Author Topic: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)  (Read 79261 times)

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Offline orfeo

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #840 on: February 12, 2015, 04:05:29 AM »
Yes, most definitely. I had exactly the same reaction.
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Offline orfeo

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #841 on: February 21, 2015, 09:34:35 PM »
Well, the String Quartet No.3 is not having the same degree of immediate impact as the first two did.

I do like it. And in fact, as I'm giving it another spin (3rd at least over the last 24 hours) I'm finding I like it more this time around than at first. It does somehow seem quite 'busy' to me at times, with perhaps a bit too much bright activity for my personal tastes.
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Offline orfeo

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #842 on: February 24, 2015, 04:38:25 AM »
Today it was time to introduce myself to the Violin Sonata No.1, op.78



Beautiful. Sublime, even.

Obviously a lot of that has to do with the music, which is highly lyrical, but that's also the kind of music that just sits perfectly for these 2 performers, who I already know from other recordings. They're not about being showy, but about subtlety - which makes it more effective when they do let loose a little for loud passages, like in the middle of the slow movement.

I will most definitely be reaching for THIS again.
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Offline orfeo

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #843 on: March 04, 2015, 04:23:10 AM »
What, no reaction? Sigh.

Anyway, still diarising the chamber music... listened to Piano Trio No.2, op.87 today (with the Beaux Arts), which is a work I'm already familiar with. What struck me about it today is that it seems quite straightforward and direct by Brahms' standards. That's not remotely meant as a criticism. It just feels like open, direct music.
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #844 on: March 04, 2015, 04:42:08 AM »
Today it was time to introduce myself to the Violin Sonata No.1, op.78



Beautiful. Sublime, even.

Obviously a lot of that has to do with the music, which is highly lyrical, but that's also the kind of music that just sits perfectly for these 2 performers, who I already know from other recordings. They're not about being showy, but about subtlety - which makes it more effective when they do let loose a little for loud passages, like in the middle of the slow movement.

I will most definitely be reaching for THIS again.

The op.78 "Regenlied"-Sonata is a great favourite of mine (the first movement is utterly sublime) and, as I recall, this is one of the good renditions of it. Two versions of op.78 I particularly enjoy are Zukerman/Barenboim (they shape its mellifluous lyricism to perfection) as well as the recent Cerovsek/Jumppanen (equally lyrical and a tad more forceful, to stunning result).

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #845 on: March 04, 2015, 05:31:26 AM »
What, no reaction? Sigh.

The Violin Sonatas are exquisite indeed.
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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #846 on: March 04, 2015, 05:43:15 AM »
The Violin Sonatas are exquisite indeed.
Yes. And so are all those Hyperion recordings of the chamber music.

"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius


Offline amw

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #847 on: March 04, 2015, 01:00:15 PM »
Obviously a lot of that has to do with the music, which is highly lyrical, but that's also the kind of music that just sits perfectly for these 2 performers, who I already know from other recordings. They're not about being showy, but about subtlety - which makes it more effective when they do let loose a little for loud passages, like in the middle of the slow movement.
Osostowicz/Tomes are exactly the sort of combination you need for this piece, with their mix of introspection and spontaneity. I'm sure they are also excellent in Op. 100.

