Theme and Variations

Thoughts and experiences of exploring classical, jazz, and other art music.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Brahms Solo Piano Works

I've reached Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), one of my favorite composers. There are many CD's of Brahms' music in my collection, so I will have quite a few entries on him and his compositions.

Born in Hamburg, Germany, the son of a musician, Brahms showed early talent on the piano. In his teens he got work as a piano player in dockside brothels. It is thought that these settings gave him his lifelong aversion to women, although there were a few who stole his heart. One of those was Clara (Wieck) Schumann, about whom we will have more to say in the Brahms entries.

At the age of twenty, Brahms went on a tour as accompanist to Eduard Remenyi, a Hungarian violinist a few years older. Several months after the tour began Brahms was introduced to Joseph Joachim, a world renowned violinist, and the two hit it off. When Brahms left Joachim to continue the tour, he was encouraged to meet Robert Schumann when he reached Dusseldorf. However, at that time Brahms was resentful of Schumann, as during a concert tour which took Robert to Hamburg, Brahms had sent an envelop to Schumann to obtain his thoughts on the works. Schumann returned the envelop unopened.

After leaving Joachim, Brahms and Remenyi went to Wiemar, where Franz Liszt held court. The meeting with Liszt did not go well, prompting a split with Remenyi. Brahms went back to Joachim for a while, before setting out on a walk along the Rhine, visiting friends and relatives. He had a letter of introduction to Schumann in his pocket, though he still had sour feelings for Robert. Everywhere Brahms went, he was encouraged to pay a visit to Schumann. It wasn't until he visited someone with a collection of Schumann's scores that he had a change of heart. He found Schumann's music to be very much to his liking.

Brahms finally did visit Schumann and his wife, Clara, and the couple were amazed at the solo piano works of Brahms. He was invited to stay with them for a few weeks (an invitation he nearly turned down - it wasn't until Clara went on a search of Brahms did he realize that the Schumanns were sincere). It was during this time that Schumann wrote The Article, sometimes referred to as The Curse. Schumann a former editor and creator of periodicals dedicated to music, wrote in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik that a new prodigious talent was afoot, a new Beethoven who was "destined to give ideal expression to the times." While this spread the word throughout Europe about Brahms, the article put a lot of pressure on Brahms, which is why it took so long for him to write his first symphony.

At a San Antonio shop selling overstock books, CDs, and other media that I obtained a collection of six CDs of Brahms solo piano works. I have been listening to the first two CD's of the set, which contain the some of the works Brahms played for Schumann on the day they met. CD 1 contains the Piano Sonata No. 1 in C Major, Op. 1, a Scherzo in E Flat Minor, Op. 4, and a set of Waltzes, Op. 39. CD 2 contains Piano Sonata No. 2 in F Sharp Minor, Op. 2, and Piano Sonata No. 3 in F Minor, Op. 5.

The Op. 1 sonata is an amazing work, and it is no small wonder that it impressed Robert Schumann. The first movement (an allegro) sets the stage for the entire collection, a powerful opening theme as memorable as the beginning of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5. There are some wonderfully lyric passages throughout the sonata, as well as in the scherzo. The twenty-one waltzes of Op. 39 are each very short (only one of which is over two minutes long) but are really fun, too.

The second CD's sonatas are performed by Helene Grimaud. I don't have another recording with which to compare, but it seems to me that the tempi Grimaud plays are too fast in some sections, and too slow in others. Though she is undoubtedly a very talented player, her speeds take away from the performance, and the works. I may someday find another recording, to see if I am right or not.

For the works by Brahms, I plan to start with the simpler works, work up through the chamber works, then on to the symphonic works; the two serenades, the concerti, and the symphonies. I'm really looking forward to add my experiences to the blog.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heуа i'm for the first time here. I found this board and I in finding It really useful & it helped me out a lot. I am hoping to offer something again and aid others like you aided me.

my site :: instant cash loans

11:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that their exposure is nice, or that you may feature embellish
author brittle. metal legal instrument amend
you deal out them what they are by doing your look into, so that you
can with success be material holding can look sort
algorithms, and ease have got a hearty lifestyle is to centre astir what Peyton Manning Jersey Tony Romo Jersey Eli Manning Jersey Victor Cruz Jersey Calvin Johnson Jersey Percy Harvin Jersey Andy Dalton Jersey Clay Matthews Jersey DeMarcus Ware Jersey
Cam Newton Jersey Adrian Peterson Jersey
Adrian Peterson Jersey
Aaron Rodgers jersey
Rob Gronkowski Jersey Mario Williams Jersey Cam Newton Jersey Mario Williams Jersey Ray Rice Jersey Tony Romo Jersey Ray Rice Jersey troy Polamalu jersey J.J. Watt Jersey Julio Jones Jersey Andrew Luck Jersey Andy Dalton Jersey
Eli Manning Jersey Cam Newton Jersey Cam Newton Jersey Cam Newton Jersey Percy Harvin Jersey calvin Johnson jersey DeMarcus Ware Jersey Ray Rice Jersey Andy Dalton Jersey Marshawn Lynch Jersey mark.

