GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: BachQ on April 07, 2007, 02:23:22 AM

Title: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 07, 2007, 02:23:22 AM
Johannes Brahms (May 7, 1833 - Apr. 1897)

For me, Brahms is a "soul mate" composer.  Much (but not all) of his music touches me very deeply on every level: spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and even physically.  His greatest works not only withstand repeated listening, but they acquire a greater, deeper significance over time.  For links to Brahms Bios, Click Here (http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.ualberta.ca/~barr/johannes/brahms1.gif&imgrefurl=http://www.ualberta.ca/~barr/johannes/index.htm&h=536&w=439&sz=73&hl=en&start=23&um=1&tbnid=wg_PA_GfY9qcSM:&tbnh=132&tbnw=108&prev=/images%3Fq%3Djohannes%2Bbrahms%26start%3D20%26ndsp%3D20%26svnum%3D100%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26newwindow%3D1%26safe%3Doff%26rls%3DDAUS,DAUS:2006-09,DAUS:en%26sa%3DN)

  For a GMG Brahms Bio Thread, Click Here (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,2969.0.html)

Currently, my dozen favorite works are, (roughly in order):

1.   Piano Concerto no. 1 in d minor (op 15)
2.   Symphony no. 4
3.   Piano Concerto no. 2 in b flat (op 73)
4.   Ein Deutsches Requiem
5.   Violin Concerto
6.   Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel (op 24)
7.   Symphony no. 3
8.   Symphony no. 1
9.   Paganini Variations
10.   Piano Quartet op. 25 (and as orch. by Schoenberg)
11.   Clarinet Quintet
12.   Symphony no. 2

The list of other masterpieces is considerable, including (this list is a work-in-progress):

     --     Double Concerto
     --     Symphony no. 2
     --     Haydn Variations
     --     Overtures (Tragic / Academic Festival)
     --     Late Piano Pieces
     --     Sonatas for Piano 1/2/3
     --     Variations (on original theme; on a theme by Schumann)
     --     Alto Rhapsody
     --     Triumphlied
     --     Lieder
     --     Sonatas for Violin
     --     Sonatas for Cello
     --     Sonata for Clarinet
     --     String Quartets
     --     Piano Quartets
     --     Piano Quintet
     --     Trios (horn trio)
     --     Motets
     --     Organ Works
     --     Serenades

Johannes Brahms Links

 Grove Dictionary of Music  (http://w3.rz-berlin.mpg.de/cmp/brahms.html)

 List of Works  (http://w3.rz-berlin.mpg.de/cmp/brahms_works.html)

 johannesbrahms.org  (http://www.johannesbrahms.org/)

 American Brahms Society  (http://brahms.unh.edu/)

 Classical Music Archives  (http://www.classicalarchives.com/bios/brahms_bio.html)

 Classical.net  (http://www.classical.net/music/comp.lst/brahms.html)

 Brahms Museum  (http://www.brahmsmuseum.at/english.html)

 Links to Biographies of Brahms  (http://www.ualberta.ca/~barr/johannes/biog.htm)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Que on April 07, 2007, 02:29:37 AM
Brahms’ Brewpub

For me, Brahms is a "soul mate" composer.  Much (but not all) of his music touches me very deeply on every level: spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and even physically.  His greatest works not only withstand repeated listening, but they acquire a greater, deeper significance over time. 

Same here D Minor.
As much as I adore Bach's music, Brahms is my soul mate.

BTW, I have Brahm's favourite pub in my avatar. ;D

Q
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 07, 2007, 02:33:47 AM

BTW, I have Brahm's favourite pub in my avatar. ;D

Q

Yes, the Red Hedgehog (http://www.good-music-guide.com/images/hedgehog.gif)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 07, 2007, 02:40:36 AM
Some of my favorite Brahms pictures:

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/11/Johannes_Brahms_1853.jpg/436px-Johannes_Brahms_1853.jpg)

(http://www.maurice-abravanel.com/613Johannes_Brahms_im_Jahre_1892_in_seinem_Arbeitszimmer_lrg.jpg)

(http://www.ualberta.ca/~barr/johannes/brahms1.gif)

(http://www.fuguemasters.com/brahmsyoung.jpg) (http://content.answers.com/main/content/img/amg/classical_artists/drz000/z000/z00051swsd9.jpg)

(http://www.jamesweggreview.org/images/liveperform/chamber_2002_gpn_11_17_brahms%20at%20piano.jpg)

(http://www.bonn.de/stadtmuseum/bilder/brahms.jpg) (http://www.sequenza21.com/hahn.jpg) (http://www.merlin.com.pl/images_product/26/4776021.jpg)  :D



Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: lukeottevanger on April 07, 2007, 02:47:13 AM
Well, you know, it is many years since I've gone on about Brahms on a board like this one. I've rarely talked about him for a long time - it's possible I talked myself out, in fact. To be honest, he is about the only composer I feel as passionately personal about as I do about Janacek. For me, though, the essence of Brahms is the other way around to D minor's - chamber/solo music first (and vocal/choral too), orchestral last: the concertos and symphonies may be his biggest statements, but they are outnumbered and out-Brahmsed by the chamber pieces, whose quality is utterly staggering, from smallest detail to largest effect, and whose every bar seems to contain something awesome, intimate, cathartic, ingenious. Then again, that has to be read against the fact that, temperamentally, I tend overwhelmingly towards chamber music rather orchestral - it's only my personal inclination.

So, though I adore the orchestral music and consider it the very pinnacle of the repertoire, the Brahms I couldn't be without comprises: the late piano music, the Schumann Variations( :o - how's that for an unexpected choice?), the sets of duo sonatas (listening to op 78 right now!), the various trios (op 8 - second version - Horn, and Clarinet especially), the quartets (SQ 1+2 above all), quintets (CQ and SQ 2 above all) and sextets, the sublime Nanie, Gesang der Parzen and, to be quirky but honest,  the Geistliches Lied
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 07, 2007, 03:00:20 AM
To be honest, he is about the only composer I feel as passionately personal about as I do about Janacek.

Luke, you've been harboring this secret for all of these years!  :D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: lukeottevanger on April 07, 2007, 03:02:20 AM
No secret, but as I say, I splurged all my gushingest, purplest prose on Brahms on boards long gone, and felt the need for a little abstinence ;D However, I get the feeling that all the gush has been building up over the years and it won't take much to set it free. Yuck. :-X
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: lukeottevanger on April 07, 2007, 03:03:59 AM
For instance, Mr Menuhin has now got to the second half of the slow movement op 108 and I've going to  have to be very careful to contain myself when that gypsy double stopping flares up.... 8)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 07, 2007, 03:23:30 AM
No secret, but as I say, I splurged all my gushingest, purplest prose on Brahms on boards long gone, and felt the need for a little abstinence ;D

 :D

Perhaps Robert Schumann garners the prize for the purplest praise of Brahms, when Schumann wrote in  Neue Bahnen (New Paths) that Brahms was the musical Messiah the artistic world had been awaiting since Beethoven’s death.  :D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 07, 2007, 03:36:50 AM
Brahms Symphony Cycles

J WINTER’S BRAHMS SYMPHONIES THREAD (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,2819.0.html)

Brahms Symphony Cycles (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,7437.0.html)

HERMAN’S BRAHMS SYMPHONIES THREAD (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,51.0.html)

Marriner Cycle (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,11655.0.html)

Link to Walter’s Brahms’ Symphonies: CLICK HERE (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,13181.0.html)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 07, 2007, 03:40:34 AM
Brahms 2nd Symphonoy

ALL SLOP (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,5191.0.html)

Brahms’ 3d Symphony

Brahms 3d Symphony – CLICK HERE (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,13211.0.html)

ANOTHER BRAHMS 3d SYMPHONY THREAD (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,8903.0.html)


Brahms 4th Symphony

Kleiber Brahms 4th (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,6692.0.html)

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: hornteacher on April 07, 2007, 05:22:22 AM
One of my favorite Brahms pieces is the String Sextet in Bb Op. 18.  In my opinion it doesn't get nearly enough credit.  Its a beautiful work.  (Hey, it made a Vulcan cry on television so it's got to be pretty darn good).  ;D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 07, 2007, 06:06:32 AM
One of my favorite Brahms pieces is the String Sextet in Bb Op. 18.  In my opinion it doesn't get nearly enough credit.  Its a beautiful work.  (Hey, it made a Vulcan cry on television so it's got to be pretty darn good).  ;D

Very true . . . . . it rarely gets mentioned . . . . .

Its a beautiful work.  (Hey, it made a Vulcan cry on television so it's got to be pretty darn good).  ;D

I assume you're talking about Star Trek . . . . . . Movie or TV?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Brewski on April 07, 2007, 06:57:04 AM
I fell in love with Brahms' music at a very early age: we had Bruno Walter's recording of the Fourth Symphony at home (an old LP), and I played it to death.  The other three symphonies followed soon after, and I love all of them, but the Fourth still speaks to me the most deeply.

Around the same time (roughly age 16 or so) I heard a live performance of his Four Songs for Women's Chorus, Two Horns and Harp, Op. 17, and was transported.  I could go on and on, but I can't recall a single Brahms work -- orchestral, choral, chamber music, solo piano -- that I don't like.  High praise.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: hornteacher on April 07, 2007, 07:18:11 AM
Very true . . . . . it rarely gets mentioned . . . . .

I assume you're talking about Star Trek . . . . . . Movie or TV?


Okay I'm going to fly my "geek flag" here but the Brahms Sextet was used in a Next Generation episode called "Sarek" in which the Vulcan cries at a ship concert.  There are two excerpts during the scene, one from the 1st mvt of Mozart's Dissonance SQ, and the other from the 2nd mvt of the Brahms.  Its a rather good scene and it actually has no dialogue for about two minutes while the music is playing.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: hornteacher on April 07, 2007, 07:21:57 AM
Some of my favorite Brahms pictures:
(http://www.sequenza21.com/hahn.jpg)

May I compliment you on your excellent taste!  ;D 8) ;D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Maciek on April 07, 2007, 09:25:55 AM
May I compliment you on your excellent taste!  ;D 8) ;D

And me too ;D:

Some of my favorite Brahms pictures:

(http://www.merlin.com.pl/images_product/26/4776021.jpg)  :D


(And the choice of the image source is interesting/telling as well ;))

BTW, how about the ones with Bernstein (especially no. 2)?

Anyway, I adore Brahms too!

Maciek
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 07, 2007, 10:35:50 AM
BTW, how about the ones with Bernstein (especially no. 2)?

Zimerman/Bernstein/VPO/DG is an outstanding Brahms PC #2.  It remains one of my favorite post-1980 recordings of the B Flat concerto.  And the video of this is to die for (I know it was available on VHS; not sure if it's on DVD).  Zimerman/Bernstein with the D Minor concerto is also excellent (also on video).
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Que on April 07, 2007, 10:49:53 AM
Any takers for the double concerto?  :)

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00066FAA8.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg) (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000005GIN.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg)
(http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/3900455.jpg)


Yes, the Hedge Hog (I believe?)

Yes, Brahms' favourite pub (more of an inn - "Gasthof") was called "Zum Rothen Igel" (In the Red Hedgehog). :)

Q
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Maciek on April 07, 2007, 11:03:31 AM
Zimerman/Bernstein/VPO/DG is an outstanding Brahms PC #2.

You took the words out of my mouth. :D

Maciek
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Maciek on April 07, 2007, 11:04:57 AM

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000005GIN.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg)


That's the only one I have. Should I be looking for anything more?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 07, 2007, 11:06:03 AM
I don’t know why I haven’t purchased this yet (Brahms Sym 2 with Kleiber/VPO on DVD):

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00030EIYG.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_SS500_.jpg)

Some reviews by GMGers

Kleiber Brahms 2nd Symphony DVD (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,4140.0.html)

 Kleiber Brahms 2nd Symphony DVD  (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,1491.0.html)

The Amazon reviews are even more glowing . . . . . . .

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Mozart on April 07, 2007, 11:09:48 AM
Brahms was a sexy bitch until he grew that beard.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B0000041Z5.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_SS500_.jpg)

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 07, 2007, 11:11:28 AM
2007 DVD of Brahms Double Concerto:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000MX7TTA.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_V45174471_SS500_.jpg)

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Gidon Kremer, Guiseppe Sinopoli, Marta Sudraba (released February 27, 2007)

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 07, 2007, 11:12:42 AM
Brahms was a sexy bitch until he grew that beard.

Too bad Mozart was never able to grow a beard . . . . . .  :D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Que on April 07, 2007, 11:17:32 AM
That's the only one I have. Should I be looking for anything more?

It was my first and I'm still satisfied with it. It's my only recording with Perlman, so that says something.. ;D

But I like the Suk/Navarra and the Schneiderhan/Starker also very much - either one is recommended if you're looking for a different angle.

Q
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Maciek on April 07, 2007, 11:20:15 AM
No, I really like it. Just wanted to make sure... ;D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Guido on April 07, 2007, 02:49:03 PM
Is the Rostropovich/Perlman as good as the Rostropovich/Oistrakh?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Scott on April 07, 2007, 05:48:47 PM
Does my avatar tell you how I feel about Brahms?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Que on April 07, 2007, 06:58:11 PM
Is the Rostropovich/Perlman as good as the Rostropovich/Oistrakh?

I like it much better.
But I'm in a minority: the Rostropovich/Perlman/Haitink is hardly ever mentioned, while the Rostropovich/Oistrakh/Szell is generally dubbed as a legendary recording. I was never impressed with the latter - same for the coupled LvB triple concerto BTW.

Q
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Mozart on April 07, 2007, 09:43:55 PM
Does my avatar tell you how I feel about Brahms?

Does mine?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 08, 2007, 02:32:22 AM
Does my avatar tell you how I feel about Brahms?

Your avatar has us asking for MORE . . . . . .  For example, are there any recordings that you keep turning to?  Any recordings that "nail it, hands down" ?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Novi on April 08, 2007, 03:29:18 AM
Brahms is right up there amongst my favourites.

The Carlos Kleiber 4th was what first got me into Brahms's works and it's still one of my favourites among all symphonies. I've been getting to know the other ones a bit better recently (Walter, both NYPO and ColSO).

I also love the D minor piano concerto. In fact, this work was what got me interested in the genre itself. Fleisher/Szell was my first recording and I still like this very much, but for a more expansive reading, I go to Arrau/Giulini. The B flat concerto took a while longer but I'm really enjoying it as well these days. Here, it's Richter/Leinsdorf all the way. Amazing performance from Richter.

Solo piano: I don't have many recordings to compare with, but Lupu in the Intermezzi, Michelangeli's Ballades. Also Fleisher's Handel Variations. Again, these took some time for me to get into.

Chamber: as far as I remember, I think Brahms's various trios were the first chamber works aside from string quartets that I started listening to. The horn trio was a revelation - I never realised what a beautiful sound the horn could be until then.   

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Que on April 08, 2007, 03:44:33 AM
Chamber: as far as I remember, I think Brahms's various trios were the first chamber works aside from string quartets that I started listening to. The horn trio was a revelation - I never realised what a beautiful sound the horn could be until then.   

Brahms wrote the trio for natural horn. For another revelation I can recommend a recording with that - if you not already haven't got it, of course! :)

Try this with Lowel Greer, first issued on Harmonia Mundi. Very nice coupling with Beethoven. Ridiculously cheap BTW. The phrase on the cover: "absolutely gorgeous" is true for a change.. 8)

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00005MNIW.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg)

Q

P.S. Forgot to mention that this means that it is a HIP recording - with period instruments. So a fortepiano (Steven Lubin) and a violin with gut strings (Stepanie Chase) is included in the deal. But you'll see how marvelous that works in terms of balance between the instruments and the sound picture.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Novi on April 08, 2007, 06:48:01 AM
Brahms wrote the trio for natural horn. For another revelation I can recommend a recording with that - if you not already haven't got it, of course! :)

Try this with Lowel Greer, first issued on Harmonia Mundi. Very nice coupling with Beethoven. Ridiculously cheap BTW. The phrase on the cover: "absolutely gorgeous" is true for a change.. 8)

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00005MNIW.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg)

Q

P.S. Forgot to mention that this means that it is a HIP recording - with period instruments. So a fortepiano (Steven Lubin) and a violin with gut strings (Stepanie Chase) is included in the deal. But you'll see how marvelous that works in terms of balance between the instruments and the sound picture.

Thanks for the recommendation, Que. No issues at all with HIP and period instruments 8).

In fact, I'd been looking for another recording since I've only the BAT and friends Philips 2fer. I'd been looking at Brain/Busch/Serkin on Pearl with the Clarinet quintet (Kell), which I will probably get one of these days, but the Greer one is obviously very different and I'm keen to hear a natural horn version. You're right - it's ridiculously cheap. I'm just waiting for JPC to deliver now :).
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 08, 2007, 07:04:57 AM
I also love the D minor piano concerto. In fact, this work was what got me interested in the genre itself. Fleisher/Szell was my first recording and I still like this very much, but for a more expansive reading, I go to Arrau/Giulini. The B flat concerto took a while longer but I'm really enjoying it as well these days. Here, it's Richter/Leinsdorf all the way. Amazing performance from Richter.

You're a marvelous, wonderful person . . . . . . .  8)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: DetUudslukkelige on April 08, 2007, 07:19:59 AM
I love his symphonies - the fourth is one of my all time favorites, particularly the Furtwängler and Toscanini recordings, in spite of the dated sound. Ein Deutsches Requiem, in addition, is one of my top 5 favorite musical works period (Klemperer is my favorite here).

Still, I see Brahms also as a Lieder composer. Anyone here heard Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau's five-disc set of assorted Brahms lieder? I have fallen in love with several of these, like "Von Ewiger Liebe/ Of eternal love", and I honestly never knew a human voice could carry such emotion. Anyone else a fan of Brahms lieder and know of good recordings?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 08, 2007, 07:50:46 AM
Brahms Violin Concerto

For an excellent summary (with brief review) of recordings of Brahms’ Violin Concerto, CLICK HERE for Harry Collier’s thread (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,12357.0.html)

Other GMG links:

     --      Brahms VC Revisited by Rabin-Fan (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,9866.0.html)

     --      Brahms Violin Concerto  (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,8313.0.html)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on April 08, 2007, 08:13:04 AM
Still, I see Brahms also as a Lieder composer. Anyone here heard Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau's five-disc set of assorted Brahms lieder?

Anyone else a fan of Brahms lieder and know of good recordings?

Brahms' lieder is vastly underrated...on par in quality to any songs I know.

It's a shame lieder (song) gets such scant attention from the public but the form hits home with me in a big way.

As far as recordings, I've heard parts of that Fischer-Dieskau set on Brilliant and agree it's fabulous!

Other recordings I enjoy are Lemieux on Analekta, Banse on CPO, and Von Otter on DG.

Oh, and not to forget the monumental Liebeslieder Walzes, Op.52 & 65. Works so good you'll almost forget about the symphonies! ;D


(http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/3910230.jpg) (http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/7719727.jpg)

(http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/5051823.jpg)


Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on April 08, 2007, 08:26:52 AM
Vocal-wise, one could do worse than these fine works, as well:

(http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/3159680.jpg)






Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: DetUudslukkelige on April 08, 2007, 10:06:36 AM
Exzellent! Danke. I hadn't even considered many of those. Of course, with my limited budget for music, anything I add to my list of 'must hear' CDs (except impulse buys) has to work its way up through the enormous, mile-long list. I still daresay, however, that my current collection of Brahms music will last me until then. He's not the sort I bore of easily.

It's interesting that people don't see Brahms as a lied composer, considering he wrote what is one of the most famous Lieder of all (I speak, of course, of his famous Wiegenlied/Brahms' Lullaby).
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Que on April 08, 2007, 10:42:42 AM
If you can get hold of this set with all the vocal ensembles, you'll reap the considerable rewards! :D
(Includes also the Liebeslieder-Walzer issue that was pictured in an earlier post)

Q

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B0000012Y8.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_V45548258_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 09, 2007, 10:43:52 AM
Recommendations for Brahms' solo piano music is pretty straightforward: JULIUS KATCHEN

For those who want to explore more of Brahms solo piano oeuvre, consider these threads:


 Katchen v. Lupu (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,13386.0.html)

 Brahms Variations on an Original Theme (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,11431.0.html)

 Brahms Op. 118 no. 2  (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,13288.0.html)

 Brahms Solo Piano Box Sets (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,6923.0.html)

 Brahms Handel Variations (Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, op. 24) (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,7305.0.html)

 Brahms Late Piano Pieces  (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,2937.0.html)

 Brahms' Paganini Variations  (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,1275.0.html)

 Brahms Piano Oeuvre  (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,8385.0.html)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on April 09, 2007, 06:52:47 PM
If you can get hold of this set with all the vocal ensembles, you'll reap the considerable rewards! :D
(Includes also the Liebeslieder-Walzer issue that was pictured in an earlier post)

Q

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B0000012Y8.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_V45548258_AA240_.jpg)

That's a quality box, Que. It's part of that old DG complete Brahms edition issued years ago.

I just wish I could find it somewhere. It's been OOP for a good long time.

With artists like Schreier, Fassbaender, Fischer-Dieskau, et al, it'd be a perfect one-stop for the vocal ensembles.



Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Mozart on April 09, 2007, 08:45:26 PM
I havent heard Brahms d min pc in months...like half a year and today I went to my Brahms folder and heard it. Shortly later it was on the radio! How weird is that?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Maciek on April 11, 2007, 10:03:46 AM
Because it is part of a set, I completely forgot about the Maisky-Kremer-Bernstein (WP) Double Concerto I have. From this set (also available separately, of course):

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B0001WGDXA.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg)

I love it.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 11, 2007, 11:47:16 AM
I havent heard Brahms d min pc in months...like half a year and today I went to my Brahms folder and heard it. Shortly later it was on the radio! How weird is that?

I'm still confounded by the fact that Brahms d minor piano concerto isn't played 24/7 (featuring various artists) by any given classical radio station in any given jurisdiction . . . . . . .  :o
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: karlhenning on April 11, 2007, 11:52:59 AM
It's interesting that people don't see Brahms as a lied composer, considering he wrote what is one of the most famous Lieder of all (I speak, of course, of his famous Wiegenlied/Brahms' Lullaby).

Yes, the music-box industry is irrevocably in Brahms's debt!

Welcome, by the way!  Love your ID!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 11, 2007, 11:58:30 AM
Yes, welcome DetUudslukkelige !
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 24, 2007, 09:48:21 AM
Added today: Johannes Brahms Links

 Grove Dictionary of Music  (http://w3.rz-berlin.mpg.de/cmp/brahms.html)

 List of Works  (http://w3.rz-berlin.mpg.de/cmp/brahms_works.html)

 johannesbrahms.org  (http://www.johannesbrahms.org/)

 American Brahms Society  (http://brahms.unh.edu/)

 Classical Music Archives  (http://www.classicalarchives.com/bios/brahms_bio.html)

 Classical.net  (http://www.classical.net/music/comp.lst/brahms.html)

 Brahms Museum  (http://www.brahmsmuseum.at/english.html)

 Links to Biographies of Brahms  (http://www.ualberta.ca/~barr/johannes/biog.htm)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: greg on April 24, 2007, 09:56:32 AM
Johannes Brahms (May 7, 1833 - Apr. 1897)

For me, Brahms is a "soul mate" composer.  Much (but not all) of his music touches me very deeply on every level: spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and even physically.  His greatest works not only withstand repeated listening, but they acquire a greater, deeper significance over time.  For links to Brahms Bios, Click Here (http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.ualberta.ca/~barr/johannes/brahms1.gif&imgrefurl=http://www.ualberta.ca/~barr/johannes/index.htm&h=536&w=439&sz=73&hl=en&start=23&um=1&tbnid=wg_PA_GfY9qcSM:&tbnh=132&tbnw=108&prev=/images%3Fq%3Djohannes%2Bbrahms%26start%3D20%26ndsp%3D20%26svnum%3D100%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26newwindow%3D1%26safe%3Doff%26rls%3DDAUS,DAUS:2006-09,DAUS:en%26sa%3DN)

  For a GMG Brahms Bio Thread, Click Here (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,2969.0.html)

Currently, my dozen favorite works are, (roughly in order):

1.   Piano Concerto no. 1 in d minor (op 15)
2.   Symphony no. 4
3.   Piano Concerto no. 2 in b flat (op 73)
4.   Requiem
5.   Violin Concerto
6.   Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel (op 24)
7.   Symphony no. 3
8.   Symphony no. 1
9.   Paganini Variations
10.   Piano Quartet op. 25 (and as orch. by Schoenberg)
11.   Clarinet Quintet
12.   Symphony no. 2

The list of other masterpieces is considerable, including (this list is a work-in-progress):

     --     Double Concerto
     --     Symphony no. 2
     --     Haydn Variations
     --     Overtures (Tragic / Academic Festival)
     --     Late Piano Pieces
     --     Sonatas for Piano 1/2/3
     --     Variations (on original theme; on a theme by Schumann)
     --     Alto Rhapsody
     --     Triumphlied
     --     Lieder
     --     Sonatas for Violin
     --     Sonatas for Cello
     --     Sonata for Clarinet
     --     String Quartets
     --     Piano Quartets
     --     Piano Quintet
     --     Trios (horn trio)
     --     Motets
     --     Organ Works
     --     Serenades

Johannes Brahms Links

 Grove Dictionary of Music  (http://w3.rz-berlin.mpg.de/cmp/brahms.html)

 List of Works  (http://w3.rz-berlin.mpg.de/cmp/brahms_works.html)

 johannesbrahms.org  (http://www.johannesbrahms.org/)

 American Brahms Society  (http://brahms.unh.edu/)

 Classical Music Archives  (http://www.classicalarchives.com/bios/brahms_bio.html)

 Classical.net  (http://www.classical.net/music/comp.lst/brahms.html)

 Brahms Museum  (http://www.brahmsmuseum.at/english.html)

 Links to Biographies of Brahms  (http://www.ualberta.ca/~barr/johannes/biog.htm)

i should listen to more Brahms again, this is a good reminder  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 24, 2007, 10:15:38 AM
i should listen to more Brahms again, this is a good reminder  :)

Brahms infusion is a near-daily event for me . . . . . . But do post your impressions and reactions, Greg . . . . .  8)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: karlhenning on April 24, 2007, 10:26:38 AM
Give us this day our daily Brahms . . . .
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 24, 2007, 10:48:53 AM
Give us this day our daily Brahms . . . .

Précisément!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: DavidW on April 24, 2007, 04:59:33 PM
Okay I'm going to fly my "geek flag" here but the Brahms Sextet was used in a Next Generation episode called "Sarek" in which the Vulcan cries at a ship concert.  There are two excerpts during the scene, one from the 1st mvt of Mozart's Dissonance SQ, and the other from the 2nd mvt of the Brahms.  Its a rather good scene and it actually has no dialogue for about two minutes while the music is playing.

I remember that.  Darned senile vulcan!  Didn't he mind meld with Picard at the end of that episode?  I don't remember the Brahms from that scene, but I do remember the Mozart. :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: hornteacher on April 24, 2007, 05:15:35 PM
I remember that.  Darned senile vulcan!  Didn't he mind meld with Picard at the end of that episode?  I don't remember the Brahms from that scene, but I do remember the Mozart. :)

Yep, that's the one.  The Brahms is what actually is playing durng the "tear".  Interestingly, even though its a string SEXTET there are still only FOUR people playing!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: DavidW on April 24, 2007, 05:23:33 PM
Yep, that's the one.  The Brahms is what actually is playing durng the "tear".  Interestingly, even though its a string SEXTET there are still only FOUR people playing!

See proof positive that the impact of Brahms on anyone is overwhelming.  Even brings a Vulcan to tears. ;D  Was Data one of the four, because he could play for three? :D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: hornteacher on April 24, 2007, 05:26:12 PM
Was Data one of the four, because he could play for three? :D

Good point.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 24, 2007, 05:37:49 PM
Brahms actually came to life on the classic Star Trek episode titled "Requiem for Methuselah".

In 2269, the immortal Flint claimed that Johannes Brahms was one of his many identities, a claim supported by first officer Spock of the Federation starship USS Enterprise. During a visit to Holberg 917G, a planet owned and inhabited by Flint at that time, Spock found an unknown and recently written Brahms manuscript, which could only have been written by Flint. (TOS: "Requiem for Methuselah")  

(http://www.starfleetlibrary.com/tos/images/tos07601.jpg)

Spock playing a Brahms waltz with Flint/Brahms in the foreground

(http://images.wikia.com/memoryalpha/en/images/8/83/Brahms_Waltz.jpg)

Also:

Geordi La Forge's "Moonlight on the Beach" holoprogram featured a gypsy violinist playing a Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 5. (TNG: "Booby Trap")

Data suggested playing a piece by Brahms to make Miles O'Brien feel more at home in Data's quarters when he visited the android seeking guidance concerning his proposed marriage with Keiko Ishikawa. (TNG: "Data's Day")

When Geordi La Forge wanted to impress Doctor Leah Brahms who was about to visit him in his quarters, he decided to play a Brahms piano etude, but changed his mind because he thought the idea was too corny. (TNG: "Galaxy's Child")  
(from Trek Wiki) (http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Johannes_Brahms)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: val on April 24, 2007, 11:51:33 PM
I love Brahms music. After Beethoven, Bach, Mozart and Wagner I would chose Brahms among my 5 favorite composers.

Above all I love his chamber music:
The 3 violin sonatas, the clarinet sonata opus 120/1 and the version for viola of the opus 120/2, the piano Trios, the Horn Trio, the First and 3rd piano Quartets, the 2 string quintets, the First Sextet and, on the top, the extraordinary Quintets with piano and clarinet.

Also love some of his piano music: the 3rd Sonata, the Händel Variations, the last works (opus 116 to 119).   

For the rest, Ein Deutshes Requiem, Schicksalslied, the 2nd piano concerto, the violin concerto, the Tragic Overture, the double Concerto and the 4th Symphony.

The Lieder are not among my favorite works.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: lukeottevanger on April 25, 2007, 12:12:47 AM

(http://images.wikia.com/memoryalpha/en/images/8/83/Brahms_Waltz.jpg)

What's going on there. Nos. 1 and 2 are OK, but then the end of No 2 has been chopped off, and no 3 is not by Brahms, surely - doesn't match my no 3, anyway! Nor is it literate, either - not to mention its unanounced and un-waltzlike bars of 2/4 and its poverty-stricken LH part.... If it's supposed to be by 'Brahms-as-Flint' I think we can say he was a fake ;D

(I stand to be humiliated, here, of course.... ;D It's probably real Brahms that I'm unaware of, and the errors can be explained somehow!)

When Geordi La Forge wanted to impress Doctor Leah Brahms who was about to visit him in his quarters, he decided to play a Brahms piano etude, but changed his mind because he thought the idea was too corny.

I don't know, I hardly think Brahms Piano Etudes are the most obvious wooing choice....
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Ten thumbs on April 25, 2007, 10:21:17 AM
One of my pleasantist recollections of my youth was playing the first set of Liebeslieder Waltzes in piano duet, either with my father or my sister. I later inherited the Handel Variations from my father. I love that work but for me the closing fugue is far too big and heavy. I'm currently re-practising the two rhapsodies. What I find amazing is now much more Brahms gets into his music without actually advancing harmonically at all.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 01, 2007, 10:28:54 AM
I later inherited the Handel Variations from my father. I love that work but for me the closing fugue is far too big and heavy.

The Handel Variations is a sublime composition, and the fugue is a marvelous capstone to the set of variations.  Many consider the Handel Variations among the top three sets of variations ever composed (alongside Beethoven's Diabelli and Bach's Goldberg).

If you find the fugue too heavy (too big), perhaps it's the recording.  Consider these budget-priced recordings:

Van Cliburn
Katchen
Kovacevich
Fleisher
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Don on May 01, 2007, 10:38:39 AM
The Handel Variations is a sublime composition, and the fugue is a marvelous capstone to the set of variations.  Many consider the Handel Variations among the top three sets of variations ever composed (alongside Beethoven's Diabelli and Bach's Goldberg).


Count me among the many.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 01, 2007, 10:53:14 AM
This coming Monday is Brahms' 174th birthday, and I'll begin Brahms' Birthday @ the BrewpubTM with a biographical tidbit:

(http://www.tonalsoft.com/enc/v/viennafiles/brahms-60.jpg)

Born on May 7, 1833, in Hamburg, Germany, Johannes Brahms was the son of Johann Jakob Brahms and Christina Nissen, a seamstress, who was eleven years older than her husband.   The father earned a precarious living for his family of five as an innkeeper and a musician (he played the horn and double bass). Johannes received his first music instruction from his father. Brahms’ was born in this house:

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/f/f1/Brahms_geburtshaus_in_Hamburg.jpg/349px-Brahms_geburtshaus_in_Hamburg.jpg)

He was born on the 4th floor, second window from the center (you can see his mom waving from the window).

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: MishaK on May 01, 2007, 11:11:34 AM
He was born on the 4th floor, second window from the center (you can see his mom waving from the window).

I take it you mean the American 4th floor, i.e. the 3rd European floor?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 01, 2007, 11:19:17 AM
I take it you mean the American 4th floor, i.e. the 3rd European floor?

Good point.  Yeah, 4th "American" floor . . . . . .
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 03, 2007, 12:48:26 PM
The Johannes Brahms Formula for Composition:

In some of these you seem to be too easily satisfied. One ought never to forget that by perfecting one piece more is gained and learned than by beginning or half-finishing a dozen. Let it rest . . . and keep going back to it and working over it, over and over again, until it is a complete, finished work of art, until there is not a note too much or too little, not a bar you could improve upon. Whether it is beautiful also, is an entirely different matter, but perfect it must be.
 
        Johannes Brahms, advice to Georg Henschel, 1876

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 03, 2007, 12:49:27 PM
When ideas come to you, go for a walk; then you'll discover that the thing you thought was a complete idea was actually only the beginning of a much larger one ...

         Johannes Brahms
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: greg on May 04, 2007, 03:39:43 AM
When ideas come to you, go for a walk; then you'll discover that the thing you thought was a complete idea was actually only the beginning of a much larger one ...

         Johannes Brahms

how are you gonna write it down if you're going out for a walk?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: MishaK on May 04, 2007, 07:30:14 AM
how are you gonna write it down if you're going out for a walk?

Memory?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 04, 2007, 11:12:53 AM
how are you gonna write it down if you're going out for a walk?

Greg, you're correct . . . . . . the notepad wasn't invented until 1902 by J.A.Birchall . . . . . . So there would be no way for Brahms to record his ideas . . . . . . :D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Steve on May 04, 2007, 11:17:12 AM
Greg, you're correct . . . . . . the notepad wasn't invented until 1902 by J.A.Birchall . . . . . . So there would be no way for Brahms to record his ideas . . . . . . :D

Ah, but we are forgetting the incredible, German memory. Alles nicht vergessen!  ;D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 04, 2007, 11:25:13 AM
Ah, but we are forgetting the incredible, German memory. Alles nicht vergessen!  ;D

Although there have been many times when I (personally) would wake up in the morning with a fresh melody in my head, only to forget it as the day progresses . . . . . . thereafter kicking myself for not having written it down . . . . . .
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Robert on May 04, 2007, 11:27:00 AM
Although there have been many times when I (personally) would wake up in the morning with a fresh melody in my head, only to forget it as the day progresses . . . . . . thereafter kicking myself for not having written it down . . . . . .
always keep a notepad and pencil under your  pillow......
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Steve on May 04, 2007, 12:37:35 PM
Although there have been many times when I (personally) would wake up in the morning with a fresh melody in my head, only to forget it as the day progresses . . . . . . thereafter kicking myself for not having written it down . . . . . .

That's a problem after a great practice session. I'll change something in my playing, maybe the ending, and then completely forget my alteration, unless I write it on the score.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Novi on May 05, 2007, 03:54:25 PM
This coming Monday is Brahms' 174th birthday, and I'll begin Brahms' Birthday @ the BrewpubTM with a biographical tidbit:

Wow, it's going to be one long pub crawl ...  8)

I've ordered Toscanini's Brahms symphony set (NBC) to celebrate, but don't think it will arrive by Monday though.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 06, 2007, 02:28:41 PM
More on Brahms' bio:

Brahms held a post as choirmaster, chamber musician, and court pianist-in-residence for three years (1857-60) at the Court of Detmold under the employ of Prince Leopold III of Lippe.  Detmold is 40 miles SW of Hanover, at the cusp of the Teutoburger Wald (Teutoburg Forest).  The castle’s modest library enabled Brahms to study Mozart and Haydn scores, as well as the contents of the early volumes of the Leipzig Bach Edition.  The two Serenades Opp. 11 and 16 are closely associated with Brahms's Detmold period, as is the String Sextet in B Flat Major, Opus 18.  This restful period allowed Brahms time to compose his Handel Variations, the  first version of his C minor  piano quartet, Op. 25, and to  complete his D minor piano  concerto.

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 06, 2007, 02:29:26 PM
Detmold Castle

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c5/Detmold_Schloss01.jpg/752px-Detmold_Schloss01.jpg)

Prince Leopold III

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f3/LeopoldIIILippe.jpg)

(http://www.paradiesmuehle.de/images/DetmoldSchloss.jpg)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 06, 2007, 02:31:40 PM
Three years walking amid the Teutoburger Wald from 1867-1860 provided Brahms with much needed serenity and inspiration.

Teutoburger Wald.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/62/Blick-%C3%BCber-den-Teutoburger-Wald1.jpg)
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/10/Teutoburgerwald.jpg/800px-Teutoburgerwald.jpg)

(http://moenter-meyer.de/upload/teutoburgerwald.jpg) (http://www.nordmedia.de/scripts/getdata.php3?id=3794&THUMB=YES&SCALED=YES&DWIDTH=340)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 07, 2007, 02:09:12 AM
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRAHMS ! ! !
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Florestan on May 07, 2007, 02:24:30 AM
Brahms is my favourite late 19th Century composer (well, along with Tchaikovsky and Dvorak, actually). I love ALL his music, but especially his chamber output, the most fabulous of its kind in the whole century, Beethoven excepted.

Three cheers for the good ol' beardman!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: greg on May 07, 2007, 04:57:19 AM
Ah, but we are forgetting the incredible, German memory. Alles nicht vergessen!  ;D
i wished i inherited the incredible German memory from my German ancestors  :'(
(i think i got my memory from my other ancestors)  :P
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: karlhenning on May 07, 2007, 05:00:15 AM
Ah! that explains the current WHRB Brahms Orgy

http://www.whrb.org/

And, they stream . . . .
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 07, 2007, 12:02:01 PM
but especially his chamber output, the most fabulous of its kind in the whole century, Beethoven excepted.

Agreed!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 07, 2007, 12:02:48 PM
i wished i inherited the incredible German memory  from my German ancestors  :'(
(i think i got my memory from my other ancestors)  :P

Greg, you remembered to check into the Brewpub . . . . . . that's memory enough!  :D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 07, 2007, 12:05:57 PM
Ah! that explains the current WHRB Brahms Orgy

http://www.whrb.org/

And, they stream . . . .

Hey, that's a cool resource, Karl!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Steve on May 07, 2007, 12:34:50 PM
I consider his Piano Concertos to be among the greatest of the romantic tradition. While his chamber music and symphonies have always had a special place in my collecton, for me its all about those two concerti.  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 07, 2007, 01:17:28 PM
I consider his Piano Concertos to be among the greatest of the romantic tradition.

. . . . . . and the Leipzig audience hissed at the premiere of PC #1 . . . . . . which is now regarded as one of the  gems of the repertoire.

For a good analysis (with audio), click here. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/discoveringmusic/ram/cdmwk03.ram)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Steve on May 07, 2007, 01:33:05 PM
. . . . . . and the Leipzig audience hissed at the premiere of PC #1 . . . . . . which is now regarded as one of the  gems of the repertoire.

For a good analysis (with audio), click here. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/discoveringmusic/ram/cdmwk03.ram)

Thanks for the link, D Minor

Are you aware of any other web-based Brahms resources?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Israfel the Black on May 08, 2007, 01:47:22 AM
I enjoy the Second Piano Concerto well enough, but I am surely surprised its more beloved than the First, which I find to be one of Brahms' greatest compositions.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 08, 2007, 02:59:34 AM
Thanks for the link, D Minor

Are you aware of any other web-based Brahms resources?

I list some resources in the opening post . . . . . and those resources, in turn, contain links to other resources with links . . . . . and with links within links . . . . . into infinity . . . . .  :D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 08, 2007, 03:05:25 AM
I enjoy the Second Piano Concerto well enough, but I am surely surprised its more beloved than the First, which I find to be one of Brahms' greatest compositions.

Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 is in a class of its own . . . . . to which nothing is comparable.  Brahms knew that his First Piano Concerto was the greatest concerto ever written . . . . . and only recently are we beginning to realize what Brahms knew back in 1857.

Of interest is the story of Artur Rubinstein’s obsession with Brahms and, in particular, Brahms First Piano Concerto:

Rubinstein was introduced to Brahms' music shortly after the master's death by the pianist Lotte Hahn playing the piano part in the C minor and A major Piano Quartets. For the eleven-year-old boy it was a revelation and a life-long bonding with Brahms took place.

"From that day on," Rubinstein wrote, "Brahms became my obsession. I had to know everything he had written... I would read with ecstasy anything of Brahms which fell into my hands. I would buy his music on credit; I would have stolen money to get it! When anybody wanted to give me a present, it had to be some arrangement for two hands of a symphony, or a volume of songs, or some chamber music by the beloved master... I shall never forget Professor Barth's astonishment when I told him I wanted to learn the D minor Piano Concerto of Brahms, Op. 15. 'What, what?' he exclaimed. 'You are mad, my boy - that is a formidable work, much too difficult for you!' Well, I discovered that real love knows no obstacles. A week later I played the Concerto, to Barth's amazed satisfaction... The music of Brahms has been close to me even longer than that of my great countryman, Chopin."


(from liner notes by David Dubal in Nimbus Record’s "Grand Piano -- BRAHMS" pictured below)

(http://www.wyastone.co.uk/nrl/gpiano/images/8806.jpg)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Maciek on May 08, 2007, 04:05:48 AM
"The music of Brahms has been close to me even longer than that of my great countryman, Chopin."

