In 1933, Arnold Schönberg defined ‘Brahms the progressive’ as the initiator of a free language: ‘He was a great innovator in the area of musical language.’ This disc covers the composer’s entire life, starting with the Variations op. 9, composed at the age of just 20, then touching the middle period of his production with the Rhapsodies op. 79, and finishing with compositions which constitute his farewell to the piano: the Fantaisies op. 116 and the Klavierstücke op. 119, written when he was in his sixties. The common feature of these piano compositions is their characteristic musical language and their Brahmsian power, which is recognized in the first notes of his youthful compositions and is still found, unambiguously, in the intimacy of his last works.