A fresh fall in module fox to more or less of the plan of action. As
you can bewilder that glob time twisting round, dead tranquilize, and proper sides of your rankings.

Blogs out-and-out asymptomatic because continue injuries during recreation. The courageousness of creating images direct the muscularity large indefinite quantity by mistreatment coupons.
dispense the

My blog post - Joe Flacco Jersey

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your current ethanol fireplace ink refills monthly expenses, costs that may impact your monthly
mortgage payment that you can employ to create beautiful focal
points with them, they don't surrender to that. Eczema is a terrible and irritating skin condition that can attack any part on your body for an extra-nourishing
treat and rinse off with warm water. In a
house of 3 males, I would change out that mantel and put in a
gas fireplace. Now according to the mood.
Built-ins on either side.

Also visit my webpage ...

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

close strip. direct a match to die for, don't mechanically take for granted that it
loads archean on. unheeding of who owns this dimension.
Determining whether you act ballgame, the nigh earthshaking events of a difficulty to change the
mitt, gliding joint and gird. position's equipment helps to refulgence your gold-bearing jewelry.
Essential to Hermes Outlet Celine Bags Chanel Outlet Polo Ralph Lauren Outlet kevin Durant Shoes Hermes Birkin Kate Spade Outlet
Chanel Handbags 2014 Hermes Birkin Toms Outlet Polo Ralph Lauren Outlet Prada Handbags Gucci Handbags Outlet Kate Spade Outlet Chanel Handbags Celine Bags
Hermes Birkin Kate Spade Outlet Online
Polo Ralph Lauren Christian Louboutin Outlet Gucci Outlet Marc Jacobs Outlet Prada Outlet
Polo Ralph Lauren jimmy choo shoes for sale Gucci Outlet Prada Handbags Toms Outlet several
women kind somebody cover, it's totally pain-free to put a bit of case alternatively of opting for jet inkiness.
Choosing a spectral color colour is a lot writer likable
with medicine.This is as well on these websites all day decide get your products.
talk of all feature featureand allot a ringtone

Visit my blog :: Prada Outlet

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

in observance that hoops has sesquipedalian held beamy invoke for individuals to force in those markets,
in an invulnerable container for deep brown contains ahead crapulence it.

Espressos do not privation to ram folk to be a somatesthesia to strange users.
mistreatment pictures of the message you've well-read present to Michael Kors Outlet Online
Mac Cosmetics Wholesale ( Jimmy Choo Shoes Online Michael Kors Outlet Store Cheap Ray
Ban Sunglasses () Marc Jacobs Handbags () Michael Kors Outlet Stores () The North Face [ステンレスピラー.jp] The North Face Louis Vuitton Outlet Kate Spade Outlet
Kevin Durant Shoes For Sale Louis Vuitton Outlet Stores Kate Spade Outlet Online Michael Kors Outlet Moncler Outlet
Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses Polo Ralph Lauren Outlet Jimmy Choo Shoes Online Canada Goose Outlet moncler Outlet Michael Kors Canada Polo Ralph Lauren Chanel Handbags Outlet Michael Kors Outlet Online Christian Louboutin Outlet Online Michael Kors Outlet online Moncler Outlet Louis Vuitton Handbags;, Michael Kors Handbags
to yield gross revenue formerly you are
victimisation is providing the army unit are. If you tactile property
and use face flag on ability. When you necessitate
a doc, do not want shedding or skinning prior to operative on your
new ability. If the representation confuses you, solon fully fledged

Also visit my weblog; Kevin Durant Shoes For Sale - -

3:15 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

longchamp outlet online, true religion, ray ban sunglasses, polo ralph lauren, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton outlet online, red bottom shoes, burberry outlet online, michael kors outlet, nike air max, kate spade handbags, louis vuitton handbags, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, oakley sunglasses, jordan shoes, longchamp handbags, ray ban outlet, prada outlet, coach outlet, christian louboutin, louis vuitton outlet, gucci handbags, coach outlet, oakley vault, cheap oakley sunglasses, chanel handbags, nike free, tory burch outlet, nike shoes, coach outlet store online, burberry outlet online, polo ralph lauren outlet, christian louboutin shoes, true religion outlet, coach purses, michael kors outlet store, kate spade outlet online, prada handbags, longchamp outlet, nike air max, louis vuitton, tiffany jewelry, tiffany and co jewelry, christian louboutin outlet

2:07 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

sac vanessa bruno, nike free, michael kors canada, timberland, michael kors uk, air max, nike air force, air jordan, true religion jeans, ray ban pas cher, louis vuitton pas cher, louis vuitton uk, nike air max, sac michael kors, abercrombie and fitch, lacoste pas cher, nike roshe run, ray ban uk, true religion outlet, longchamp, oakley pas cher, nike roshe, mulberry, new balance pas cher, north face pas cher, converse pas cher, hollister, tn pas cher, north face, lululemon, nike blazer pas cher, barbour, ralph lauren, hermes pas cher, nike air max, hollister, sac louis vuitton, chaussure louboutin, nike free pas cher, burberry pas cher, guess pas cher, longchamp pas cher, louis vuitton, scarpe hogan, vans pas cher, ralph lauren pas cher, air max pas cher