Well, I'll be damned! :o
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 08, 2007, 12:37:20 PM
Well, I'll be damned! :o

Can you believe it!  Brahms > Chopin!  (I knew that would get your goat!) . . . . .  :D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Iconito on May 08, 2007, 12:43:18 PM

For a good analysis (with audio), click here. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/discoveringmusic/ram/cdmwk03.ram)

Thank you, D!

I was afraid my English-listening wouldn’t be good enough for this (I do much better reading than listening...) but this guy’s pronunciation is crystal clear! (I didn’t quite get that part about the penguins, though...)

I somehow wonder if this sort of intellectual dissection of the music (like “Listen! This is a variation on that theme from the first movement!” or “this has to do with Brahm’s feelings for Schumann”) really adds to the musical experience... As if knowing the inner workings of Iconita’s lips’ muscles would make me enjoy her kisses better... Understanding music = enjoying music? (Hey! That would be a wonderful thread! Don’t you think?)

I greatly enjoyed it.  Thanks again!

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 09, 2007, 05:04:22 PM
I somehow wonder if this sort of intellectual dissection of the music (like “Listen! This is a variation on that theme from the first movement!” or “this has to do with Brahm’s feelings for Schumann”) really adds to the musical experience...

Well, if the goal is to ENJOY the music, "intellectual dissection" and analysis using external resources can heighten one's appreciation of those aspects of the music which are NOT otherwise OBVIOUS.  In reality, many masterpieces have much more to offer than what appears from a surface listen.  Still, one can enjoy the music completely without the aid of a score or other external resources . . . . . .

I think this BBC analysis of Brahms Piano Concerto no. 1 is among the best.  Having listened to, studied, and performed the concerto many times prior to listening to this analysis, I was able to squeeze even more appreciation/understanding of this complex composition.

It's really quite amazing that every motif in his 45-minute colossus derives organically from the opening theme . . . . . . . A trick Brahms picked up from Beethoven . . . . .
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 09, 2007, 05:06:58 PM
Released on May 8, 2007:

Brahms: Quartets, etc / Fleisher, Emerson String Quartet CD
Eugene Drucker (Violin)
Philip Setzer (Violin - Stradivari - 1714)
Lawrence Dutton (Viola)
David Finckel (Cello)
Leon Fleisher (Piano)

(http://www.arkivmusic.com/graphics/covers/full/98/982189.jpg)

This includes:

Quartet for Strings no 1 in C minor, Op. 51 no 1 (rec 1/2007)
Quartet for Strings no 2 in A minor, Op. 51 no 2 (rec 1/2005)
Quartet for Strings no 3 in B flat major, Op. 67 (rec 1/2005)
Quintet for Piano and Strings in F minor, Op. 34 (rec 1/2006)

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Iconito on May 09, 2007, 08:13:02 PM
Well, if the goal is to ENJOY the music, "intellectual dissection" and analysis using external resources can heighten one's appreciation of those aspects of the music which are NOT otherwise OBVIOUS.  In reality, many masterpieces have much more to offer than what appears from a surface listen.  Still, one can enjoy the music completely without the aid of a score or other external resources . . . . . .

Sorry. I didn’t mean to actually bring that debate back. Excuse my silly sense of humor.

Quote
I think this BBC analysis of Brahms Piano Concerto no. 1 is among the best.

I totally agree. In fact, I’d like to have an analysis like that for every Work I own. Very, very interesting indeed.

Once again, thank you!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 10, 2007, 02:24:57 AM
Very, very interesting indeed.

Delighted that you enjoyed it!  :D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 14, 2007, 04:54:19 AM
Releasing Tuesday May 15, 2007

Symphony no 1 in C minor, Op. 68 by Johannes Brahms
Egmont, Op. 84 by Ludwig van Beethoven
-   - - -
(http://www.arkivmusic.com/graphics/covers/full/98/982254.jpg)
Release Date: 05/15/2007
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 000880002   
 Orchestra:  Munich Symphony Orchestra
Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
 
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: quintett op.57 on May 14, 2007, 05:26:03 AM
I love ALL his music, but especially his chamber output,
Fair! I think it's the heart of his production, like Schumann.

I saw a bit of the double concerto with Oistrakh and Rostro on TV last Saturday. Seems to be a really great performance.


Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on June 02, 2007, 02:05:27 AM
Fair! I think it's the heart of his production, like Schumann.

Yes, but Brahms has many hearts .........  :D  Brahms liked to make big statements, and his orchestral production -- his symphonies and concerti in equal measure -- are also core to his output ........ Same with his solo piano (like Schumann  :D) .........
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on June 02, 2007, 02:08:05 AM
Claudio Arrau performing Brahms: Piano Sonata 3, op.5

 1st mvt Allegro Maestoso  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VMBtPUfAm4&mode=related&search=)
 2nd mvt (pt 1)  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ff9cV7fkx5M&mode=related&search=)
 2nd mvt (pt 2)  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKUZXd2Uq18&mode=related&search=)
 3d mvt (scherzo)  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3j5rEtWcepc&mode=related&search=)
 4th mvt (intermezzo)  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miE6jRKZRTw&mode=related&search=)
 Allegro Moderato con Blanstonza  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_L0Z9Fu1is)


Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: val on June 02, 2007, 02:41:44 AM
Sonata opus 5:

First movement: Arrau, 10'33''
                       Curzon, 7'34''

Second movement: Arrau, 13'43''
                       Curzon, 11'44''

Third movement:  Arrau, 4'51''
                        Curzon, 4'50''

Fourth movement:  Arrau, 4'09''
                         Curzon, 3'48''

Fifth movement:   Arrau, 7'34''
                         Curzon, 7'28''



It is curious to compare this tempos. Curzon is much more articulated and with perfect contrasts in the sonata form of the first movement. In the long "nocturno" of the second movement, Arrau has a sublime phrasing, but Curzon is more attentive to the "dialogue" that the movement implies. Both are remarkable.
Arrau's Scherzo is very heavy when compared to the elegance of Curzon. The last two movements are not very different, but Arrau is always more dense and with more colour, Curzon more direct.

I prefer Curzon, but Arrau has extraordinary moments. Those are the best versions I know of this masterpiece, in my opinion very superior to Kissin, Gelber, Katchen, Lupu. The recording of Rubinstein is not very intersting but I saw him in concert give a version with an extraordinary tension, explosive.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on June 03, 2007, 07:38:48 AM
Sonata opus 5:

First movement: Arrau, 10'33''
                       Curzon, 7'34''

Second movement: Arrau, 13'43''
                       Curzon, 11'44''

Third movement:  Arrau, 4'51''
                        Curzon, 4'50''

Fourth movement:  Arrau, 4'09''
                         Curzon, 3'48''

Fifth movement:   Arrau, 7'34''
                         Curzon, 7'28''



It is curious to compare this tempos. Curzon is much more articulated and with perfect contrasts in the sonata form of the first movement. In the long "nocturno" of the second movement, Arrau has a sublime phrasing, but Curzon is more attentive to the "dialogue" that the movement implies. Both are remarkable.
Arrau's Scherzo is very heavy when compared to the elegance of Curzon. The last two movements are not very different, but Arrau is always more dense and with more colour, Curzon more direct.

I prefer Curzon, but Arrau has extraordinary moments. Those are the best versions I know of this masterpiece, in my opinion very superior to Kissin, Gelber, Katchen, Lupu. The recording of Rubinstein is not very intersting but I saw him in concert give a version with an extraordinary tension, explosive.

Excellent post, Val  :D ....... I think you've convinced everyone reading this to give Curzon a spin ........  :D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on June 20, 2007, 08:44:29 AM
Brahms 4 / Schubie 8

(http://www.arkivmusic.com/graphics/covers/full/210/2101641.jpg)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: MishaK on June 20, 2007, 10:22:01 AM
I prefer Curzon, but Arrau has extraordinary moments. Those are the best versions I know of this masterpiece, in my opinion very superior to Kissin, Gelber, Katchen, Lupu. The recording of Rubinstein is not very intersting but I saw him in concert give a version with an extraordinary tension, explosive.

You should hear Nelson Freire, Annie Fischer and, surprisingly, Daniel Barenboim in this work. Freire is just about perfect all around. Barenboim manages to be more faithful to the finest dynamic gradations than anyone else I have heard, while still retaining structure and forward momentum. Annie is simply overwhelming with her emotional conviction and fire, though I prefer Freire and Barenbiom for the lyrical aspects of the second movement. Lupu was a disappointment for me as well. A strange non-event. I heard him play this live once, which sounded sedated at first but then he came out with the most magical rendition of the last two movements I have ever heard. Kissin is bizzarely mechanical: he makes the same ritard for the same duration in the same place near the end of each phrase.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: zamyrabyrd on June 29, 2007, 07:29:52 AM
D minor, I just want to tell you something: "G MAJOR"!!!

Yesterday, I had the privilege of playing the 1st violin and piano sonata in concert. Intense practice kept me off the boards for a while and really until the last minute I kept asking myself if there was anything I was missing in the work, it is so rich. And probably 10 years from now I will ask the same question.

The first movement is a celebration of the key of G major, a hard act to follow with the Eb Adagio and the plaintive last movement, loved by Clara Schumann. The minor theme is taken from his Regenlied but ends in major with a quote from the Adagio--a goldmine for formal analysis.

ZB
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on June 29, 2007, 03:14:10 PM
Yesterday, I had the privilege of playing the 1st violin and piano sonata in concert. Intense practice kept me off the boards for a while and really until the last minute I kept asking myself if there was anything I was missing in the work, it is so rich. And probably 10 years from now I will ask the same question.

The first movement is a celebration of the key of G major, a hard act to follow with the Eb Adagio and the plaintive last movement, loved by Clara Schumann. The minor theme is taken from his Regenlied but ends in major with a quote from the Adagio--a goldmine for formal analysis.

ZB

Congrats, ZB!  That's awesome!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on June 29, 2007, 03:25:47 PM
D minor, I just want to tell you something: "G MAJOR"!!!

And I have a rebuttal:  D MINOR, BABY!

 Perlman & Barenboim performing Brahms D Minor Violin Sonata op. 108  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR3h78Il5E4)

  Presto from D Minor Violin Sonata op. 108  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XykEvcfsrpI)

  Adagio from D Minor Violin Sonata op. 108  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-L5nSwAND3Y&mode=related&search=)


Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on June 29, 2007, 03:29:09 PM
The first movement is a celebration of the key of G major, a hard act to follow with the Eb Adagio and the plaintive last movement, loved by Clara Schumann. The minor theme is taken from his Regenlied but ends in major with a quote from the Adagio--a goldmine for formal analysis.

Just located this (a truly gorgeous sonata):

  Perlman/Barenboim with the G MAJOR violin sonata (excerpt)    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyE5w7Ygw8s)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Que on June 29, 2007, 07:53:38 PM
Just located this (a truly gorgeous sonata):

  Perlman/Barenboim with the G MAJOR violin sonata (excerpt)    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyE5w7Ygw8s)

And here's the antidote....in D Minor.  8)


Josef Suk & Rudolf Firkusny play Brahms sonata No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 108 (Second movement - Adagio) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djB1Iqu0wUs)

Q
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: zamyrabyrd on June 29, 2007, 11:00:58 PM
Just located this (a truly gorgeous sonata):
  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyE5w7Ygw8s)

I'm listening to it while typing, quite nice. I hope we get to play it again since the battery in the recording mike ran out. My partner and I really pulled out all the stops so I don't know if we could call up that kind of adrenalin again.

The first read was uninhibited but afterwards we got more and more cautious, making excuses such as "well, he wrote Vivace ma non troppo and this dolce is probably a clue to slow down as well, etc." One trap is starting off in a decent tempo and then imperceptably slowing down with the eighth notes a few measures later so you have a more comfortable speed. Perlman and Barenboim deftly avoided that snare.

VIVA G MAJOR!!

ZB

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: MishaK on June 30, 2007, 04:34:05 AM
Perlman & Barenboim performing Brahms D Minor Violin Sonata op. 108  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR3h78Il5E4)

 Presto from D Minor Violin Sonata op. 108  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XykEvcfsrpI)

 Adagio from D Minor Violin Sonata op. 108  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-L5nSwAND3Y&mode=related&search=)

These are live performances from Chicago in 1990 or thereabouts. All of these are available on a CD from Sony. Really highly recommendable (as should be evident in any case from watching the videos). Though the recording which really knocked me out of my socks for the Brahms violin sonatas was the live "Isaac Stern returns to Russia" or something like that CD with Yefim Bronfman. Those are deeply felt, very personal performances. The mood of the moment - Stern coming back to Russia after the end of Communism - and the mood of the works themselves match up to a once in a lifetime performance. Unfortunately OOP.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: zamyrabyrd on June 30, 2007, 07:32:41 AM
... Though the recording which really knocked me out of my socks for the Brahms violin sonatas was the live "Isaac Stern returns to Russia" or something like that CD with Yefim Bronfman. Those are deeply felt, very personal performances.

You gotta have feeling in order to play these pieces! My first impression of the abovementioned clips was that they were too controlled, and that's precisely what I was trying to avoid.

The Royal Philharmonic Collection put out a series of chamber music that is quite good. I have the Brahms G Major and the Frank Sonata played by Ronan O'Hora (piano) and Jonathan Carney (violin).

ZB
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: MishaK on June 30, 2007, 08:56:28 AM
You gotta have feeling in order to play these pieces! My first impression of the abovementioned clips was that they were too controlled, and that's precisely what I was trying to avoid.

I wouldn't say that's the case. I think there is a great deal of poetry in the Perlman/Barenboim performance. I enjoy it very much. But the qualities of the performance are harder to hear through youtube. It really is some of Perlman's finest work. The Stern/Bronfman is simply special for other reasons and a world of difference to the indeed a bit too controlled earlier effort.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on July 12, 2007, 02:30:09 AM
Releasing this week:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41WEB39YUeL._SS500_.jpg)

1.  Kinderszenen, Op. 15 by Robert Schumann
 
Performer:  Clifford Curzon (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1838; Germany
 
2.  Fantasies (7) for Piano, Op. 116: Capriccio(s) by Johannes Brahms
 
Performer:  Clifford Curzon (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1892; Austria  
 
3.  Moments musicaux (6) for Piano, D 780/Op. 94: no 3 in F minor by Franz Schubert
 
Performer:  Clifford Curzon (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1823-1828; Vienna, Austria
 
4.  Impromptus (4) for Piano, D 899/Op. 90: no 4 in A flat major by Franz Schubert
 
Performer:  Clifford Curzon (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1827; Vienna, Austria
 
5.  Sonata for Piano in B flat major, D 960 by Franz Schubert
 
Performer:  Clifford Curzon (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1828 


Unique 2 DVD (1 + bonus) celebration of the great English pianist, who recorded exclusively for Decca.
Produced in association with the Curzon family.

In recent years Decca has released four Original Masters box sets of Curzon's recordings. Two of these were awarded Gramophone Awards as outstanding reissues.

"a perfect aristocrat of the piano" - New York Times

"No pianist, not even Schnabel himself, can match Curzon’s lyric calm in this colossal score." - New York Times, on CD of Schubert’s B flat major Sonata

Extra features:
* BBC Desert Island discs radio programme (Clifford Curzon chooses the recordings he would want to take to a desert island)
* Photo gallery
* Discography
* Original sleeve gallery
* Audio interviews - Curzon speaks about teachers Schnabel, Landowska, etc.
* Fritz Curzon (his son) reads from an article by Clifford Curzon
* Gold Medal acceptance speech at the Royal Philharmonic Society

Program:
Schumann: Kinderszenen, op.15; Brahms: Capriccio in D minor, op.116 1959 (in black and white)
Schubert: Moment Musical No.3, D780
Schubert: Impromptu No.4 in A flat
Schubert: Sonata for piano No.21 in B flat, D960 1968 (in colour)

Filmed BBC 1951, 1959, 1965, 1968, 1969, 1980.

Duration: 62 minutes
Disc Format: NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 full screen
Region: 0 (all)
Sound: 2.0 enhanced mono
Black & White + Color
 
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on July 12, 2007, 02:34:38 AM
Releasing this week:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41AbnvaZLQL._SS500_.jpg)

Composer: Johannes Brahms
Performer: Nash Ensemble
Audio CD (July 10, 2007)
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: Import
Label: Onyx Classics UK
ASIN: B000PFU8M0
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on July 13, 2007, 02:53:27 AM
     Ashkenazy/Giulini Brahms PC #1 mvt 1 (1/3)      (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc9QMV6J-AQ)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on July 13, 2007, 03:05:45 AM
     Ashkenazy/Giulini 2/3      (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bo3PWvTP_so)

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: M forever on July 13, 2007, 07:54:21 AM
Releasing Tuesday May 15, 2007

Symphony no 1 in C minor, Op. 68 by Johannes Brahms
Egmont, Op. 84 by Ludwig van Beethoven
-   - - -
(http://www.arkivmusic.com/graphics/covers/full/98/982254.jpg)
Release Date: 05/15/2007
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 000880002   
 Orchestra:  Munich Symphony Orchestra
Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
 


I have that, although on my disc, the orchestra is not the Munich Symphony Orchestra (of which I have never heard, I have to admit), but the Münchner Philharmoniker. I wonder if it's the same recording. But I haven't listened to it yet.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Que on July 15, 2007, 11:45:26 PM
Does anyone have this recording of the cello sonatas?
I've seen rave reviews and based on sampling I got the impression that this is the first performance (on modern instruments) after Serkin/Rostropovich that really seems to "have it" - though it's quite different.

(http://discplus.ch/login/1547894/shop/upload/35479.jpg)

               High quality sound clip (http://www.zigzag-territoires.com/article.php3?id_article=941&lang=en)
(If the clip stops, just refresh the page and you'll get another sample!)

Q
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on July 17, 2007, 03:18:17 AM
I have that, although on my disc, the orchestra is not the Munich Symphony Orchestra (of which I have never heard, I have to admit), but the Münchner Philharmoniker. I wonder if it's the same recording. But I haven't listened to it yet.

No.

Strangely, they have the same covers (everything, in fact, is identical), but they're not the same.

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on July 17, 2007, 03:20:57 AM
     Brahms PC #1 Arrau  1/3 Orquesta (Filarmónica de Santiago. Juan Pablo Izquierdo, conductor. Sábado 12 de mayo de 1984. Teatro Municipal de Santiago de Chile).     (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCKi-z9CgUQ)


     Brahms PC #1 Arrau  2/3  (Filarmónica de Santiago. Juan Pablo Izquierdo, conductor. Sábado 12 de mayo de 1984. Teatro Municipal de Santiago de Chile).     (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6bphz7qKoU&mode=related&search=)


     Brahms PC #1 Arrau    3/3  (Filarmónica de Santiago. Juan Pablo Izquierdo, conductor. Sábado 12 de mayo de 1984. Teatro Municipal de Santiago de Chile).     (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feePOJ3pvxE&mode=related&search=)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on August 20, 2007, 02:23:54 AM
Brahms songs releasing tomorrow:

(http://www.arkivmusic.com/graphics/covers/full/99/998252.jpg)

And released this month:

Concert in Versailles

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51PmHRZ%2BtTL._SS500_.jpg)

Beethoven
Concerto for piano and orchestra No.4 in G Major Op.58
Brahms
Concerto for violin and orchestra in D Major Op.77
Saint-Saëns
Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso for violin and orchestra in A Minor Op.28
Orchestra: The French Symphonic Orchestra
Conductor: Laurent Petitgirard
Soloists: Sung Sic Yang, violin, Kun Woo Paik, piano
Recorded at Trianon Palace, Versailles, France, September 1995
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on August 20, 2007, 02:27:28 AM
Also noticed this:



Brahms Piano Concerto no. 1 in D Minor on DVD (Barenboim)
(also Bruch VC with Zukerman & Ravel's La Valse)

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51vRvAti7JL._SS400_.jpg)

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Bonehelm on August 20, 2007, 03:22:18 AM
Thanks very much for the YouTube links, D. That very first flourish of the entire concerto was so brilliantly layed out.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on August 21, 2007, 02:58:40 AM
Thanks very much for the YouTube links, D. That very first flourish of the entire concerto was so brilliantly layed out.

Yes ........ I adore that opening .........
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on August 21, 2007, 03:00:43 AM
"The god of my own youthful adoration was Brahms, and I wrote flagrantly in the manner of the immortal Johannes"

--Georges Enescu, born yesterday (August 19) in 1881  
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on August 21, 2007, 03:01:31 AM
Thanks very much for the YouTube links, D. That very first flourish of the entire concerto was so brilliantly layed out.

(PS ....... That opening is in D Minor  :D)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Bonehelm on August 21, 2007, 03:21:50 AM
(PS ....... That opening is in D Minor  :D)

No wonder you keep recommending it.  :D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on September 04, 2007, 11:44:58 AM
Speaking of Brahms' D Minor piano concerto ........ has anyone heard or read about (directly or indirectly), or knows of anyone who's heard about or read about (directly or indirectly) this performance by Géza Anda (w/Jochum) on Tahra label?

