Writes pianist Naomi Zaslav of her personal selection: This album is the culmination of my long love affair with these late, most personal piano works of Brahms. Of my recording on the Op. 120 viola-piano sonatas, STRAD magazine has said "Naomi Zaslav’s scrupulous placing of chords and pedaling mark her out as a very fine Brahms pianist. If I needed one word to sum up the performances of the Zaslav Duo here it would be ’loving’.
"I hope that this same loving quality will be evident in my performances here, together with the pain and longing the composer felt in his later years. Brahms called his three Intermezzi Op. 117 "three cradle-songs of my sorrows." In her journal Clara Schumann wrote about eleven of these new piano works that Brahms had sent her "...full of poetry, passion, sentiment, emotion and with the most wonderful effects of tone. In these pieces I at last feel musical life stir again in my soul." The last time that Brahm’s ever saw his beloved Clara she was at home, playing his Op. 118 piano pieces. What a wonderful gift from a composer, soul to soul!
Canadian born Naomi Zaslav, a scholarship student of Mme. Rosina Lhevinne at Julliard, has concertized widely, both as soloist and as a member (with her husband, the violist Bernard Zaslav) of the Zaslav Duo. Their recording of the Brahms Op. 120 Sonatas for viola and piano received a "Recording of Special Merit" award from Stereo Review Magazine.