Brahms is feared among pianists – not only for the manual, but also for the intellectual demands of his personal style. Only a very few people take care of the complete piano works. Jonathan Plowright – the classical music magazine Gramophone calls him "one of the finest living pianists" – knows no fear. The Briton has given a much-praised Brahms complete cycle at London's Wigmore Hall and released it on five CDs. The two very contrastingly conceived early variation cycles op. 21 confront the temperamentally robust with the lyrically sensitive side of the young composer. Bach and Liszt provide a context that is as enjoyable as it is thought-provoking.