(http://www.tahra.com/img/couv/536.jpg)


"We have paid a tribute to this pianist that Furtwängler called the troubadour of the piano, with two unissued recordings: the 21st Mozart concerto recorded in Canada with the great Czech conducter Karl Ancerl and the 1st Brahms concerto recorded during a public concert given in Amsterdam with the Concertgebouw and Eugen Jochum. To date it is the only known document with Anda playing this work."
 
 
Individual Track Details: 
 
1.  Concerto for Piano no 20 in D minor, K 466 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Géza Anda (Piano)
 
2.  Concerto for Piano no 1 in D minor, Op. 15 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Géza Anda (Piano)
 
W.A. Mozart : Piano concerto No. 21, KV 467 (Toronto SO, Karel Ancerl - Live 4.III.1970) - J. Brahms : Piano concerto No. 1 op. 15 (Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam - Eugen Jochum - Live 1.IV.1967 - "Geza Anda appears by courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon GmbH Hamburg" (Not for sale in the USA and in Canada)



Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Scott on September 23, 2007, 07:20:13 AM
Just back from a concert comprising the two Brahms String Sextets, Opp. 18 & 36,  played by faculty members from Middlebury College and Dartmouth, and I'm still floating on air (if a guy my size can be said to float!). It truly exceeded my expectations. I'd never been to a chamber concert by local faculty before, but I was mightily impressed. In fact, the only one of the players I'd ever heard before -- being new here -- was cellist Dieuwvke Davydov, who I knew was good. (She studied with Leonard Rose.)

I was most impressed with violist Paul Reynolds who plays a huge viola that has a gorgeous huge rich tone which he was able to fine down when needed but bring out in the many solo viola lines in both sextets.

It was nice that the first chairs exchanged seats with the second chairs for the Op. 36 Sextet. The second first cello (if you're not confused by that designation) was equally good, a fellow named John Dunlop who is principal cello in the Vermont Symphony and teaches at Dartmouth.

God, I love these sextets. I'd go back and hear them again right now!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on September 24, 2007, 12:46:10 PM
Just back from a concert comprising the two Brahms String Sextets, Opp. 18 & 36,  played by faculty members from Middlebury College and Dartmouth, and I'm still floating on air

What a great concert!  0:) Thanks for sharing ........  8)

God, I love these sextets. I'd go back and hear them again right now!

Yes, the sextets are priceless gems ....... and overlooked by many, many listeners and musicians  :'( ........
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on September 24, 2007, 01:17:21 PM
Okay I'm going to fly my "geek flag" here but the Brahms Sextet was used in a Next Generation episode called "Sarek" in which the Vulcan cries at a ship concert.  There are two excerpts during the scene, one from the 1st mvt of Mozart's Dissonance SQ, and the other from the 2nd mvt of the Brahms.  Its a rather good scene and it actually has no dialogue for about two minutes while the music is playing.

Yes, the slow movement of Brahms op. 16 sextet is breathtaking, and its beauty is otherworldly.

In fact, it’s ravishing enough to make even a Vulcan cry:

http://www.youtube.com/v/_YynPPWpfsg
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Florestan on September 24, 2007, 10:20:38 PM
Yes, the slow movement of  Brahms op. 16 sextet is breathtaking, and its beauty is otherworldly.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on September 25, 2007, 10:34:39 AM
Yes, the slow movement of   Brahms op. 16 sextet is breathtaking, and its beauty is otherworldly.

Well, the slow movement is singularly captivating .........
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on October 02, 2007, 03:08:37 PM
Countdown 7 DAYS until the release of a truly magical DVD on DG ........
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Bonehelm on October 02, 2007, 04:40:57 PM
Countdown 7 DAYS until the release of a truly magical DVD on DG ........

It being?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on October 03, 2007, 02:18:08 PM
It being?

(((see below)))
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on October 12, 2007, 09:57:11 AM
Brahms Piano Concerto no. 1 in d minor op. 15 (w/piano reduction of orchestra part)

[yes, parts are painful to listen to ….. but it’s fun!]

Added a few hours ago ……. parts 4 and 5 have not yet been added

The pianist is not identified, but I know it's a guy wearing a blue shirt ......

http://www.youtube.com/v/Fs2C0VQ_6pM

pt. 2

http://www.youtube.com/v/zrplgGIxhK0

pt 3

http://www.youtube.com/v/mNgTFbCtIP0
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on October 16, 2007, 10:27:02 AM
For those who wish Brahms had composed a VIOLA concerto, here ya go:

Brahms Viola Concerto - Clarinet Quintet conducted by Bashmet pt.1-1 (transcribed as a viola concerto)

Yuri Bashmet and Toho Gakuen Orchestra
Music Festival Argerich's Meeting Point in Bepp

http://www.youtube.com/v/eD_AxtuyVFw

http://www.youtube.com/v/4IdjxSKYSjU&mode=related&search=

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on October 16, 2007, 10:28:24 AM
Brahms - Clarinet Quintet conducted by Bashmet pt.2 (transcribed as a viola concerto)

Yuri Bashmet and Toho Gakuen Orchestra
Music Festival Argerich's Meeting Point in Bepp

http://www.youtube.com/v/r-zYTGNI94k
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on October 16, 2007, 10:29:36 AM
Brahms - Clarinet Quintet conducted by Bashmet pt.3 (transcribed as a viola concerto)

Yuri Bashmet and Toho Gakuen Orchestra
Music Festival Argerich's Meeting Point in Bepp

http://www.youtube.com/v/FAjKQAhU9MI
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Guido on October 16, 2007, 01:29:06 PM
http://www.cup.cam.ac.uk/us/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521581936

Quote
Regarded by many as Brahms' first real chamber work,


What the hell?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on October 17, 2007, 02:21:56 AM
http://www.cup.cam.ac.uk/us/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521581936
 

What the hell?

WTF?  That's wacked ......... and makes zero sense ..........
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on October 22, 2007, 05:45:52 AM
Brahms' massive piano concerto no. 2, 1st mvt (played by Jeffrey Nau?)

http://www.youtube.com/v/kk_InhMwUEM

http://www.youtube.com/v/cz6Vq_QSy5Y&mode=related&search=Jeffrey%20nau%20Brahms%20piano%20concerto%202

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on October 23, 2007, 05:48:26 AM
Releases 10/23/07
Brahms Violin Sonata in D major / LvB VC
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51kXzDZokfL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on October 23, 2007, 09:36:05 AM
Serkin's Brahms is powerful, exciting

October 23, 2007

By Jim Lowe Times Argus Staff
 
BURLINGTON – The Vermont Symphony Orchestra opened its 2007-2008 season Saturday at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts with a blockbuster of a concert. Not only did Peter Serkin deliver a spectacular performance of Brahms' First Piano Concerto, the orchestra played with new and beautiful sonorities in some very colorful music.

Serkin, a Vermont native living in New York City, was clearly the star of the evening. His playing of Johannes Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1 in d minor, Opus 15, revealed an unusual depth of understanding and at the same time proved quite exciting. This concerto is a grand and virtuosic work, and Serkin managed its technical difficulties almost unnoticeably, instead emphasizing its musical power.

Serkin's playing is largely without affectation – save the occasional unexpected emphasis on a note – beautiful sounding and profoundly musical. Often a somewhat placid player, he proved truly dramatic in this most dramatic work. It was a performance that was both satisfying and exciting.

The VSO's accompaniment, conducted by Music Director Jaime Laredo, was impressively sensitive and beautiful. The strings, in particular, achieved a rich warm sound, augmented by deft and lyrical wind and brass playing. The result was a polished one.

Still, the orchestra's real showcase was Alberto Ginastera's 1953 "Variaciones concertantes (Concert Variations)." Although its themes are original, the 12-movement work evokes the folk music of Argentina, albeit with a more contemporary harmonic language. Many of the variations are chamber music-like and spotlight principal players of the orchestra. Laredo, actually a native of Bolivia, led the orchestra in a lively and spicy performance of the scintillating Latin rhythm-driven piece.

The concert opened with the Ravel's more pastel-like "Mother Goose Suite." Here again, despite a few rough spots among the winds, Laredo and the orchestra delivered the colors beautifully and with warmth. In short, this concert had it all.

 
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on October 31, 2007, 07:57:28 AM
Want high energy?

http://www.youtube.com/v/GxJrElIewok

Pierre-Laurent Aimard plays Brahms's Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, 4th movement.
Added: October 27, 2007
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on October 31, 2007, 07:59:20 AM
Feltsman Plays Brahms D Minor Piano Concerto At Seattle Orchestra

Seattle Symphony Orchestra Music Director Gerard Schwarz will be joined by distinguished pianist Vladimir Feltsman for a week of music featuring the works of Johannes Brahms.

On Thursday, November 8, at 7:30 p.m. and Friday, November 9, at 8 p.m., the program will include Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1 and Symphony No. 2. On Saturday, November 10, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, November 11, at 2 p.m., the Orchestra will perform Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2 and Symphony No. 4.
***
Johannes Brahms wrote his Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor early in his career and in the wake of two shattering experiences. One was the demise of his friend and mentor Robert Schumann, the other was his first hearing of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Both events prompted the sternly powerful tone of the concerto's opening movement. Darkness then gives way to light. The central Adagio brings music of almost religious serenity, and the finale is vigorous in a way that recalls Beethoven.

In contrast to the somber character of the First Piano Concerto's opening movement, Brahms' Symphony No. 2 in D major is a predominantly genial composition. Its initial movement features, among its melodic ideas, a variant of the famous "Brahms lullaby," while the ensuing Adagio and the Allegretto grazioso third movement present a play of sunlight and shadow. Brahms closes with a spirited, and ultimately exultant, finale.

Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major is widely considered the composer's supreme achievement and stands as one of the most imposing of all compositions for piano and orchestra. That stature is partly due to its grandeur of scale and tone. At four movements, this concerto has the dimensions of a Romantic symphony. Moreover, its opening movement conveys an unmistakably heroic character.

Like the Second Piano Concerto, the Symphony No. 4 in E minor is a product of Brahms' maturity and is one of the masterpieces of the orchestral literature. Nowhere did the composer achieve a more potent blend of Romantic expression—heard as soaring melodic lines and deeply yearning harmonies—and rigorous Classical form, including the remarkable set of continuous variations on a terse theme in the finale. -- www.seattlesymphony.org
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on October 31, 2007, 08:08:01 AM
HEAR IT: BRAHMS FESTIVAL

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music is celebrating Johannes Brahms' 175th birthday with a free Brahms Festival through Nov. 11. At 8 p.m. today in Corbett Auditorium, pianist Eugene Pridonoff performs Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1 with the CCM Concert Orchestra. 513-556-4183, www.ccm.uc.edu.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on October 31, 2007, 08:20:26 AM
 John Eliot Gardiner and his Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique have just started a two-year project placing Brahms "in the context of music he himself cherished." (CLICK FOR MORE)  (http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/live_reviews/article2771784.ece)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Scott on November 01, 2007, 03:27:16 AM
Want high energy?


The frenetic editing of the video contributes to the 'energy' and frankly it gave me a headache with all the frantic intercutting. Great performance by Aimard and pals, though. Who are the string players?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on November 04, 2007, 03:51:22 PM
 Symphony Nova Scotia undertakes its biggest project of the 2007-08 season with this week’s three-concert Brahms Festival, including the first Piano Concerto in d minor with Jon Kimura Parker, the Double Concerto for Violin and Cello with Marc and Denise Djokic, and the German Requiem with soloists Donna Brown (soprano) Olivier Laquerre (bass-baritone) and the Symphony Nova Scotia Chorus.  (http://thechronicleherald.ca/Entertainment/976513.html)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on November 04, 2007, 04:06:39 PM
Brahms: Double Concerto; Clarinet Quintet, Capuçon/ Capuçon/ Gustav Mahler JO/ Chung/ Meyer/ Capuçon Quartet

(http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2007/11/01/brahms_.jpg)



 "The performance is outstanding; this is all exceptional Brahms playing."  (http://arts.guardian.co.uk/filmandmusic/story/0,,2203367,00.html)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on November 06, 2007, 06:59:22 PM
(http://www.cedrictiberghien.com/photoCT2.jpg)

 Cedric Tiberghien playing Johannes Brahms Ballade, Op. 10, No. 1  (http://www.cedrictiberghien.com/english.html)


http://www.youtube.com/v/b--jNta0aGY
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on November 06, 2007, 07:03:39 PM
Julius Katchen plays Brahms' piano sonatano 2 in F sharp minor, op. 2 - Movements 1 & 2 /ALLEGRO NON TROPPO MA ENERGICO & ANDANTE CON ESPRESSIONE

http://www.youtube.com/v/SP6z2VG2i2M

This is intense Brahms......... played with brisk, controlled passion ........


Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on November 06, 2007, 08:06:14 PM
...... Brahms 4th sighting

Carlos Kleiber conducts Brahms Symphony No.4 (1st mov./ first part), with the Bavarian State Orchestra.

Sound is not great  :'(

mvt 1.1

http://www.youtube.com/v/yCaaPaQx5zg

mvt 1.2

http://www.youtube.com/v/MQ9myj8a2QE

mvt 3

http://www.youtube.com/v/Trr_9rXaI1U
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on November 07, 2007, 05:48:22 PM
Brahms on authentic instruments ........



In this performance by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Vladimir Jurowski, Schubert's newly limbed torso had a ring of credibility about it from the point of view of style and structure, though we shall never know what Schubert would have done if anything at all.

Brahms apparently loved to play his First Piano Concerto on a Centennial D Steinway Grand, and listening to Stephen Hough's dynamic, magisterial performance of it on a restored 1876 model it is easy to understand why.

The Centennial D is a sturdy beast, mellower in timbre than a modern Steinway but with hidden depths and a wonderful, deep-throated growl to its bass notes.

In Hough's hands it also revealed a range of colour and a responsiveness to touch, not merely in the concerto's more mammoth moments but elsewhere in passages of delicacy.

With Jurowski's judicious balance of the period instruments, piano and orchestra were ideally matched. All in all, a fascinating experimental evening yielding intriguing rewards.

 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2007/11/08/bmoae108.xml)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: MishaK on November 08, 2007, 08:26:44 AM
Brahms apparently loved to play his First Piano Concerto on a Centennial D Steinway Grand, and listening to Stephen Hough's dynamic, magisterial performance of it on a restored 1876 model it is easy to understand why.

The Centennial D is a sturdy beast, mellower in timbre than a modern Steinway but with hidden depths and a wonderful, deep-throated growl to its bass notes.

In Hough's hands it also revealed a range of colour and a responsiveness to touch, not merely in the concerto's more mammoth moments but elsewhere in passages of delicacy.

...or you could just play it on a Bösendorfer or a Bechstein, which exhibit similar timbral qualities over modern (esp. NY - as opposed to Hamburg) Steinways. Bechstein has been my weapon of choice for years now.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: FideLeo on November 08, 2007, 09:03:31 AM
Brahms on authentic instruments ........



In this performance by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Vladimir Jurowski, Schubert's newly limbed torso had a ring of credibility about it from the point of view of style and structure, though we shall never know what Schubert would have done if anything at all.

Brahms apparently loved to play his First Piano Concerto on a Centennial D Steinway Grand, and listening to Stephen Hough's dynamic, magisterial performance of it on a restored 1876 model it is easy to understand why.

The Centennial D is a sturdy beast, mellower in timbre than a modern Steinway but with hidden depths and a wonderful, deep-throated growl to its bass notes.

In Hough's hands it also revealed a range of colour and a responsiveness to touch, not merely in the concerto's more mammoth moments but elsewhere in passages of delicacy.

With Jurowski's judicious balance of the period instruments, piano and orchestra were ideally matched. All in all, a fascinating experimental evening yielding intriguing rewards.

 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2007/11/08/bmoae108.xml)

19th-century Steinway pianofortes were perfect for performing Brahms concertos - whereas Streichers (with responsive Viennese-style mechanisms) were apparently the composer's choice in chamber and solo repertories.  A recording of the concertos from the OAE and an adequate soloist would be very nice indeed.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on November 12, 2007, 07:33:57 AM
Uploaded yesterday:

Brahms violin concerto part1
Pavel Guerchovitch
PM Durand
Paris

http://www.youtube.com/v/iAXy9F3mLI0
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on November 12, 2007, 07:35:04 AM
http://www.youtube.com/v/4NePC3x1WoY

Aristo piano trio plays Brahms C Major Trio op. 87 – 4TH mvt
Joseph Kaizer, cello
Andrew Ling, violin
Chia-Lin Yang, piano
October 24th, 2007
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on November 12, 2007, 07:37:04 AM
3d mvt http://www.youtube.com/v/sQF1vcwLrUc

Aristo piano trio plays Brahms C Major Trio op. 87 – 3rd mvt
Joseph Kaizer, cello
Andrew Ling, violin
Chia-Lin Yang, piano
October 24th, 2007
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on November 12, 2007, 07:38:48 AM
2d mvt http://www.youtube.com/v/rWR_UyqNaYs

Aristo piano trio plays Brahms C Major Trio op. 87 – 2d mvt
Joseph Kaizer, cello
Andrew Ling, violin
Chia-Lin Yang, piano
October 24th, 2007
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on November 12, 2007, 05:00:04 PM
http://www.youtube.com/v/G54UZ6L7OTY

Piano Sonata No.3 in F-Minor, Op.5 (1st movement) by Johannes Brahms

2007 Peggy Friedmann-Gordon Music Competition Winners' Recital

Michael Lao Cu (20), piano - 1st Place
Harold J. Kaplan Concert Hall
Center for the Arts
Towson University
08 November 2007


Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: rappy on November 13, 2007, 12:06:18 PM
Does anybody agree with me if I consider his piano concertos as his greatest efforts?

Reasons for Piano Concerto Op. 15 D minor being the greatest ever written:

- most impressive, powerful, fascinating and suspenseful opening I've ever heard
- most beautiful use of Sixths (when the piano enters)
- most touching and solemn second theme there has ever been
- greatest use of strings in lower register I've ever heard (orchestral version of second theme)
- most elegant combination of ternary and binary rhythms
- greatest and most powerful coda of all concertos

Reasons for Piano Concerto Op. 83 Bb major being the greatest ever written:

- most innovative opening for a piano concerto
- most beautiful horn solo
- most beautiful and harmonically interesting cadenza at the beginning
- most impressive use of pizzicato strings
- greatest conclusions of the orchestral parts
- most beautiful scherzo middle section
- most profound scherzo
- most beautiful cello solo
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on November 13, 2007, 12:11:51 PM
Does anybody agree with me if I consider his piano concertos as his greatest efforts?

Reasons for Piano Concerto Op. 15 D minor being the greatest ever written:

- most impressive, powerful, fascinating and suspenseful opening I've ever heard
- most beautiful use of Sixths (when the piano enters)
- most touching and solemn second theme there has ever been
- greatest use of strings in lower register I've ever heard (orchestral version of second theme)
- most elegant combination of ternary and binary rhythms
- greatest and most powerful coda of all concertos

Reasons for Piano Concerto Op. 83 Bb major being the greatest ever written:

- most innovative opening for a piano concerto
- most beautiful horn solo
- most beautiful and harmonically interesting cadenza at the beginning
- most impressive use of pizzicato strings
- greatest conclusions of the orchestral parts
- most beautiful scherzo middle section
- most profound scherzo
- most beautiful cello solo

I absolutely agree.   0:) They are towering masterpieces in every respect.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on November 13, 2007, 12:53:22 PM
Live performance of Brahms' 1st piano concerto in D minor, op. 15, with Kirill Gerstein, Gustavo Dudamel and the Simon Bolivar youth symphony orchestra
Pt 1 http://www.youtube.com/v/uKVRQXLPdHk
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on November 13, 2007, 12:55:29 PM
Live performance of Brahms' 1st piano concerto in D minor, op. 15, with Kirill Gerstein, Gustavo Dudamel and the Simon Bolivar youth symphony orchestra
Pt 2 http://www.youtube.com/v/fGvN_q02qG4
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on November 13, 2007, 01:01:10 PM
Live performance of Brahms' 1st piano concerto in D minor, op. 15, with Kirill Gerstein, Gustavo Dudamel and the Simon Bolivar youth symphony orchestra
Pt 3 http://www.youtube.com/v/XdlBE681aAU

Live performance of Brahms' 1st piano concerto in D minor, op. 15, with Kirill Gerstein, Gustavo Dudamel and the Simon Bolivar youth symphony orchestra
Pt 4http://www.youtube.com/v/rLTAAUrqDz0

Live performance of Brahms' 1st piano concerto in D minor, op. 15, with Kirill Gerstein, Gustavo Dudamel and the Simon Bolivar youth symphony orchestra
pt 5 http://www.youtube.com/v/09nY16tOWgA
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on November 19, 2007, 04:17:40 AM
TV Lookout for the Week of Nov. 18-24
By FRAZIER MOORE – 2 days ago


_ A new season of PBS' "Great Performances" begins as Daniel Barenboim, Pinchas Zukerman and Zubin Mehta lead a special birthday gathering. It's "The Israel Philharmonic 70th Anniversary Gala Concert," with music including the Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 and Brahms' first great orchestral work, the D-minor Piano Concerto No. 1. The concert was recorded in Tel Aviv last December and premieres Wednesday at 9 p.m. (check local listings), marking another milestone: the start of "Great Performances'" 35th year.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: marvinbrown on November 19, 2007, 06:39:38 AM
2d mvt http://www.youtube.com/v/rWR_UyqNaYs

Aristo piano trio plays Brahms C Major Trio op. 87 – 2d mvt
Joseph Kaizer, cello
Andrew Ling, violin
Chia-Lin Yang, piano
October 24th, 2007


  WOW, that piano trio op.87 is very beautiful D I can't believe I don't have that in my collection  $:)!  But then again my Brahm's collection has been growing steadily over the past couple of months, I'll be looking to add the Brahm's piano trios to my collection soon. Thanks for that post.

  marvin
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on December 31, 2007, 11:03:02 AM
http://www.youtube.com/v/DwNZXJlTMww
 
(Mravinsky)Brahms Symphony No. 4 Mvt IV
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on January 01, 2008, 02:50:15 PM

 
Top twelve recordings of 2007  (http://www.musicalcriticism.com/recordings/top-twelve-recordings-1207.shtml)
 
(http://www.musicalcriticism.com/recordings/nash-brahms.jpg)
 
Brahms: String Sextets
Nash Ensemble (Onyx)
Release Date: May 2007
 



The Nash Ensemble's latest CD release of Brahms' Sextets No. 1 (op. 18) and No. 2 (op. 36) once again leads the way with an energetic, brilliant and deeply atmospheric performance.