I've got four recordings of the G major sonata at present.
Isabelle Faust/Alexander Melnikov - Faust's violin sound is what it is. You could describe it as 'sinewy' if you're a fan. Also, when playing Brahms she has a bit of a tendency to wobble. However, this is a carefully thought out and passionate rendition, every phrase perfectly shaped. It also comes with the best recording of the Horn Trio I know of, and Melnikov's contributions include some surprisingly forceful Fantasies Op. 116, free of the Karajan Syndrome  he usually suffers from.
Thomas Albertus Irnberger/Evgueni Sinaiski - Irnberger's fairly unique: has a pure tone, incredibly secure in the upper register, but uses lots and lots of portamento. Perhaps he's trying to imitate violinists from the 1920s and 30s. He's also a massive drama queen, so YMMV. I think it's great. Sinaiski's sensitive playing on an 1860s piano helps to ground him a little.
Gidon Kremer/Valery Afanassiev - Slow. That's probably the first thing you'll notice. More specifically, Afanassiev is constantly slowing to a crawl, and Kremer's always left to bring him back up to tempo. This is a recording you'll either love, get bored with or find incredibly annoying. I find that the continual assaults on the pulse serve to play up the romantic aspects of the piece, destroying the illusions of reserve and classicism usually attributed to Brahms and turning it into essentially a 35-minute (yes, 35) free fantasy hardly recogniseable as the original sonata. Very much an 'alternate' take.
Arthur Grumiaux/György Shiba-Inu - such delicate, much affectionate, very expression, wow

+ the cello arrangement, variously attributed to Brahms or part of the Klengel mafia. I strongly recommend this. Persons with perfect pitch are to note that the music has been recast in D major.
Marc Coppey/Peter Laul - Coppey's sound, ranging from feathery to majestic to growling and with minimal vibrato, is surely the envy of violinists everywhere. The players imbue the music with tenderness and intimacy, even the forceful bits. If you don't like this one, the cello version has been recorded a few other times, by Ma and Wispelwey and some other less famous cellists I don't remember right now.

Offline Alberich

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #848 on: March 05, 2015, 01:26:11 AM »
The very first chamber music work from Brahms that I heard was A major violin sonata. It's really hard for me to say my favorite of them. One day it's G major one, other day A major one and sometimes D minor.
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Offline Artem

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #849 on: March 15, 2015, 05:13:45 PM »
i've given another listen to A German Requiem today. It's the kind of work that would usually appeal to me, but I just can't get into it as a whole. The first two parts are beautiful, but afterwards it's just a big mass of sound and i can't pick out much variety there. Will try again soon, because I like Brahms a lot in general. That's the version that I have:


Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #850 on: March 15, 2015, 05:18:01 PM »
i've given another listen to A German Requiem today. It's the kind of work that would usually appeal to me, but I just can't get into it as a whole. The first two parts are beautiful, but afterwards it's just a big mass of sound and i can't pick out much variety there. Will try again soon, because I like Brahms a lot in general. That's the version that I have:



Perhaps try a performance with a smaller scale group. This helped me. Any of Gardiner's discs will do, both beautiful and extremely transparent. I have the Sinopoli which is gorgeous playing but I find the sound of the larger groups sometimes allow the music to get lost.
This is of course just my subjective view, but I will add that I love the German Requiem regardless of who is performing, but I didn't get that point until I listened to Gardiner's.



Offline Artem

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #851 on: March 15, 2015, 05:21:43 PM »
Sounds like a good idea. Thanks.

Offline orfeo

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #852 on: March 16, 2015, 05:33:08 AM »
I was listening to String Quintet No.1 (op.88) today: in which Brahms secretly reuses 25-year-old piano pieces. The cad.



(Ahem. Don't ask me why Amazon has the English-titled disc image for the mp3s, but the German-titled version for the CD!)

To me, this is generally Brahms in his warm and lyrical mode. I do, however, rather like the level of complexity in the music (having said that I was fine with op.87 being relatively straightforward!). There are lots of interesting changes in key and tempo. And then in the finale he acts all fugal for a bit.
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Online Jo498

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #853 on: March 16, 2015, 07:31:31 AM »
What is that connection to an older piano piece? Is that a published piece? Never heard about that. But I like both quintets very much, the maybe slightly less famous first one even more than the second one.
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Offline orfeo

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #854 on: March 16, 2015, 01:11:45 PM »
No, not published pieces. Ones that Brahms burned, but other people had copies and they emerged after his death. A sarabande and gavotte that he wrote in the 1850s are the basis of the 2nd movement.  I'm surprised you haven't heard about it, because every single commentary I saw yesterday mentioned it!
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