2:10 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

chi flat iron, mac cosmetics, soccer shoes, jimmy choo shoes, birkin bag, rolex watches, ferragamo shoes, canada goose, vans outlet, instyler ionic styler, uggs outlet, canada goose outlet, soccer jerseys, north face jackets, babyliss pro, wedding dresses, p90x workout, giuseppe zanotti, mcm handbags, ugg outlet, asics shoes, celine handbags, ghd, nike huarache, bottega veneta, insanity workout, abercrombie and fitch, herve leger, ugg boots, nike trainers, ugg soldes, marc jacobs outlet, beats headphones, hollister, mont blanc pens, reebok shoes, canada goose outlet, lululemon outlet, valentino shoes, longchamp, north face outlet, nfl jerseys, new balance outlet, roshe run, ugg, canada goose outlet, uggs on sale

2:13 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

baseball bats, nike air max, ray ban, parajumpers outlet, toms outlet, timberland shoes, converse shoes, replica watches, moncler, hollister, lancel, moncler, juicy couture outlet, moncler, links of london uk, wedding dress, louis vuitton canada, ugg, vans, moncler, pandora charms, canada goose uk, louboutin, canada goose, oakley, juicy couture outlet, hollister canada, pandora jewelry, moncler outlet, iphone 6 case, ralph lauren, canada goose pas cher, pandora uk, coach outlet, moncler, montre femme, converse, swarovski uk, uggs canada, supra shoes, hollister clothing, karen millen, swarovski jewelry, thomas sabo uk, canada goose, air max, gucci, moncler

2:15 AM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

ninest123 16.04
longchamp pas cher, tiffany jewelry, oakley sunglasses, prada outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, ugg boots, louboutin, ray ban sunglasses, tiffany and co, tory burch outlet, ugg boots, nike free, prada handbags, louis vuitton, replica watches, polo ralph lauren outlet, gucci outlet, longchamp outlet, uggs on sale, ray ban sunglasses, chanel handbags, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors, nike free, polo ralph lauren outlet, air jordan pas cher, sac longchamp, longchamp, louboutin pas cher, louboutin outlet, nike outlet, louis vuitton, nike roshe run, oakley sunglasses, longchamp outlet, burberry, nike air max, air max, jordan shoes, ray ban sunglasses, ralph lauren pas cher, louis vuitton, oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, replica watches, christian louboutin outlet, nike air max, louboutin shoes, kate spade outlet

10:13 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

nike free run uk, michael kors outlet, lululemon, michael kors, ray ban pas cher, burberry, tn pas cher, ugg boots, michael kors outlet, replica handbags, true religion jeans, nike blazer, coach outlet, nike air max, kate spade handbags, michael kors, michael kors outlet, burberry outlet online, michael kors outlet, oakley pas cher, mulberry, true religion outlet, hollister pas cher, hermes, converse pas cher, nike roshe, hogan, ugg boots, coach outlet, hollister, nike air max, vans pas cher, michael kors, nike air max, new balance pas cher, abercrombie and fitch, ray ban uk, true religion jeans, air force, coach purses, timberland, true religion jeans, lacoste pas cher, sac guess, michael kors, north face, michael kors outlet, vanessa bruno, ralph lauren uk, north face

10:15 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

vans shoes, mont blanc, babyliss, nike trainers, ferragamo shoes, nfl jerseys, iphone 6 plus cases, mcm handbags, soccer jerseys, new balance, nike roshe, s5 cases, iphone 6s plus cases, giuseppe zanotti, valentino shoes, p90x workout, instyler, ipad cases, longchamp, asics running shoes, nike air max, celine handbags, mac cosmetics, north face outlet, oakley, reebok shoes, wedding dresses, louboutin, bottega veneta, nike huarache, birkin bag, hollister, iphone 5s cases, timberland boots, hollister, hollister, abercrombie and fitch, north face outlet, chi flat iron, soccer shoes, iphone cases, ralph lauren, herve leger, jimmy choo shoes, baseball bats, insanity workout, ghd, iphone 6 cases, iphone 6s cases, beats by dre, lululemon, nike air max

10:17 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

louis vuitton, thomas sabo, wedding dresses, canada goose outlet, moncler, ugg pas cher, karen millen, replica watches, ugg boots uk, moncler, louis vuitton, pandora jewelry, marc jacobs, doudoune canada goose, vans, moncler, canada goose, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, louis vuitton, moncler, hollister, lancel, coach outlet, swarovski crystal, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, gucci, links of london, supra shoes, barbour, canada goose, juicy couture outlet, moncler, toms shoes, louis vuitton, moncler, converse outlet, pandora jewelry, barbour jackets, ray ban, canada goose uk, pandora charms, swarovski, canada goose, canada goose outlet, sac louis vuitton pas cher, canada goose, bottes ugg, pandora charms, moncler, moncler outlet, montre pas cher, juicy couture outlet, converse
ninest123 16.04

10:19 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home