On almost every level they impress. From the tightness of their ensemble to the brilliance of their sound, these six dynamic performers achieve sparkle and delight. The Onyx label has certainly selected the best: this recording is one to be marvelled at and envied.

String Sextets No. 1 and No. 2 occupy an important place in Brahms' repertoire. Composed early in his career (1858 and 1864), they were the first chamber works to be written without the inclusion of a piano. In choosing the string sextet (rather than the more common quartet), Brahms was attracted by the full lyrical and melodic potential an extra viola and cello could offer: with this scoring, the lower lines could maintain their traditional role whilst also contesting for the melody. Certainly these sextets challenge the full extent of technique and demand the equal contribution of each player - traits which Brahms passionately valued.

The first movement of the String Sextet No. 1 is marked by the elegance of the Nash Ensemble's playing. Their opening is dignified, allowing space for the momentum of Brahms' antiphonal writing between the first violin and first cello to emerge. The intense and rich textures that follow are matched by the sonorous and brilliant sound of the Nash Ensemble. But what excites me most is the driving force of the second movement. The opening theme is relentless while the following stormy variations show off the virtuosic playing of both the violas (Lawrence Power and Philip Dukes) and cellos (Paul Watkins and Tim Hugh). A little treat is followed in the Scherzo: Allegro molto which lives up to its name - the Allegro is certainly fast but skilfully controlled. Ensemble is everything for these Nash players. It comes as no surprise then that the final movement, scored in the more conventional style of a quartet, is equally delightful and ends the work with an exciting viola flourish.

Brahms' Second String Sextet is of another mood altogether but is just as accomplished as the first. The slow trill from the viola hints from the start at the darker nature of this work. A sense of foreboding is also marked by the emergence of the theme which appears in unison octaves: it hints at Brahms' personal despair following the agony of his failed romances of both Agathe von Siebold and Clara Schumann. The seamless transitions between the contrasting (and juxtaposed) troubled and animated passages are impressive. However, the real highlight for me is the stylish trio section in the second movement. This is performed with zest, displaying the full finesse of the Nash Ensemble. Occasionally it is difficult to hear the middle register pizzicatos of the opening and final sections, but this is a small consideration.

The Nash Ensemble beautifully encapsulates the different characters of each of the five variations. They present a broad scope of dynamic colour with careful negotiation of the contrapuntal passages in the third variation.

A final testament to the Nash's talent comes with the closing movement. Its buoyant tempo and rapid semi-quaver passages are tackled with ease and each player with their boundless energy drives the piece to a close. Final credit goes to the sound engineer Simon Haram, who kept even the lowest of registers audible.

An outstanding performance from the Nash Ensemble, who retain their title as one of Britain's finest chamber groups.

By Mary Robb

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on January 01, 2008, 03:00:48 PM
Top twelve recordings of 2007

-------
Brahms: Piano Quintet; String Quartet Op.51 No.2
Stephen Hough; Takács Quartet (Hyperion CDA 967551)
Release Date: November 2007

It's with rather dull inevitability that this disc from Stephen Hough and the Takács Quartet is every bit as good as one would expect. A forthright, clearly defined and stunningly well played performance of Brahms' F minor Piano Quintet is coupled with the same composer's String Quartet in A minor, Op.51 No.2 in what we can only hope is an indication that the Takács will go on to record the remaining two quartets.

This has to be one of the most intelligently played and controlled performance of the quintet I've heard. It might be less dramatic than some and there might be those who miss the spectacle of the string players trying to assert themselves against a pianist's dominant personality, but for me this is chamber music playing of the highest order. Helped by Hyperion's exemplary engineering, Hough fits into the texture seamlessly; the piano's lines, especially in the opening movement, mix easily with those of the strings and its percussive power is used to underpin the general argument, rather than dominate it.

There is nothing routine about this performance. The staccato chords which Brahms makes such a feature of in the first movement development are all carefully placed, the furious repeated notes that bring the scherzo to a close are fiery but never out of control. It's part and parcel of what makes the Takács who they are, the quartet now consistently named the best in the world. Obviously there are no technical hurdles for them but their sound is always alive; Edward Dusinberre, the first violin, leads from the front with his limpid, endlessly flexible playing.

'Cellist András Fejér in particular is outstanding, listen for example to how he phrases the finale's theme, urgent yet playful, and it's always a joy to hear Geraldine Walter's viola sing through the texture. It's a performance that highlights the classical heritage and taut discipline of Brahms's writing. Contrapuntal lines are played off against one another to produce tension but none of the conflict which more overtly romantic performances can produce and the several fugato passages are particularly successful. That's not to say, though, that it wants for drama – without ever losing control, the players can unleash power with the best of them (listen, for example, to the build-up in the first movement's development and the big writing in the scherzo).

The results are predictably every bit as fine for the Quartet Op.52 No.2. And as several commentators wrote when the first disc by the Takács came out on Hyperion (a very well received couple of Schubert quartets), it's great news for the British label to have on their books this great quartet which now, after another change of personal (Walter has only been on board for two years) seems to have found the perfect balance, in temprament and timbre, between its players. It's good news for the quartet too, to have a label behind them that has always had an unparalleled commitment to chamber music.

The quartet on the disc is essentially a more lyrical work than the quintet and Dusinberre sings out his various melodic lines in the first movement with wonderful sweetness, and he's matched by his colleagues (listen to the wistful viola counterpoint starting at 1'15, for example). The quietly reflective Andante moderato gives us yet another opportunity to marvel at the detail and subtlety of the Takács' playing. The contrasts in the central section between the anguished minor outbursts and the meltingly beautiful return to lyricism are beautifully captured. The lightness they bring to the formally adventurous third movement and the urgency and virtuosity in the finale are no less impressive.

Although the Takács lack some of the tonal refulgence of, say, the Alban Bergs, they more than make up for this with playing which marries lyricism and athleticism; they have a seriousness of purpose but always with a glint in their collective eye. And their collaboration with Stephen Hough is hugely impressive. All lovers of chamber music, Brahms and music in general should snap this disc up and I hope we don't have too long to wait before their next release.

By Hugo Shirley

 

(http://www.musicalcriticism.com/recordings/cd-brahms-takacs-1107.jpg)


Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on January 01, 2008, 05:16:21 PM
Who is Hugo Shirley ? VP of sales for Hyperion? That's what that review sounds like.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: val on January 03, 2008, 02:32:21 AM
BRAHMS: The clarinet Quintet, the Clarinet Trio and the two clarinet sonatas by Reginald Kell.

To me, the absolute version. In the Quintet he plays with the Fine Arts Quartet. Everyone should listen to the Adagio of the Quintet: Kell is sublime.

In fact, this box with Kell's recordings in America, including Mozart, Brahms, Weber, Saint-Saens, Debussy, Bartok, is incredible beautiful.

To me, the greatest clarinetist of the century.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Sydney Grew on January 03, 2008, 03:46:22 AM
Some of my favorite Brahms pictures:

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/11/Johannes_Brahms_1853.jpg/436px-Johannes_Brahms_1853.jpg)

What a fine photograph is that first one in your reply number 3 Mr. D Minor! We have not seen it before, and have saved it onto our hard disc so as to be able to view it at our leisure.

Here is one of our own favourites - we admire the intelligence in his eyes:

(http://s176.photobucket.com/albums/w164/sydgrew/Brahms.jpg)

While still a youth we yearned for about a year to hear Brahms's First Piano Concerto. Recordings in those far-off days were not as readily available as they are now. Finally the opportunity came, at a concert given by Hephzibah Menuhin. We remember her slim white-clad figure as though it were yesterday. But what power and authority in that slight frame! Her performance was a life-changing experience which will remain with us always.

Nowadays when we turn to Brahms it is generally to one of those intricate String Quartets, or to the Second, Third, and always and ever the Fourth Symphony. He was despite the majesty of that Concerto rather a late developer was he not? Once he had got the First Symphony off his chest - he had manfully struggled with it for many years - he truly blossomed.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on January 03, 2008, 05:07:34 AM
Hey Sydney, that first picture is my Avatar.  ;D I love that youthful picture of Brahms!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on January 03, 2008, 05:09:50 AM
A great CD I took out at the library the other week is:

On Avie label.  Brahms Violin Sonatas, Viola Sonatas and the F.A.E Sonata.  Shlomo Mintz on violin and viola, Itamar Golan on piano.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on January 03, 2008, 10:39:10 AM
I have a question.

Are there any recordings of the complete F.A.E. Sonata, including all 3 movements by Dietrich, Schumann and Brahms?  ???
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on January 03, 2008, 10:58:35 AM
BRAHMS: The clarinet Quintet, the Clarinet Trio and the two clarinet sonatas by Reginald Kell.

To me, the absolute version. In the Quintet he plays with the Fine Arts Quartet. Everyone should listen to the Adagio of the Quintet: Kell is sublime.

In fact, this box with Kell's recordings in America, including Mozart, Brahms, Weber, Saint-Saens, Debussy, Bartok, is incredible beautiful.

To me, the greatest clarinetist of the century.

I believe Val is referring to this:

 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41VEBTP0RSL._SS500_.jpg)
 
 
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: carlos on January 03, 2008, 02:03:38 PM
I have a question.

Are there any recordings of the complete F.A.E. Sonata, including all 3 movements by Dietrich, Schumann and Brahms?  ???

Yes,it is. A double Pavane with the 3 violin sonatas,
the 2 sonatas op.120 transcribed to violin, and the FAE
by Jerrold Rubinstein and Dalia Ouziel. Harry Collier
(who else but him?) let me copied it.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: val on January 04, 2008, 02:45:29 AM
Quote
D Minor
I believe Val is referring to this:

 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41VEBTP0RSL._SS500_.jpg)

YES.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on January 04, 2008, 04:55:34 AM
Yes,it is. A double Pavane with the 3 violin sonatas,
the 2 sonatas op.120 transcribed to violin, and the FAE
by Jerrold Rubinstein and Dalia Ouziel. Harry Collier
(who else but him?) let me copied it.

Thanks for the info, Carlos.  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: JoshLilly on January 04, 2008, 08:12:35 AM
Pictures of Brahms are great. What about hearing Brahms? No, not just his music, I mean, hearing Brahms. I'm sure most everyone is already familiar with this, but for those who might not be:

http://ccrma-www.stanford.edu/~brg/brahms2.html

On a related note, there is also a recording that exists of Arthur Sullivan giving a brief speech, and a performance of his Lost Chord performed in his presence on the same day. These can also be found on the Internet.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Harry on January 04, 2008, 08:24:12 AM
Brahms has a rather high pitched voice....
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: JoshLilly on January 04, 2008, 09:03:36 AM
I read once that it was why he grew the beard, to try to offset his voice. I don't buy it. And it may not even be his voice. It could be someone saying "I have" - instead of "I am" - "Dr. Brahms, Johannes Brahms". As mentioned on that site, Brahms didn't refer to himself as Doctor often, if at all, anywhere else. Anyway, it is him playing, whether or not it's him speaking!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: 71 dB on January 04, 2008, 12:11:53 PM
Brahms has a rather high pitched voice....

Really? Did he have a lower voice when he was alive?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Kullervo on January 04, 2008, 12:34:41 PM
I could barely tell that was a piano playing, much less whether he was saying "I am Johannes Brahms".
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Harry on January 04, 2008, 12:44:02 PM
I could barely tell that was a piano playing, much less whether he was saying "I am Johannes Brahms".

Well the Doctor Johannes Brahms I could well understand, the rest was noise.....
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Harry on January 04, 2008, 12:44:25 PM
Really? Did he have a lower voice when he was alive?

 ???
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on January 05, 2008, 05:44:52 PM
Releases Tues, 1/08/08:

(http://www.arkivmusic.com/graphics/covers/full/101/1012609.jpg)

 
Concerto for Piano no 1 in D minor, Op. 15 by Johannes Brahms
 
Performer:  Cédric Tiberghien (Piano)
Conductor:  Jiri Belohlávek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on January 07, 2008, 03:15:36 AM

(http://www.classicstoday.com/images/coverpics/11008_coverpic.jpg)

JOHANNES BRAHMS
The Three Sonatas for Violin & Piano; Scherzo-Allegro WoO2
Nikolaj Znaider (violin); Yefim Bronfman (piano)

(http://www.classicstoday.com/images/sp_art/p10s10.gif)


 With these marvelous performances of the three Brahms violin sonatas, Nikolaj Znaider hits his artistic stride, abetted by Yefim Bronfman's impeccable piano partnership


--Jed Distler

 (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=11008)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on January 07, 2008, 03:18:02 AM
(http://www.classicstoday.com/images/coverpics/10706_coverpic.jpg)

BRAHMS, Symphony No. 3
London Philharmonic Orchestra / Marin Alsop



(http://www.classicstoday.com/images/sp_art/p10s10.gif)

 In the entire history of [Brahms Third] on disc, there have been perhaps seven or eight truly great performances: Walter (Sony, stereo), Levine (RCA), Wand (his first one with NDR, on RCA), Klemperer (EMI), Jochum (EMI, with this orchestra), Dohnanyi (Warner/Teldec), and perhaps most surprisingly, Solti (Decca).  To this select list, add Alsop. This is not a judgment made lightly, but this is one hell of a fine performance of this most elusive symphony. *** I'm more than happy to recommend this superb new recording as strongly as possible.


--David Hurwitz
 (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=10706)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on January 07, 2008, 06:00:34 AM
Why do you feel the need to keep posting DH's opinion? Once in a while it is good to post one of his rants because they are so funny but you don't need to keep doing it. Are you his agent in disguise?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Josquin des Prez on January 07, 2008, 07:39:41 AM
I thought it was already established that the voice in that recording is not Brahms. 
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on January 08, 2008, 04:03:22 AM
Once in a while it is good to post one of his rants because they are so funny but you don't need to keep doing it.

Entertainment, baby.

Entertainment.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Harry on January 08, 2008, 04:18:32 AM
Entertainment, baby.

Entertainment.


That sort of entertainment is not much appreciated.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: greg on January 11, 2008, 04:50:35 PM
???
you used has instead of had, implying his voice right now (being dead) is high...
i thought it was pretty funny  ;D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on January 13, 2008, 04:52:29 AM
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
Published: January 13, 2008

BRAHMS: CLARINET SONATAS

Jon Manasse, clarinetist; Jon Nakamatsu, pianist. Harmonia Mundi HMU 907430; CD.

IN an otherwise humdrum orchestral performance for American Ballet Theater a few years back, a clarinet solo wafted from the pit and riveted a listener’s (er, viewer’s) attention. The player, a glance at the program showed, was Jon Manasse, already valued for his other freelance work in New York.

But Mr. Manasse was known fondly for larger solo stints as well, and here he takes center stage in two peaks of the clarinet literature, Brahms’s Op. 120 Sonatas, in F minor and in E flat. Again the results are compelling.

Brahms wrote these works, along with a trio and a quintet, late in life under the influence of the young clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld. Warm, ripe and prevailingly mellow, they all testify eloquently to Mühlfeld’s lyrical gifts as well as to his virtuosity, and they have continued to challenge the depth and versatility of clarinetists ever since. Mr. Manasse meets the call with deft technique, exquisite sensitivity and smooth, flowing tone.

In any Brahms work with piano the term accompaniment is of limited usefulness, so inventive and assertive is the composer’s writing for the instrument. Especially in the scherzolike Appassionato movement of the E flat Sonata but in other movements as well, the clarinet and the piano are thoroughly, sensuously intertwined in a subtly shifting balance.

So Jon Nakamatsu’s contribution is just as important as Mr. Manasse’s, and their partnership is complete. In the middle of that Appassionato, the pianist takes the lead with something like one of those ineffable late Brahms piano pieces, and Mr. Nakamatsu’s playing is as meltingly beautiful as Mr. Manasse’s. Elsewhere Mr. Nakamatsu’s pianism is playful, sturdy or pushy, as appropriate.

The recorded sound is also crucial to the balance of the piano and clarinet, and Harmonia Mundi’s production is impeccable, capturing such disparate instruments in full color and a lifelike perspective. JAMES R. OESTREICH  

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31qPskU8iZL._SS400_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41fvF5vLHGL._SS400_.jpg)

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Mark G. Simon on January 13, 2008, 07:12:00 AM
Manasse is a superb musician, one of the best in the business.

The piano parts in the op. 120 sonatas are fiercely difficult. Meas. 182-186 in the first movement of no.1, and meas. 15-17 in the first movement of no. 2 are truly terrifying for the pianist. All of a sudden it's as if he expects the sound of a full orchestra to materialize.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 13, 2008, 07:12:17 AM
By THE NEW YORK TIMES

BRAHMS: CLARINET SONATAS

Jon Manasse, clarinetist; Jon Nakamatsu, pianist. Harmonia Mundi HMU 907430; CD.

JPC has clips. Sounds gorgeous...and I love the cover (reminds me of someone  ;) )

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/9147696?rk=classic&rsk=hitlist

I've been making due with Berkes/Jandó on Naxos. I think I'll put this new recording on my wishlist.

Sarge
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Bonehelm on January 13, 2008, 12:29:38 PM
Has anyone heard the 1962 Szell/Curzon/LPO PC#1 recording? It's fiery and intense  :o
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: samuel on January 13, 2008, 04:16:49 PM
Has anyone heard the 1962 Szell/Curzon/LPO PC#1 recording? It's fiery and intense  :o

ive heard about 10 different versions of this piece including that one but my favorite is fleisher/szell.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on January 15, 2008, 09:36:14 AM
(http://www.ballade.no/nmi.nsf/pic/andsnestoseks/$file/andsnestoseks.jpg)
Andsnes to perform Brahms in NYC


"Backed by the renowned New York Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Riccardo Muti, Norway’s brightest star in classical music, pianist Leif Ove Andsnes will play four concerts performing Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 from January 17 to 19."
(http://www.ballade.no/mic.nsf/doc/art2008011513434260377203)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Brewski on January 15, 2008, 09:46:50 AM
(http://www.ballade.no/nmi.nsf/pic/andsnestoseks/$file/andsnestoseks.jpg)
Andsnes to perform Brahms in NYC


"Backed by the renowned New York Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Riccardo Muti, Norway’s brightest star in classical music, pianist Leif Ove Andsnes will play four concerts performing Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 from January 17 to 19."
(http://www.ballade.no/mic.nsf/doc/art2008011513434260377203)


As of today, I'm planning to hear this.  I like both Andsnes and Muti, and the program also includes Liszt's From the Cradle to the Grave (unknown to me) and Scriabin's Poem of Ecstasy ( 0:)).

--Bruce
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on January 17, 2008, 08:35:39 AM
As of today, I'm planning to hear this.  I like both Andsnes and Muti, and the program also includes Liszt's From the Cradle to the Grave (unknown to me) and Scriabin's Poem of Ecstasy ( 0:)).

--Bruce

If you do attend, Bruce, please report back ......
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on January 17, 2008, 08:38:54 AM
(http://www.classicstoday.com/images/coverpics/11432_coverpic.jpg)

Symphonies Nos. 1-4; Tragic Overture; Alto Rhapsody
James Levine/ VPO / Anne Sophie von Otter (mezzo-soprano)

(http://www.classicstoday.com/images/sp_art/p10s10.gif)

The performances are stunning, a bit weightier than the Chicago recordings, but still taut, rhythmically sharp, and exciting. Indeed, this is unquestionably the finest complete Brahms cycle from Vienna, a surprising fact when you consider how many times the orchestra has recorded these works, and with whom (Bernstein, Giulini, Kertesz, Barbirolli, etc).  There are no disappointments anywhere in this set, and there are countless outstanding moments. *** The sonics are big and rich, and very flattering to the orchestra, ... Levine, let us not forget, was a student of Szell, and this set reveals him as a particularly apt pupil. Thank God it's back

--DH


 (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=11432)

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: MishaK on January 17, 2008, 09:25:29 AM
Hurwitz's slobbering notwithstanding, I am interested in that cycle. Not sure if I want it on ArkivCD though. Might hold out until I find a proper used original. I have the 1st from Levine's CSO cycle, which is very intense and dramatic, but pays little attention to color or detail. You could say it's more Solti-esque than Solti's own cycle (which is superb, BTW, if maybe too middle of the road). So it is far from the superlative Hurwitz makes it out to be, but it is not uninteresting. I'd be curious how Levine matured as a Brahms interpreter, besides having the color palette of the VPO at his disposal.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 18, 2008, 12:19:34 PM
Hurwitz's slobbering notwithstanding, I am interested in that cycle. Not sure if I want it on ArkivCD though. Might hold out until I find a proper used original. I have the 1st from Levine's CSO cycle, which is very intense and dramatic, but pays little attention to color or detail. You could say it's more Solti-esque than Solti's own cycle (which is superb, BTW, if maybe too middle of the road). So it is far from the superlative Hurwitz makes it out to be, but it is not uninteresting. I'd be curious how Levine matured as a Brahms interpreter, besides having the color palette of the VPO at his disposal.

