The works on this disc span the whole life of the composer. The Handel Variations brim with energy, pianistic brilliance and youthful pathos, the two Rhapsodies Op. 79 are serious and dramatic while the Fantasien Op. 116 breath the air of melancholy, the reminiscences of old age and sorrowful resignation (Wiegenlieder meiner Schmerzen” as Brahms called his late Intermezzi). Pianist Sofya Gulyak gained international recognition by winning the prestigious 2009 Leeds Competition (the first woman in its history). Her passionate and soaring performance of Brahms’ D minor concerto won the hearts of both audience and jury. Since then she played all the important venues of the world. Her first CD with works of Rachmaninoff received international praise: 5 Stars in French Diapason (“Singing sound…dazzling and powerful execution..”), “Stunning debut album”(Gramophone), “a fearless pianist, proud to wear her heart on her sleeve” (Guardian).