Part 6: Variation 5, finally something slow and pretty!
This is one of my favorites. We get to see a uncommonly lyrical Brahms here with a rather beautiful right hand melody.
The left hand starts above the right at the beginning of each phrase, adding some "sparkle" or "bells" reminiscent of Scriabin (half a century later), crossing over the right hand downward in 9ths.
It's also a very welcome break before the next 3 variations, which really work the upper arms.