Hurwitz also writes in that review, "James Levine is unquestionably a great Brahms conductor (or at least he was, prior to his current 'go slow' period)." By implication these Vienna recordings were not made in the very recent past. I say this because I found his Brahms 3rd with the Met Orchestra last year exceptionally turgid and slow, particularly in the middle movements.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: MishaK on January 18, 2008, 01:10:23 PM
Hurwitz also writes in that review, "James Levine is unquestionably a great Brahms conductor (or at least he was, prior to his current 'go slow' period)." By implication these Vienna recordings were not made in the very recent past. I say this because I found his Brahms 3rd with the Met Orchestra last year exceptionally turgid and slow, particularly in the middle movements.

What people like Hurwitz don't understand is: tempo isn't everything and tempo isn't an absolute. It's of course easy for people who can't read scores but can operate a metronome to complain about tempo. But that has nothing to do with the validity and coherence of an interpretation. One can pack more intensity into a slower performance than a fast one if one know what one is doing. I'm just curious what Levine did with the VPO in this repertoire. IIRC, the recordings are from the late 80s or early 90s.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Don on January 18, 2008, 01:35:03 PM
Hurwitz's slobbering notwithstanding, I am interested in that cycle. Not sure if I want it on ArkivCD though.

Why the hesitation with ArkivCD?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 18, 2008, 01:44:48 PM
What people like Hurwitz don't understand is: tempo isn't everything and tempo isn't an absolute. It's of course easy for people who can't read scores but can operate a metronome to complain about tempo. But that has nothing to do with the validity and coherence of an interpretation. One can pack more intensity into a slower performance than a fast one if one know what one is doing. I'm just curious what Levine did with the VPO in this repertoire. IIRC, the recordings are from the late 80s or early 90s.

I can read scores quite well and I understand perfectly well that tempo isn't an absolute (certainly not in the case of Brahms, who did not provide metronome marks for his symphonies). What I heard from Levine on the occasion I mentioned was a slow movement that was not sustained but dragged, and a third movement that was so tortuously slow as to sacrifice all lilt and flow. In general I find in Levine's performances of Romantic music that he luxuriates in the beautiful sounds made by his orchestras and underplays nuance and accentuation. (This is perhaps most pronounced in my experienced when he conducts a late Romantic opera like Rosenkavalier, but I get this impression not just with the Met orchestra. I remember feeling on hearing Levine's Eroica with the BSO, probably in 2005, that the cross-accents at 119-121 and 522-524 of the first movement seemed distinctly undercharacterized.)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: MishaK on January 18, 2008, 03:11:41 PM
Why the hesitation with ArkivCD?

Because they just don't look nice.

I can read scores quite well ... etc.

Sorry, that wasn't meant as an attack on you, just on Hurwitz.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Don on January 18, 2008, 03:25:53 PM
Because they just don't look nice.


I appreciate your honest response (without agreeing with it).
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: M forever on January 18, 2008, 04:39:34 PM
Levine's Brahms cycle is very good, probably the best things I have heard from him on disc. The 3rd is particularly good and the Tragic Overture particularly tragic, almost apocalyptic. These readings are very rhtyhm driven and he makes the WP strings play with razor sharp precision. But they still don't lose their weight of sound and nuanced articulation. There is plenty of lyrical playing in there, too. As far as clarity and intensity are concerned, and this lyrical quality, this is probably only matched by Dohnányi's cycle with the ClevelandO, only here you get the authentic Brahms sound thrown in as well.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Bonehelm on January 19, 2008, 12:28:41 AM
Levine's Brahms cycle is very good, probably the best things I have heard from him on disc. The 3rd is particularly good and the Tragic Overture particularly tragic, almost apocalyptic. These readings are very rhtyhm driven and he makes the WP strings play with razor sharp precision. But they still don't lose their weight of sound and nuanced articulation. There is plenty of lyrical playing in there, too. As far as clarity and intensity are concerned, and this lyrical quality, this is probably only matched by Dohnányi's cycle with the ClevelandO, only here you get the authentic Brahms sound thrown in as well.

Solti/CSO's Brahms cycle is also competent. The strings might not be as Vienesse as their VPO counterparts, but as usual, the brass is outstanding (not like brass is a highlight of Brahm's symphonies but still). Bud Herseth is just legendary! His playing is the definition of "consistency".
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on January 19, 2008, 11:43:15 AM
(http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/01/19/arts/Phil650.jpg)

Music Review | New York Philharmonic
Inspired by Old Masters, and Each Other’s Artistry

By ANTHONY TOMMASINI
Published: January 19, 2008




The pianist Leif Ove Andsnes was the soloist in a vibrant, brilliant performance of Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat. This was the first time this youthful Norwegian pianist and this veteran Italian maestro had worked together, and they seemed inspired by each other’s artistry.

This imposing 45-minute, four-movement concerto, a relatively new work for Mr. Andsnes, is typically milked for all its might. In Sviatoslav Richter’s classic 1960 recording with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Erich Leinsdorf, the work emerges as dense, volatile and terrifying. Most pianists consider the piano part among the hardest in the standard repertory: thick with leaping chords, awkward runs and almost impossible scurrying figurations in double thirds.

Yet Brahms began sketching the piece while on vacation in sunny Italy in 1878. For all its storm and stress, he considered it a far more genial, pastoral and, in the finale, joyous piece than his turbulent First Concerto in D minor.

Mr. Andsnes, an Apollonian pianist, brought out what could be considered the score’s Italianate qualities. He could not have had a better ally in this than Mr. Muti. They set a tempo in the first movement that kept the music flowing but allowed room for lyrical grace. When Mr. Andsnes broke into the tempestuous cadenza right after the first serene statement of the main theme by the French horn, every note mattered. The playing was clear, crisp, incisive, yet never aggressive.

In passages where Mr. Andsnes could highlight the lyricism of the music, he did so, supported by Mr. Muti. But when things turned agitated, as in the outburst of pummeling 16th-note piano chords in a furious F minor episode, Mr. Andsnes played with uncanny clarity and nimble articulation. Most pianists strive for sheer, driving power. The excitement here came from athletic vigor and accuracy.

The performance of the Scherzo conveyed the music’s shifting moods, from passionate stirrings to lyrical pathos. Yet the pianist and the conductor kept the music surging in a coolly steady tempo. Textures were lucid; syncopated rhythms were true. In the Andante the Philharmonic’s principal cellist, Carter Brey, played the solo theme with wistful, flowing beauty, never allowing the music to dawdle or turn sentimental.

In the dreamy development section when the piano leads the orchestra on a pensive journey through remote harmonic regions, Mr. Andsnes brought Impressionistic colorings and rare delicacy to the music. The pianist and the conductor found an impish spirit in the pugnacious surprises that keep cropping up.

Many pianists make a point of showing what a struggle it takes to perform this work. Mr. Andsnes played the piece while seated calmly, never bothering to unbutton his stylish suit jacket.


 (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/19/arts/music/19phil.html?ref=arts)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Bonehelm on January 19, 2008, 09:55:32 PM
What the crap is that Muti? He looks so old now!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Brewski on January 21, 2008, 12:29:42 PM
(http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/01/19/arts/Phil650.jpg)

Music Review | New York Philharmonic
Inspired by Old Masters, and Each Other’s Artistry

By ANTHONY TOMMASINI
Published: January 19, 2008




The pianist Leif Ove Andsnes was the soloist in a vibrant, brilliant performance of Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat. This was the first time this youthful Norwegian pianist and this veteran Italian maestro had worked together, and they seemed inspired by each other’s artistry.

This imposing 45-minute, four-movement concerto, a relatively new work for Mr. Andsnes, is typically milked for all its might. In Sviatoslav Richter’s classic 1960 recording with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Erich Leinsdorf, the work emerges as dense, volatile and terrifying. Most pianists consider the piano part among the hardest in the standard repertory: thick with leaping chords, awkward runs and almost impossible scurrying figurations in double thirds.

Yet Brahms began sketching the piece while on vacation in sunny Italy in 1878. For all its storm and stress, he considered it a far more genial, pastoral and, in the finale, joyous piece than his turbulent First Concerto in D minor.

Mr. Andsnes, an Apollonian pianist, brought out what could be considered the score’s Italianate qualities. He could not have had a better ally in this than Mr. Muti. They set a tempo in the first movement that kept the music flowing but allowed room for lyrical grace. When Mr. Andsnes broke into the tempestuous cadenza right after the first serene statement of the main theme by the French horn, every note mattered. The playing was clear, crisp, incisive, yet never aggressive.

In passages where Mr. Andsnes could highlight the lyricism of the music, he did so, supported by Mr. Muti. But when things turned agitated, as in the outburst of pummeling 16th-note piano chords in a furious F minor episode, Mr. Andsnes played with uncanny clarity and nimble articulation. Most pianists strive for sheer, driving power. The excitement here came from athletic vigor and accuracy.

The performance of the Scherzo conveyed the music’s shifting moods, from passionate stirrings to lyrical pathos. Yet the pianist and the conductor kept the music surging in a coolly steady tempo. Textures were lucid; syncopated rhythms were true. In the Andante the Philharmonic’s principal cellist, Carter Brey, played the solo theme with wistful, flowing beauty, never allowing the music to dawdle or turn sentimental.

In the dreamy development section when the piano leads the orchestra on a pensive journey through remote harmonic regions, Mr. Andsnes brought Impressionistic colorings and rare delicacy to the music. The pianist and the conductor found an impish spirit in the pugnacious surprises that keep cropping up.

Many pianists make a point of showing what a struggle it takes to perform this work. Mr. Andsnes played the piece while seated calmly, never bothering to unbutton his stylish suit jacket.


 (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/19/arts/music/19phil.html?ref=arts)


I heard this concert on Saturday night, and I must say, it was fantastic.  The Brahms was marvelous.  Andsnes and Muti seemed to have very good chemistry in this piece, and Muti's balancing of the orchestra was almost magical: Andsnes's every note could be heard.  One friend said he had never heard the piano part sound so clear.  The slow movement might have been the high point, with some gorgeous cello playing by Carter Brey (whom Muti acknowledged not once, but twice at the end), a pensive Andsnes and some incredibly soft playing from the ensemble. 

The rare Liszt From the Cradle to the Grave was also fascinating (and this from someone who doesn't usually enjoy Liszt's tone poems), and made a nice introduction for the white-hot Scriabin Poem of Ecstasy that ended it all.  Muti has such empathy with Scriabin's sound world, and the Philharmonic's brass section outdid itself.  The final crashing pages had the audience on its feet and cheering at the end.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on January 25, 2008, 01:46:12 PM
I heard this concert on Saturday night, and I must say, it was fantastic.  *** The rare Liszt From the Cradle to the Grave was also fascinating ***  The final crashing pages had the audience on its feet and cheering at the end.

--Bruce

It's been a full week, and I'm still not over my intense jealousy at your having attended such a "fantastic" and "fascinating" concert .......   0:)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on January 25, 2008, 01:47:14 PM



"Brahms playing doesn't get much better, with Masur displaying none of the stodginess that so often characterized his work. Indeed, his presence is less noteworthy for any obvious interpretive manipulations than for the fact that the music simply seems to play itself, effortlessly"



(http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=11447)

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on January 30, 2008, 10:13:26 AM
I fear the wrath of the immortal, Ludwig Van Beethoven.  :(

From the start, he has been my undisputed favorite composer.  It wasn't even close.  That is, until now......

Enter Johannes Brahms.  I think I'm afraid to admit that Brahms may now be my favorite or equal favorite to LVB. 

I didn't think this day would ever come.   0:)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: MN Dave on January 30, 2008, 10:19:01 AM
I didn't think this day would ever come.   0:)

Surely, you must need your head examined.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on January 30, 2008, 10:21:24 AM
Surely, you must need your head examined.

That's exactly what a friend of mine said also!  ;D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: MishaK on January 30, 2008, 10:38:54 AM
Solti/CSO's Brahms cycle is also competent. The strings might not be as Vienesse as their VPO counterparts, but as usual, the brass is outstanding (not like brass is a highlight of Brahm's symphonies but still). Bud Herseth is just legendary! His playing is the definition of "consistency".

But the same band sounds so much warmer and more colorful in Barenboim's Brahms cycle and in Giulini's 4th (though they sound even more edgy and shrill in Levine's cycle).

PS: proper genitive of Brahms in English is Brahms's (see, e.g., the NYT article above).
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: MN Dave on January 30, 2008, 11:03:01 AM
PS: proper genitive of Brahms in English is Brahms's (see, e.g., the NYT article above).

Well, it's certainly not Brahm's anyway.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on February 04, 2008, 02:51:56 PM

Max Bruch wrote this about Brahms:
 
Brahms has been dead ten years but he still has many detractors, even among the best musicians and critics. I predict, however, that as time goes on, he will be more and more appreciated, while most of my works will be more and more neglected. Fifty years hence, he will loom up as one of the supremely great composers of all time, while I will be remembered chiefly for having written my G minor violin concerto.

Brahms was a far greater composer than I am for various reasons. First of all he was much more original. He always went his own way. He cared not at all about the public reaction or what the critics wrote. The great fiasco of his D minor piano concerto would have discouraged most composers. Not Brahms! Furthermore, the vituperation heaped upon him after Joachim introduced his violin concerto at the Leipzig Gewandhaus in 1880 would have crushed me.

Another factor which militated against me was economic necessity. I had a wife and children to support and educate. I was compelled to earn money with my compositions. Therefore, I had to write works that were pleasing and easily understood. I never wrote down to the public; my artistic conscience would not permit me to do that. I always composed good music but it was music that sold readily.

There was never anything to quarrel about in my music as there was that in Brahms. I never outraged the critics by those wonderful, conflicting rhythms, which are so characteristic of Brahms. Nor would I have dared to leave out sequences of steps in progressing from one key to another, which often makes Brahms’modulations so bold and startling. Neither did I venture to paint in such dark colours, à la Rembrandt, as he did.

All this, and much more, militated against Brahms in his own day, but these very attributes will contribute to his stature fifty years from now, because they proclaim him a composer of marked originality. I consider Brahms one of the greatest personalities in the entire annals of music.
 
--- Max Bruch


 FROM peterhuebner.com  (http://www.peterhuebner.com/02%20Peter%20Huebner%20to%20his%20Works/0202%20Violin%20Concerts.htm)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on February 04, 2008, 02:55:41 PM
Brahms wrote of his own violin concerto:

“I will not find my true place in musical history until at least half a century after I am gone. Bach died in 1750 and he was completely forgotten until Mendelssohn revived him, more than seventyfive years later. And it was more than a hundred years after his death that Joachim succeeded in popularizing his monumental works for violin alone.

Also the stupendous Beethoven violin concerto was neglected for fully fifty years after his death until Joachim revealed its wonders to the musical world. No composition in our day has been more reviled than my own violin concerto; Joachim and I brought it out at the Gewandhaus sixteen years ago, and still the music societies, when they engage Joachim as soloist, do so with the stipulation that he must not play my concerto. I have put new vine into old bottles and the Philistines cannot forgive me for that. I know that the violin concerto will find its real place, but it will at least take five decades, and it is much the same with my symphonies, piano concertos and many other works.”

                              Brahms

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: paulb on February 04, 2008, 03:14:24 PM
why was Brahms against  Wagner?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Bonehelm on February 04, 2008, 07:08:39 PM
why was Brahms against  Wagner?

Brahms, Mendelssohn, Schumann etc were conservative Romantics that favoured in keeping classical traditions in form and structure. They wrote absolute music that does not have a set background or story to it, as opposed to the progressive Romantics like Wagner, Bruckner, Mahler, Liszt etc who favoured in experimenting with more advanced techniques such as dissonant or even atonal harmonies, extreme chromaticism, and large scale works. The latter bunch wrote a lot of programmatic music that has a setting behind it (such as Liszt's invention, the symphonic poems).

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: JoshLilly on February 05, 2008, 06:07:24 AM
"Liszt's invention, the symphonic poems"


I find this a surprising statement.

Liszt was not the first to compose a symphonic poem, so it is not his invention. I don't know if he was the first to name it that, but he wasn't the first to do it. Not by a long shot. You don't even have to dip into obscure composers to find predecessors.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on February 05, 2008, 07:13:25 AM
"Liszt's invention, the symphonic poems"


I find this a surprising statement.

Liszt was not the first to compose a symphonic poem, so it is not his invention. I don't know if he was the first to name it that, but he wasn't the first to do it. Not by a long shot. You don't even have to dip into obscure composers to find predecessors.

I wonder what the earliest (first) symphonic poem was?  Perhaps the first concert overture (Beethoven's Egmont) ........

However, the first Russian symhonic poem was Glinka's Kamarinskaya  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: JoshLilly on February 05, 2008, 07:39:00 AM
Considering there were composers writing pieces labeled "concert overture" before Beethoven's Egmont, this would also be surprising.

Glinka may have composed the first Russian symphonic poem; I've never heard one way or another. But I'd be very surprised if that were true. There were a lot of Russian composers prior to and contemporary with him; the odds of the single famous composer out of that fairly numerous lot being first is fairly unlikely.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Mark G. Simon on February 05, 2008, 08:38:16 AM
Liszt may not have been the first one to write programmatic orchestral works, but his symphonic poems brought about an important paradigm shift in 19th century music simply by the fact that he named them symphonic poems rather than concert overtures. In other words, to bring about change, the first step is to do something different, the next step is to recognize that one is doing something different.

It was said of Mendelssohn (I forget who said it, but it was a notable 19th century musician) that if only he had called his "Midsummer Night's Dream", "Ruy Blas", "Fair Melusina" and "Fingal's Cave" symphonic poems instead of concert overtures, he would have been recognized at the forefront of the progressive movement in music, instead of one of the conservatives. Indeed, the forementioned works of Mendelssohn display a knack for tone painting unrivaled until Wagner and Strauss. The underwater creature depicted in "Fair Melusina" sets a clear antecedent for Wagner's Rhine maidens. Wagner certainly had Melusine in his ears when he wrote the opening scene of Das Rheingold.

Liszt's symhonic poems, the ones that I know of, are never concerned with painting specific scenes in music, but rather use their titles to evoke generalized moods in the music. But, by discarding the designation "overture" and creating the new term "symphonic poem" he freed his efforts from allegiance to a sonata form framework (such as Mendelssohn maintained) and allowed himself to freely follow the form of his poetic idea.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: karlhenning on February 05, 2008, 08:45:26 AM
A lot of Russian composers prior to Glinka?

Name some  8)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: karlhenning on February 05, 2008, 08:46:10 AM
Fine post, Mark.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: JoshLilly on February 05, 2008, 09:31:13 AM
Alyabyev - Never heard anything by him but his name, and had to look up the name to get a spelling.

Berezovsky - born in Russia, though today his birthplace is in Ukraine, which is why he's sometimes listed as a Ukrainian composer. He composed operas and the earliest-dated (so far) Russian symphony. Probably the most internationally noted native-born Russian composer prior to Glinka, his operas got playtime around Europe. He died in 1777, so definitely predates Glinka.

Dmitri Bortnyansky was born in the same town and had almost the same exact lifespan as Salieri. I have a CD of some of his church music, which is for human voices only.

These are three off the top of my head; the first I couldn't remember his name, but remembered somewhat what it looked like. Check Wikipedia and you can swiftly find others born prior to Glinka.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: karlhenning on February 05, 2008, 09:47:24 AM
The only I could think of was Bortnyansky;  and since most of his output was sacred choral music, he was unlikely to have written a tone-poem in advance of Glinka.  I think we're underscoring the doubtful nature of "a lot of," Josh.

You haven't shown me any reason behind your sharp skepticism that Glinka wrote the first Russian tone-poem.  And no, I'm not going to go to Wikipedia to do your work for you  8)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on February 05, 2008, 09:51:12 AM
The only I could think of was Bortnyansky;  and since most of his output was sacred choral music, he was unlikely to have written a tone-poem in advance of Glinka.  I think we're underscoring the doubtful nature of "a lot of," Josh.

