Variations: Benjamin • Berio • Brahms • Knussen • Lieberson **

Variations: Benjamin • Berio • Brahms • Knussen • Lieberson **

Release Date:

10th February 2015

Cat No:



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“Celebrating the enduring power of the variations form, this recital moves from distinguished recent examples to Brahms’s resplendent Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel…Peter Lieberson’s Piano Variations (1996), in its first recording, and structurally inspired by the four elements, is as friendly to the ear as it is fiercely virtuosic” – The Sunday Times

“He gives lucid, exciting performances of variations by Oliver Knussen, Luciano Berio, George Benjamin and Peter Lieberson … then ends with an exhilarating account of Brahms’s Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel” The Best Classical Music Recordings of 2015 – New York Times

“Benjamin Hochman is a prime example of another New York type, the up-and-coming soloist. What makes him unusual, however, is the unabashed emphasis he has given to modern repertory, which he balances effortlessly with the classics in his recitals and recordings” – The New Yorker

“In the beautiful new recording by Israeli pianist Benjamin Hochman, the piano often sounds clear and bright, with sounds cascading like refined pearls, while at other times it can be likened to a full symphonic orchestra, tumultuous in its multilayered complexity and sound hues”Haaretz


Pianist Benjamin Hochman follows his critically acclaimed AVIE debut Homge to Schubert (AV 2281) – which paired two sonatas by the 19th century master with modern day tributes by Kurtág and Widmann – with a like-minded program centered on the age-old musical form of variations. At the heart of the album is Handel Variations by Brahms, a grand master of the art form. The four shorter Piano Variations on this recording are by major composers of the late 20th and early 21st century: Oliver Knussen, Luciano Berio, George Benjamin and Peter Lieberson. Each composition is a piece of great beauty but with results that are strikingly diverse.


1. Variations Op.24 (1989) (7.01)

LUCIANO BERIO (1925–2003)
2. Cinque Variazioni (1953, rev. 1966) (7.55)

3. Meditation on Haydn’s Name (1982) (2.58)

4. Piano Variations (1996) (13.41) – World premiere recording

Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel Op.24 (1861)
5. Aria 0.52
6. Variation I: Più vivo 0.52
7. Variation II 0.40
8. Variation III 0.43
9. Variation IV 0.52
10. Variation V 1.09
11. Variation VI 1.02
12. Variation VII 0.37
13. Variation VIII 0.43
14. Variation IX 1.07
15. Variation X: Allegro 0.40
16. Variation XI: Moderato 0.49
17. Variation XII: L’istesso tempo 0.50
18. Variation XIII: Largamente, ma non troppo 1.33
19. Variation XIV 0.41
20. Variation XV 0.48
21. Variation XVI 0.37
22. Variation XVII 0.30
23. Variation XVIII 0.50
24. Variation XIX 1.06
25. Variation XX: Andante 1.13
26 .Variation XXI: Vivace 0.53
27. Variation XXII: Alla Musette 0.58
28. Variation XXIII: Vivace 0.36
29. Variation XXIV 0.37
30. Variation XXV 0.42
31. Fuga: Moderato 4.55

Benjamin Hochmanpiano

Recording: 29–30 June 2014, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City
Producer: Eric Wen. Recording and mastering engineer: Dennis Patterson

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