brahms: The Hungarian Connection, the "brilliant young Austrian clarinettist" (Classic FM) explores the connections Brahms had to Hungarian folk music traditions.

The album includes Brahms' Clarinet Quintet, one of the most seminal works for the instrument - combined with Hungarian dances and waltzes by Brahms, all newly arranged to include additional material from Brahms' original musical sources, with an authentic folk twist.

Brahms is seen as one of the most serious composers of the German school - this bold venture reveals how closely connected his music actually is to the vibrant folk music inspired Hungarian music world.

Andreas Ottensamer, himself half-Hungarian, naturally recognizes Brahms' Clarinet Quintet as "genuinely one of the monuments of the entire clarinet repertoire, a piece that every clarinettist dreams of playing".

The stunning ensemble of musicians includes violinist Leonidas Kavakos, Antoine Tamestit (viola), Christoph and Stephan Koncz (violin, cello), Ödon Rácz (double bass), Predrag Tomic (accordion) and cimbalom virtuoso Oskar Ökrös

"a clarinettist of notable suavity...a superior debut disc that, more than displaying the instrument's scope, proposes it as a stylistic kaleidoscope." (Sunday Times)

"The folk music brings things to a spirited close, though the disc works better if you programme it to play first: the performance of the Quintet is among the most beautiful I know, and almost impossible to follow." The Guardian, 2nd April 2015

"This CD effectively combines two programmes in one. The first contains a performance of Brahms' Clarinet Quintet to rival the very best. The second offers an exploration of the sources of his Hungarian Dances, demonstrating that the composer's connection with Hungarian music was much closer than is usually assumed....lively arrangements by cellist Stephan Koncz of other music by Brahms with a Hungarian flavour, then of music in a folksy idiom by Leó Weiner and finally, to bring the house down, a set of traditional dances from Transylvania. If you like the second half of the programme it's a winner. For the two aspects combined it deserves to be a Record of the Month. We have waited since 2012 for Ottensamer's second recording: I hope we don't have to wait so long for the third." (Recording of the Month MusicWeb April 2015)


Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115
Hungarian Dance No. 7
Hungarian Dance No. 1 in G minor
Ein kleiner, hübscher Vogel nahm den Flug, Op. 52, No. 6

Dances From Transylvania

Weiner, Leó:
Busulo Juhasz (Woeful Shepherd)
Csurdongolo (Barn Dance)