You haven't shown me any reason behind your sharp skepticism that Glinka wrote the first Russian tone-poem.  And no, I'm not going to go to Wikipedia to do your work for you  8)

Speaking as a composer, one of my niche areas is composing sacred choral tone poems ......... Of course, it remains my fondest hope that the market for this niche will someday catch on .........
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: paulb on February 05, 2008, 09:55:20 AM
Brahms, Mendelssohn, Schumann etc were conservative Romantics that favoured in keeping classical traditions in form and structure. They wrote absolute music that does not have a set background or story to it, as opposed to the progressive Romantics like Wagner, Bruckner, Mahler, Liszt etc who favoured in experimenting with more advanced techniques such as dissonant or even atonal harmonies, extreme chromaticism, and large scale works. The latter bunch wrote a lot of programmatic music that has a setting behind it (such as Liszt's invention, the symphonic poems).




very good post.
i missed your comment and so started a topic dealing with this highly interesting, provocative subject, that may havea   dark side to it. As my question was a  railraoad to the OP. Look forward to your continue views on the subject over there.
Paul
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: JoshLilly on February 05, 2008, 10:05:56 AM
You haven't shown me any reason behind your sharp skepticism that Glinka wrote the first Russian tone-poem.  And no, I'm not going to go to Wikipedia to do your work for you  8)


It's not sharp skepticism, I just said it was "fairly" unlikely. He may very well have been.
And I suppose if you doubt there were "a lot" of Russian composers before Glinka, we'd have to decide how we define "a lot". I bet, given enough time and the proper sources, we could build a list exceeding 100 names of composers born in Russia before Glinka. Anybody here live in Russia, or in a country that was part of Russia in those times?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: karlhenning on February 05, 2008, 10:22:53 AM
It's not sharp skepticism, I just said it was "fairly" unlikely. He may very well have been.

Well, you also wrote that you would be "very surprised."

Quote
And I suppose if you doubt there were "a lot" of Russian composers before Glinka, we'd have to decide how we define "a lot." I bet, given enough time and the proper sources, we could build a list exceeding 100 names of composers born in Russia before Glinka. Anybody here live in Russia, or in a country that was part of Russia in those times?

a) You won't find many Russian composers before the founding of St Petersburg.  For one thing, the Russian Orthodox Church has long favored traditional chant, and rarely has encouraged new sacred music.  For another, before Peter the Great, there did not exist much of any milieu for court music.

b) Define a lot however you like;  the immediate context, though, is the question of anyone pre-empting Glinka in the matter of the first Russian tone-poem.  You don't have Western-style orchestras in Russia before Peter the Great.  Finding the name of a 14-century gusli player in Arkhangelsk isn't going to be especially germane.

c) Offhand, the notion of a list of 100 Russian composers before Glinka strikes me as playing more with the definition of composer than of a lot  ;)

BTW, this is a well-written general history:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41RXSEHXQ8L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-dp-500-arrow,TopRight,45,-64_OU01_AA240_SH20_.jpg)

(We should probably give the thread back to Brahms, of course.)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Bonehelm on February 05, 2008, 04:28:23 PM

very good post.
i missed your comment and so started a topic dealing with this highly interesting, provocative subject, that may havea   dark side to it. As my question was a  railraoad to the OP. Look forward to your continue views on the subject over there.
Paul

Thanks. I don't know nearly as much as some scholars on here, but I'll do what I can if anyone asks something I do know.  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: JoshLilly on February 06, 2008, 09:35:05 AM
Great post, karlhenning! Thanks for that info, I really never thought of those first two points before, and I'll take your Point C as being probably fairly spot-on. For example, some of the Russian nobles dabbled in composing on a small, or tiny, scale. Are they counted as composers? Maybe you're right, and they shouldn't be. You're also right on the last: back to Brahms!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: lukeottevanger on February 06, 2008, 11:31:09 AM
And just as a minor point to set beside Karl's well-put posts, Kamarinskaya is generally recognised as the first Russian Symphonic Poem, a fact one reads time and time again in the literature.

moving on...

Neatly packaging Brahms off as a 'conservative Romantic' 'versus' the 'progressive Romanticism' of Wagner & Co. is only accurate if one takes an exceedingly global view of things. Such views are almost always misleading, and if one follows them one misses the details, which is where the beauty of music resides. Brahms may have written abstract music in 'conventional' forms and to a standard scale, he may not have placed Tristan-type chords in prominent places in his scores, but in matters of motivic development, formal details etc. etc. - matters of delicate brush-work compared to Wagner's broad brush, both being equally important - he was as progressive as they come. Which is why Schoenberg said that he took from Brahms and Wagner in equal amounts - and why, as he grew older and his music more advanced and iconoclastic, the Wagner influence (most evident in Gurrelieder, Verklarte Nacht, op 16, Erwartung etc) grew less and less important, and the Brahms one (in the Variations, the Concerti etc. etc.) more prominent than that of any other composer.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on February 06, 2008, 01:05:50 PM
(http://www.classicstoday.com/images/coverpics/11476_coverpic.jpg)


"This is a splendid Brahms disc [of Sym #1] [and] I can easily imagine this version becoming a favorite. *** It all culminates in a really brilliant finale: the closing pages have a positively physical lift."  --DH



(http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=11476)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: karlhenning on February 06, 2008, 01:15:15 PM
Brahms may have written abstract music in 'conventional' forms and to a standard scale, he may not have placed Tristan-type chords in prominent places in his scores, but in matters of motivic development, formal details etc. etc. - matters of delicate brush-work compared to Wagner's broad brush, both being equally important - he was as progressive as they come. Which is why Schoenberg said that he took from Brahms and Wagner in equal amounts - and why, as he grew older and his music more advanced and iconoclastic, the Wagner influence (most evident in Gurrelieder, Verklarte Nacht, op 16, Erwartung etc) grew less and less important, and the Brahms one (in the Variations, the Concerti etc. etc.) more prominent than that of any other composer.

See how Wagner wanes, and how Brahms waxeth . . . .
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: JoshLilly on February 06, 2008, 01:29:02 PM
You also read "facts" in the literature like Beethoven writing the first symphony to use trombones (there's at least one earlier, by Eggert), or that Saint-Saëns wrote the first French piano concerto (Boïeldieu wrote one and died before Saint-Saëns was born), or Wagner wrote the first unbroken opera or "music drama" (did someone go back in a time machine and stop Salieri from composing Tarare?), or... well, you get the point. So yes, I do question these things, and think everyone ought to. There's a lot more to discover than you can find in the average book, which covers only the most famous.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: johnQpublic on February 06, 2008, 01:43:03 PM
I just looked up the definition of "profound" in my dictionary and instead of words it merely had a portrait of Brahms!!!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on February 06, 2008, 01:53:50 PM
or that Saint-Saëns wrote the first French piano concerto (Boïeldieu wrote one and died before Saint-Saëns was born),

LOL ..... I fell for that and posted as much in the Saint-Saens thread .........



((But, at the same time, it could actually be true that Kamarinskaya is the first Russian symphonic poem ........))
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: lukeottevanger on February 06, 2008, 01:56:28 PM
((But, at the same time, it could actually be true that Kamarinskaya is the first Russian symphonic poem ........))

Barring evidence to the contrary, I still have no reason to think that it isn't.... ('the oak from which Russian music grew', as Tchaikovsky said of it)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on February 06, 2008, 08:17:45 PM
You also read "facts" in the literature like Beethoven writing the first symphony to use trombones (there's at least one earlier, by Eggert)

Possibly, possibly not. The Eggert 3rd was written in 1807, and LvB 5 was premiered in 1808. But Beethoven was working on that symphony for several years previous, with the first sketches appearing in 1804 and much of the work done between 1807-08. Exactly when he hit on the idea of adding trombones (as well as a contrabassoon and piccolo) to his finale is something I don't know. But it's highly unlikely he would have known of Eggert working in Sweden. More probably the two composers happened on the same idea independently, and the works were written so closely in time as to make the idea of one being "first" moot.

"By the way, Eggert used trombones in a couple of symphonies around the time of Beethoven's Fifth. I am not sure his use of the instruments predates that of Beethoven, but it must be fairly close."
- http://www.britishtrombonesociety.org/resources/articles/kallai.php

or Wagner wrote the first unbroken opera or "music drama" (did someone go back in a time machine and stop Salieri from composing Tarare?), or... well, you get the point.

Well, I'm not sure I do. Are you implying that Wagner's practices were anticipated by Salieri, or that he took ideas from Salieri? I certainly have never read of any comments by Wagner on Salieri, who on the other hand was quite forthright about his admiration for and indebtedness to Gluck, Mozart, and Beethoven. More likely Wagner arrived at his theories and practice independently (which doesn't mean Salieri wasn't "first" in writing a through-composed opera, he may well have been; on the other hand there's much more to Wagner's methods than "unending melody" - the use of Leitmotivs for one major example).

So yes, I do question these things, and think everyone ought to.

Certainly true.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on February 13, 2008, 08:31:16 AM
 

"So many marvelous details transpire over the course of the performances that it is difficult to know where to begin."

 (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=139708)

(http://www.arkivmusic.com/graphics/covers/full/92/921942.jpg)

1.  Trio for Piano and Strings no 1 in B major, Op. 8 by Johannes Brahms, Wanderer Trio
 
2.  Trio for Piano and Strings no 2 in C major, Op. 87 by Johannes Brahms, Wanderer Trio
 
3.  Trio for Piano and Strings no 3 in C minor, Op. 101 by Johannes Brahms, Wanderer Trio

4.  Quartet for Piano and Strings no 1 in G minor, Op. 25 by Johannes Brahms, Christophe Gaugué (Viola)
Wanderer Trio
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on February 16, 2008, 10:23:11 AM


Review: Jurowski / Hough Brahms Piano Concerto no. 1 in D Minor + Schubert's Unfinished
Joshua Kosman, Chronicle Music Critic

Friday, February 15, 2008



Word on the rialto is that Vladimir Jurowski, who led the touring Russian National Orchestra in music of Schubert and Brahms Thursday night, is poised to become the next conducting superstar. The idea seems plausible, but an observer might want better evidence than the undercooked performance offered in Davies Symphony Hall as part of the San Francisco Symphony's Great Performers Series.

At 35, Jurowski - a Muscovite in London who holds posts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Glyndebourne Festival - has many of the external trappings of the imposing maestro. He's tall, lanky and beetle-browed, with a sweep of dark Paganiniesque hair and a stage demeanor that is both imperious and sensitive, and he conducts with a persuasive combination of sweep and precisely etched detail.

Still, Thursday's program - which featured a fascinating new completion of Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony and Stephen Hough as soloist in Brahms' First Piano Concerto - never yielded the kind of artistic excitement or depth that a great conductor should provide.

The orchestra sounded timorous and underpowered in the Schubert, and often raw and slovenly in the Brahms. Jurowski, who was appointed principal guest conductor in 2005, elicited warm, sumptuous playing from the strings while allowing the woodwinds to fade weakly into the background and the percussion to jump in with disruptive explosions.

What Jurowski does boast is taut rhythmic control, which allowed him to pace fast sections - particularly the opening of the Schubert and parts of the first movement of the Brahms - with a fleetness that was welcome and even revelatory. The light airiness of the Schubert, though frustrating when the music cried out for more of an impact, nonetheless made the famous second theme into something brisk and unfussy.

But when Jurowski turned up the intensity for the Brahms, the result wasn't much more successful. The orchestra flailed away with a surprising lack of discipline, and Hough - clad in ruby slippers that were either a tribute to Valentine's Day or a grim suggestion that a house was about to fall on him - pounded his way through the solo part with a surprising lack of subtlety.

The most interesting part of the program was the Schubert completion, done in 2005 by Russian composer Anton Safronov and given its U.S. premiere Thursday.

In addition to the two movements that Schubert finished, Safronov put together a scherzo based on incomplete sketches and manufactured a finale out of whole cloth. The result is a hugely impressive piece of musical mimicry, fake Schubert that's easily good enough to fool a listener at 50 yards.

The most unusual part is the bony, slightly off-kilter main theme of the scherzo - and that, wouldn't you know it, is Schubert's own. Safronov's treatment is impeccable, and the finale - a fast triplet-ridden romp along the lines of the finales of the "Great" C-Major Symphony and the "Death and the Maiden" Quartet - is a keeper.


(http://-http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/02/15/DD1MV3F7A.DTL)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on February 20, 2008, 03:49:20 PM
(http://www.nysun.com/images/logo_new.gif)

Equal Parts Head & Heart
Classical Music
BY JAY NORDLINGER
February 25, 2008
URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/71788



The Russian National Orchestra is not very old, established only in 1990, in the last days of the Soviet Union. But it has long seemed part of the furniture. The RNO came to Avery Fisher Hall for two concerts over the weekend. It was conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, the young, dynamic maestro with the fabulous long hair — "conductor's hair."

On Saturday night, the menu was Schubert and Brahms — beginning with the Symphony No. 8 in B minor by Schubert. This is the symphony in two movements, the "Unfinished," as you know.

From Mr. Jurowski and the RNO, it started ominous and dark — very dark. The traditional Russian darkness served the opening measures very well. When the music really got going, Mr. Jurowski chose a very, very fast tempo. Given this tempo, it seemed that some of the mystery would be taken out of the symphony. The first movement is marked "Allegro moderato"; "moderato" seemed nowhere to be found.

But a funny thing happened, as the symphony continued. The ear adjusted; Mr. Jurowski's tempo seemed almost normal.

In the main, he exhibited good taste, judging the pauses decently, for example. Critical parts of the first movement were very, very moving. And we were reminded what a great work this is.

Occasionally, the orchestra sounded tight and dry. But, overall, it satisfied. Some of the onsets were shaky, and some of the chords were not together. But the unison playing of the strings tended to be extraordinarily smooth. And the brass were fairly poised and accurate.

As for the second movement, Mr. Jurowski was again on the fast side, but sensible. His dynamics were acute — sometimes startling — but not un-Schubertian. He kept things interesting, in a movement that careless hands can make monotonous. In their solos, the woodwinds were adequate. But the orchestra was best when playing as one, and in full cry.

The conductor launched right into the third movement, allowing hardly any break. What, the third movement? Yes: Mr. Jurowski was conducting a "completion" by Anton Safronov, a Russian composer in his 30s. Schubert left a piano outline of a third movement; so Mr. Safronov imagined how that would have come out. And he went ahead and composed a fourth movement — though borrowing from music of Schubert that we actually have. (A piece for piano four hands; an unfinished piano sonata.)

That third movement was bumptious, exuberant, and plausibly Schubertian. And the RNO's horns did admirable work. The last movement proved interesting and earnest — intelligently crafted, generally in line with Schubert's spirit. We heard neat little allusions to the opening movement. Mr. Safronov has performed more an act of devotion than an act of ego or hubris.

But I, personally, must question such exercises. To me, the two additional movements seem superfluous. They also make the symphony unnaturally long, in my judgment. It felt like a week in B minor. Schumann famously said that Schubert's Symphony No. 9 had "heavenly length." I'm not sure that the length of the Schubert/Safronov Eighth is so heavenly.

Herewith a rule: Unless you're a genius, leave such uncompleted works as Schubert's Eighth and Mahler's Tenth alone. And if you do happen to be a genius — spend your time on your own stuff!

After intermission, we had Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, in which the soloist was Stephen Hough. He has long been underrated, or at least underfamous: He has no PR machine behind him (apparently). And he seems the type who would not want one. He is a pure, honest musician, and one of the best pianists in the world.

He is the kind of pianist — very rare — who contains all pianists. He is a thunderous and dazzling virtuoso; and he is a poet, a miniaturist. He is both a Liszt player and a Mozart player — utterly appropriate in both. He has Horowitz in him, and also Myra Hess. (Actually, those two pianists contained all elements too.) Mr. Hough, in brief, is a complete pianist. He does not have much company. Among living pianists, there is Yefim Bronfman, and a handful of others.

In the Brahms's D-minor, Mr. Hough called on his completeness: He was titanic and angelic, as the music required. In almost every note and phrase he played, there was judgment. The second movement had all the spirituality imbedded in it. And Mr. Jurowski and the Russian National Orchestra made excellent, committed partners in Brahms. They used head and heart in the right doses. You could issue some complaints, of course — sometimes Mr. Hough sounded a little brittle. (And then there were the bright red shoes.) But, in perspective, any complaints would be trivial. This was a first-class performance of a great concerto. The audience got its money's worth, and then some.


(http://www.nysun.com/article/71788)




Pianist Hough masters Brahms D Minor Piano Concerto
POETIC PERFORMANCE THRIVES DESPITE UNEVEN BACKING OF RUSSIAN ORCHESTRA
By Richard Scheinin
Mercury News
Article Launched: 02/16/2008 01:34:53 AM PST


Stephen Hough is a one-of-a-kind musician, so spectacularly good that you leave one of his performances thinking, "I wish I could hear this man play the piano every day." Thursday at Davies Symphony Hall, Hough's performance of Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor qualified as a most lucid poetic commentary on one of the most poetic pieces of music ever composed.

Often, his tone was translucent, suffused with mystery. Always, he played with absolute clarity and control, focusing energy in and through each note. At times, he played with a predatory power, carrying the entire Russian National Orchestra on his back. It was a transfixing performance by a pianist who towers over many of the better-known soloists on the circuit.

Utterly in command and at ease, Hough even wore a pair of shiny red slippers, in Technicolor contrast to the all-black attire of every other musician on stage. He defined the performance.

The concert, part of the Great Performers Series presented by the San Francisco Symphony, found the Russian National Orchestra under the baton of Vladimir Jurowski, its principal guest conductor. He is young and stylish, with a gleaming mane. Thursday, he excelled at coaxing delicate muted textures from his players, who, nonetheless, didn't seem at their best. It's a good thing there are so many muted passages throughout the concerto.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on February 25, 2008, 01:00:50 PM
(http://www.classicstoday.com/images/coverpics/11511_coverpic.jpg)
Brahms Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3, Pittsburgh S. Orch., Marek Janowski

(http://www.classicstoday.com/images/sp_art/p10s10.gif)




"it's a sign of the special qualities of Marek Janowski's Brahms that he's at his best in the [Third] symphony. ... This is great Brahms conducting--and playing--with the Pittsburgh Symphony audibly rising to the occasion." -- DH

(http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=11511)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on March 07, 2008, 02:06:28 PM
(http://cache.boston.com/resize/bonzai-fba/Globe_Photo/2008/03/06/1204854575_4498/300h.jpg)
Boston Symphony Orchestra assistant conductor Julian Kuerti, 31, makes his debut with the BSO this weekend.



Conducting himself with aplomb
By Geoff Edgers, Globe Staff  |  March 7, 2008
(http://www.boston.com/ae/music/articles/2008/03/07/conducting_himself_with_aplomb/)



With this weekend's program, Boston Symphony Orchestra assistant conductor Julian Kuerti is making his BSO debut. As he's just 31, the orchestra has come up with a special pay-your-age promotion. (Not recommended for Elliott Carter.)

The Toronto native is the child of musicians: Father Anton Kuerti is a pianist, mother Kristine Bogyo is a cellist and the founder of Toronto's Mooredale Concerts. Kuerti studied engineering physics before dedicating himself to conducting. I recently e-mailed him to learn more.

Q: Did your parents encourage your interest in music? Did they have reservations?

A: My parents were both themselves musicians, and I grew up in a household where there was constantly chamber music, lessons, practicing; in fact, I remember the first time it dawned on me that everyone in the entire world weren't musicians. So as you see music was something very normal for me, as was practicing (my instrument was the violin). However, almost paradoxically, both my parents encouraged me to pursue a career other than music. They both knew how tough the profession can be, how many disappointments and how much work must go into it, so they told me, "You should only consider being a professional musician if you know that this is the only thing you can and want to do for the rest of your life." It was about that time that I stopped practicing the violin.

Q: What is engineering physics? Did you ever get your degree?

A: Engineering physics is part of a program offered at the University of Toronto within the department of engineering science. . . . It was a very theoretical engineering course - rumored to be the most difficult undergraduate course offered at U of T - and I specialized in quantum optics. Basically, it was the application of quantum theory toward light and optics. My fourth-year thesis was titled "Lasing and Amplified Spontaneous Emission in Periodic and Quasi-Periodic Photonic Band Gap Materials." I did graduate, with honors, but I was never passionate enough about science to make it my life's work.

Q: Why did you become a conductor?

A: Well for one thing, I love it! As I finished the engineering school, it became clear to me that I was to be a musician - that was the only thing I really cared about and the only thing that I wanted to do. As a conductor, you need to be a focused introvert, studying and re-studying a score into every last detail; then you need to stand in front of the orchestra and convince and lead them in the vision that you have constructed; and in performance you must be absolutely extroverted and transparent to the music and to the creation that you are charged with bringing to life. For me, it's the most fulfilling profession.

Q: How do you deal with the very natural fear that could come from being so young and stepping in front of the BSO?

A: As long as I'm prepared and know the music, I'm never afraid to step in front of an orchestra. However, just before walking onstage, there is a bit of the same feeling you get waiting in line to go on a roller-coaster. I've been listening to the BSO all season - during rehearsal and in concert, so I feel very excited to make music with them.

Q: Tell us a bit about the program.

A: The first piece, "The Way to Castle Yonder" by Oliver Knussen, is a suite created from his opera "Higglety Pigglety Pop!" which is an opera for children. It has some very striking and beautiful music, and a wonderful spirited romp toward the end. I had the chance to study this work with the composer and conduct it for him in Budapest, and it's a great work from a composer I feel strongly about.

