The thoughtful, accomplished Israeli-born pianist Benjamin Hochman devised a fascinating program of works in variation form for this splendid new recording. If you think yourself resistant to atonal, modernist styles of music, listen to the inventive, fantastical and sensitive accounts that Mr. Hochman gives of Oliver Knussen’s Variations, Op. 24 and Berio’s “Cinque Variazioni” and you may have an epiphany. There are extraordinary performances of a meditative George Benjamin piece and Peter Lieberson’s elaborate 1996 Piano Variations, all building to the final offering: a commanding, exuberant account of Brahms’s great, and daunting, Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel.
Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times
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