Dvorak's Seventh Symphony in D Minor is perhaps his most formidable work in the symphonic genre. This is not the Dvorak of folk tunes and playful dances - instead, the work is reaching out to an intellectual German aesthetic (and is very much inspired by the Third Symphony of Brahms - which the BSO will play later in the season under James Levine). The first movement is full of turmoil and passion, which does sweeten into an unbelievably beautiful second theme before the undercurrents and unrest take over again. The climax of the first movement is almost a frenzy, but quickly the mood fades into the somber tones that we heard at the beginning. The second movement is - along with the slow movement of the Sixth Symphony - one of my all-time favorites by this composer. The scherzo is quite playful with a lilting middle section. The last movement is a powerhouse, propelling us forward through the doom and gloom of D minor to the majestic ending that really crowns the work.

After intermission, Leon Fleischer will join me for Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5, the "Emperor." This is one of the most powerful and moving piano concerti, performed by an absolute legend. I feel very humbled to play this with him - since he played it with some of the most outstanding conductors of the 20th century - and I look forward to learning everything I can from such a master.

Q: What is something about yourself that would surprise people?

A: I once went on tour to Brazil playing the electric violin in a rock band.

Q: Do you listen to other kinds of music? Pop music? Who?

A: There was a time when I listened to a lot more; when I was playing the drums [in high school] I loved Led Zeppelin and tried to play like their drummer did. Nowadays I find that I listen to less and less pop music - maybe because since I spend so much time thinking about music and listening to it in concert halls and recordings, when I have "time off" I really enjoy silence. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that I could never have music on in the background - it always demands my attention.

Q: Is it at all discouraging to look out in the audience and see that older people far outnumber people of your generation?

A: Not at all. I love seeing people out there who enjoy music - period. I feel that in time, the people of my generation will slowly start to discover the world of the concert hall and opera house, and that they will be naturally attracted to it. There is something very spiritually moving about listening to an orchestra play, but you have to be at the right time in your life in order to want it and to appreciate it. In Berlin, I am music director of an ensemble called kaleidoskop (you can check us out at kaleidoskopmusik.de). There we have the opposite problem - our audiences are all between 20 and 35. This is a horrible thing for us in a way, because these people can't afford to support our organization financially. We are trying very hard to attract older audiences! But generally, the older people are quite turned off by our advertising.

Q: Do you and Jamie Sommerville watch Maple Leaf games together?

A: We watched the Super Bowl together. I would love to watch the Leafs - better yet, I would love to go to the [td Banknorth Garden] and see them play the Bruins.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Bonehelm on March 08, 2008, 10:52:27 PM
Damn, can't get the coda of the 1st out of my head. It's heart-pounding everytime I hear it; what a glorious race to the end...not to mention the quasi-Brucknerian brass chorale that emerges so dramtically in the middle of that string ascension...
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: paulb on March 11, 2008, 09:40:36 AM
Which is your favorite recording  by Oistrakh of the vc?
I am listening to this 1953, i love the mastery of Kondrashin's  classical approach , which captures the image of that old world from long ago, you feel drawn back into a  time of long ago And Kondrashin allows Oistrakh's  a  background to  work his magic on the violin. What  a  team that was. The sound quality suffers abit, but that adds to the overall affects of creating a feeling image of being a part of the 19th century work of art. * a world of long ago*

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on March 19, 2008, 11:30:56 AM
Brahms, Symphony No. 2, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Carlo Maria Giulini

(http://www.classicstoday.com/images/coverpics/11566_coverpic.jpg)

(http://www.classicstoday.com/images/sp_art/p10s10.gif)


"Serious music taken seriously--that's the first impression you might glean from this magnificent performance. ... Throughout, the Los Angeles Philharmonic plays spectacularly, with a warmth and precision certainly not matched by the Vienna Philharmonic in Giulini's later, less interesting remake for this same label. This earlier version also enjoys cleaner, more natural sonics."  -- DH
(http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=11566)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Saul on March 23, 2008, 10:54:35 AM
I think that the Brahms Violin concerto in D minor is stuning

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mfq1-0feaCQ
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Brian on March 23, 2008, 11:25:45 AM
(http://www.classicstoday.com/images/coverpics/11511_coverpic.jpg)
Brahms Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3, Pittsburgh S. Orch., Marek Janowski

(http://www.classicstoday.com/images/sp_art/p10s10.gif)




"it's a sign of the special qualities of Marek Janowski's Brahms that he's at his best in the [Third] symphony. ... This is great Brahms conducting--and playing--with the Pittsburgh Symphony audibly rising to the occasion." -- DH

(http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=11511)
Forgive me for being about a month late on this one, but that is a spectacular recording and everyone interested in a digital or surround-sound Brahms 2 or 3 ought to acquire it. Great performances in great sound.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on March 25, 2008, 06:04:22 AM
I think that the Brahms Violin concerto in D minor is stuning

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mfq1-0feaCQ

Saul, you're being very cruel to me: Brahms's Violin Concerto is not in D Minor, it's in D Major ( :'().

One can only venture a guess as to what wondrous vistas would emerge with a D Minor violin concerto ......
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on March 25, 2008, 06:05:56 AM
A Give and Take Between Experienced and Emerging

(http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/03/24/arts/perlspan.jpg)

Itzhak Perlman, far left, performing the Brahms Piano Quintet in F minor (Op. 34) with, from left, Sharon Roffman on second violin, Orion Weiss on piano, Yves Dharamraj on cello and Jessica Oudin on viola as part of the Perlman Music Program series.




New York Times
By ALLAN KOZINN
Published: March 24, 2008
Since 1993 Itzhak Perlman and his wife, Toby, have coached a parade of superb young chamber players in what began as a summer music school and now runs through the year. The public face of the Perlman Music Program is a series of concerts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In the installment on Saturday evening Mr. Perlman played first violin in Mendelssohn’s String Quintet in B flat (Op. 87) and Brahms’s Piano Quintet in F minor (Op. 34). Between those works, the LK String Quartet, a group formed at Mr. Perlman’s summer school in 2002, gave a rugged account of Bartok’s Quartet No. 3.

The most immediately striking element of the Mendelssohn performance was not the music making, polished as it was, but the ensemble’s body language. Even taking into account that gestures are easily (and too often) falsified, especially among young musicians, these players attentively watched for cues from Mr. Perlman and one another and seemed genuinely engaged in the give and take. The performance illuminated the richness of Mendelssohn’s melodic imagination and had the fluidity and zest you expect from musicians who react to one another rather than merely play their lines.

The LK String Quartet’s light-textured, transparent reading of the Bartok was unusual, but it wasn’t as if these players turned the music into Lehar. Passages that demanded a harsh edge received it, and in its best moments the performance was fiery and propulsive, with striking unanimity in the quickly shifting dynamics of the final pages.

The Brahms performance shared many of the attributes of the Mendelssohn, with Orion Weiss’s appealing account of the piano line, the sweet-toned tandem violin playing of Mr. Perlman and Sharon Roffman and the richly textured sounds of Jessica Oudin’s viola and Yves Dharamraj’s cello all contributing amply to the sense of Brahmsian warmth.

The other performers were Michelle Ross, violinist; Megan Griffin, violist; and Jia Kim, cellist, in the Mendelssohn, and Sean Lee and Kristin Lee, violinists; Laura Seay, violist; and Jordan Han, cellist, in the Bartok.

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on March 25, 2008, 06:14:43 AM


From TheTimes
March 24, 2008

Brahms German Requiem
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Oramo at Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Geoff Brown

(http://therecordroom.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/.pond/cbso.jpg.w300h375.jpg)

Beauty, I know, lies in the ear of the beholder. But there must be others besides myself for whom Brahms's German Requiem might be the most beautiful, stirring and consoling, music yet written. ... From their first gentle glow onwards, the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus matched the Orchestra in rapture and confidence. Thank the stars too for Symphony Hall's built-in organ, which firmed the foundations of Brahms's grave counterpoint to a degree impossible with a wheeled-on portable. Fervour and humanity were assured with the baritone soloist James Rutherford; Anu Komsi's carillon soprano chimed sweetly.  Climaxes at times were so intense that they left us drained, particularly after the chorus taunted Death about its sting. But Oramo also found space for the small details, flecking the orchestra with lovely woodwind and brass colours: where had that tuba been hiding before?

 (http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/live_reviews/article3597654.ece)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on March 25, 2008, 06:21:36 AM



chicagotribune.com
CLASSICAL REVIEW
Kissin, CSO create sparks with Brahms
By John von Rhein

Tribune critic

March 22, 2008


(http://musicaclassica.home.sapo.pt/images/Kissin.jpg)



Classical music needs its glittering bodies as badly as any other branch of the performing arts, even if it has fewer such gods to send onstage than it once did. Thank goodness, then, for the likes of Evgeny Kissin, the Russian firebrand-poet who, along with the comparably gifted Lang Lang, seems to be upholding the piano celebrity cult almost single-handedly these days.

Kissin, almost as boyish-looking as when he made his Chicago debut nearly 18 years ago, returned to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Thursday night at Orchestra Hall, bringing with him one of the supreme knuckle-busters in the Romantic repertory, Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1. True to expectation, the pianist conquered, and the sold-out house was all but delirious with pleasure.

Kissin, at 36, appears to have toned down many of the interpretive mannerisms from the Russian Romantic school that once marred his readings of non-Russian repertory. His Brahms was in fact a thrilling experience: massive and sinewy, yet full of burnished warmth and played with immense technical authority.

There was something almost superhuman in the nonchalant command with which he tore through the torrential volleys of chords and furious passage work of the outer movements. With conductor Charles Dutoit as sympathetic intermediary, the dialogue between the piano and various solo instruments felt spontaneous. And the majestic cantilena of the Adagio never dragged.

As if climbing one of the piano's Mt. Everests actually refreshed him, a smiling Kissin hugged Dutoit, applauded the orchestra and rewarded the standing, cheering throng with two encores: Chopin's Scherzo in B-flat Minor (sensationally played) and Brahms' Waltz in A-flat (complete with a memory slip neatly finessed).

Dutoit, launching a two-week guest engagement, began with a gleaming performance of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Russian Easter Overture" that showed off the CSO's corporate strengths very well, not least a darkly intoned trombone chorale.

Stravinsky's Symphony in C is the master's Chicago symphony, written for the CSO's 50th anniversary and premiered by the orchestra in 1940, with Stravinsky conducting.

Those shifting meters, eccentric rhythms and offbeat running figures can be the very devil to get right, but Dutoit had everything in proper balance. The orchestra responded elegantly, its woodwinds as poised and lucid as dancers in one of George Balanchine's Stravinsky ballets.

(http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/chi-ovn_0322kissinmar22,1,1207552.story)


Erratic tempos mar Kissin's rendering of Brahms
KEN WINTERS

From Friday's Globe and Mail

March 28, 2008 at 4:12 AM EDT

TORONTO SYMPHONY

ORCHESTRA

EVGENY KISSIN, PIANO

Sir Andrew Davis, conductor

Colin Fox, narrator

At Roy Thomson Hall

in Toronto on Wednesday

Brilliant Russian pianist Evgeny Kissin joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and its conductor laureate, Andrew Davis, for a performance Wednesday of Brahms's First Piano Concerto that combined extraordinary lyrical sensitivity and exquisite pianistic detail with an erratic approach to pulse and rhythm that left us wondering whether he thought of the music as a whole organism of sound or only a chain of lovely notions that he could tighten or slacken at will.

There was no doubt about the finesse of Kissin's playing. He trained this great problematic lion of a concerto into a biddable pussycat, with purring trills, lithe octaves and handfuls of chords effortlessly sprung. He folded his music into the soft bosom of Sir Andrew's elegant orchestral rendition as if it had all been conceived by Mozart or Chopin. But not, perhaps, by Brahms.

The first clue to the soft concept of this performance was the long orchestral introduction to the first movement. Instead of the hair-raising gigantic, craggy thrust we expect, what we got was strangely small-scale and subdued, very nicely played under Davis but not bursting with energy.

Then, with Kissin's entry in the piano's gentler music, everything slowed down, not just reasonably, but excessively. This launched us into an account of the movement that hurried in the fortes and the fortissimos and slowed frequently and inordinately for the soft bits, all underlying pulse forgotten.

The Adagio, when it came, was all lingering sensitivities, each phrase nearly stopping while we admired Kissin's delicate milking of its minutiae. Again, the playing was phenomenally refined and explicit, every note projected with the ease of a master.

The finale was more robust - that is its nature - but so was the playing, though even here the questionable principle fast-when-loud, slow-when-soft was insisted upon. The orchestra under Davis achieved miracles of constant adjustment to Kissin's tempos and dynamics.

It was obvious, though, in Davis's effusive embrace of Kissin during the applause, that the two were completely in cahoots over the waywardness of their concept of the work. I could not agree with the concept, but I admired the skills with which they both realized it and the orchestra concurred.

The evening opened with Raymond Luedeke's Tales of the Netsilik, the orchestral work with spoken stories of the Inuit tribe known as "people of the seal," who lived above the Arctic Circle.

Luedeke, a clarinetist in the TSO, composed the work in 1989, and the orchestra premiered it successfully with the popular broadcaster Peter Gzowski as the storyteller. Gzowski, speaking modestly and simply, was touching and compelling in the role. A few years later, the piece was revived by the orchestra with the superb Martha Henry as the storyteller, and Henry brought a whole other dimension to the tales.

Wednesday's storyteller was noted Canadian actor Colin Fox, who read with dignity and clarity but was unable to touch the heart as Gzowski had done, or compel the imagination as Henry had done. This had the effect of suggesting that Luedeke's work itself had lost its lustre, like one of those novels that seem momentous when they're published but don't last out their decade. On Wednesday the score seemed noisy, sententious and harmonically thin. Luedeke himself introduced it from the stage clearly and with a good deal of charm. His introduction was the best thing about it.

Special to The Globe and Mail (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080328.wkissin28/BNStory/Entertainment/Music/)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on March 29, 2008, 06:41:57 AM
 Brahms PC 1 Rubinstein / Haitink  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4g3v_h3_sU)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on March 29, 2008, 06:42:51 AM

"What capped the harmonious convergence was the welcome return of stellar pianist Andre Watts, who delivered an incendiary account of Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2, outdoing his performance of that composer's first concerto with the BSO back in 2003.

 (http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/bal-to.bso29mar29,0,3948344.story)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 03, 2008, 08:37:56 AM

 For Richter fans:

(http://www.classicstoday.com/images/coverpics/11548_coverpic.jpg)

Brahms Piano Quintet in F minor Op. 34; Variations on a Theme by Paganini Books 1 & 2 Op. 35; Piano Pieces Op. 116 Nos. 3, 5, 6, & 7. Richter / Tátrai String Quartet / Doremi- 7882(CD)

 (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=11548)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 05, 2008, 12:04:42 PM


 "... I for one don’t see how anyone could have been unmoved by the depth of expression Anne-Sophie Mutter brought to both the [Brahms] G and A Major Sonatas or unexcited by the passion in her reading of Brahms’s Third Violin Sonata, the Op. 108 in D minor.  But what particularly struck me is that Mutter seems engaged on a new level with these works, in search of a profound simplicity and naturalness beyond all the rigors of Brahmsian architecture and motivic development. ..."
(http://www.crosscut.com/arts-beat/13159/Anne-Sophie+Mutter+in+recital:+big+risks,+stunning+artistry/)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: M forever on April 05, 2008, 02:32:33 PM
Kissin, almost as boyish-looking as when he made his Chicago debut nearly 18 years ago, returned to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Thursday night at Orchestra Hall, bringing with him one of the supreme knuckle-busters in the Romantic repertory, Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1. True to expectation, the pianist conquered, and the sold-out house was all but delirious with pleasure.

Kissin will play the 2nd concerto next week here in Boston, accompanied by the BSO and Levine. They will also play the 3rd symphony. I don't know yet if I will have time to go, the concerts are sold out anyway, but maybe there will be returned tickets or something like that. I will try to get a ticket if I find the time to. Levine's recording of the 3rd symphony with the WP is extremely good, and his performance of the 2nd serenade with the BSO recently was also very nice, so that might be a fun program to see.


Brahms, Symphony No. 2, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Carlo Maria Giulini

(http://www.classicstoday.com/images/coverpics/11566_coverpic.jpg)

(http://www.classicstoday.com/images/sp_art/p10s10.gif)


"Serious music taken seriously--that's the first impression you might glean from this magnificent performance. ... Throughout, the Los Angeles Philharmonic plays spectacularly, with a warmth and precision certainly not matched by the Vienna Philharmonic in Giulini's later, less interesting remake for this same label. This earlier version also enjoys cleaner, more natural sonics."  -- DH
(http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=11566)

This is indeed an outstanding recording, even though clueless Hurwitz praises it - but you can't hold that against Giulini and the LAPO.  ;D They also made a very good recording of the 1st symphony. Actually, everything they recorded with him in that period is very good, there is also Tchaikovsky 6, Schumann 3, Beethoven 3, 5, and 6 - the Eroica is particularly impressive. Interested listeners should not be put off because Hurwitz recommends it, and also not because of this little attack of American cultural inferiority complex (which he has all the time anyway). The playing and music making is really very good. The LAPO back then really had a special sound, warmer and heavier than most American orchestras, but still fairly compact and sharply outlined - I heard them a number of time live in the 80s and early 90s - but unfortunately, that special sound and ensemble quality is now gone. Salonen downgraded the orchestra's sound and overall quality siginificantly. They won't get any better under Dudamel because he never learned how to build up and cultivate an orchestral style over a long period either. Sad. But this disc is a nice reminder of what this orchestra could do back then.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 06, 2008, 08:22:09 AM
Pollini - Brahms Piano Concerto No.1

http://www.youtube.com/v/gJskAs5MmPE&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/v/79H6aqdpb90&feature=related


Kissin will play the 2nd concerto next week here in Boston, accompanied by the BSO and Levine. They will also play the 3rd symphony. I don't know yet if I will have time to go, the concerts are sold out anyway, but maybe there will be returned tickets or something like that. I will try to get a ticket if I find the time to.

GO!

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Bonehelm on April 07, 2008, 07:55:08 PM
Just finished playing HvK/BPO's '78 recording of the 1st...the chorale in the finale's coda is MIND BLOWING! And I thought Solti was the man there...
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Renfield on April 07, 2008, 08:27:44 PM
Just finished playing HvK/BPO's '78 recording of the 1st...the chorale in the finale's coda is MIND BLOWING! And I thought Solti was the man there...

Indeed, that is probably the best Karajan iteration of said chorale. :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Bonehelm on April 09, 2008, 09:32:14 AM
Indeed, that is probably the best Karajan iteration of said chorale. :)

It's nice to have a fellow Karajan-believer on the forum! I think there are  more of them than just us, though  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Renfield on April 09, 2008, 12:21:25 PM
It's nice to have a fellow Karajan-believer on the forum! I think there are  more of them than just us, though  :)

Yes. Though I do take exception to the hero-worship. I admire Karajan and his work, I do not worship him. There are a lot of good conductors, and only in very few works do I consider Karajan unmatched; but that is not to say I easily consider him surpassed, either. ;)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 10, 2008, 03:04:50 PM



Levine / Kissin / BSO / Brahms Sym 3 & PC #2, op. 83

(http://cache.boston.com/resize/bonzai-fba/Globe_Photo/2008/04/09/1207786121_8024/539w.jpg)

Levine led a richly textured and surely paced account of Brahms's Third Symphony, if not with the same rhetorical cogency and overarching expressive tension that he has brought to other Brahms symphonies in recent memory. Tuning in the winds and brass was also intermittently fuzzier than usual. The outer movements had a strong rhythmic profile and an appealing heft; the strings exuded the beautifully dark and warm tone that has become a signature of the orchestra's Brahms.

After intermission, Kissin gave a commanding, steel-fingered rendition of the Second Concerto, full of tightly coiled energy and explosive runs. His nimble, spry, and highly virtuosic playing seemed most closely attuned to the work's declarative and heroic qualities, and less so to its elusive crosscurrents or its hidden pockets of lyricism, though there were some moments when he lightened up to produce a beautifully liquid tone. Overall, his performance was the sort that grabs you by the lapel to demand your attention, rather than the sort that more memorably charms you into drawing near.

The piece itself is of course symphonic in its dimensions and the orchestra here was in excellent form. Most notable was Jules Eskin's golden-hued cello solo in the andante movement, a fountain of tone originating from somewhere deep.
 (http://www.boston.com/ae/music/articles/2008/04/10/levine_kissin_and_brahms_at_bso/)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 10, 2008, 03:09:37 PM
Peter Serkin Play Brahms's Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24

(http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/04/07/arts/Serkin650.jpg)

New York Times

April 7, 2008
Music Review | Peter Serkin
Bird Song, Modernism and Brahms Take Flight
By ANTHONY TOMMASINI

The pianist Peter Serkin does not like being described as a champion of contemporary music. As he has said, his excitement for new music is a natural extension of his excitement for all music. He enjoys presenting programs that intriguingly juxtapose the old and the new, as his recital on Saturday night at the 92nd Street Y excitingly demonstrated.

He began with a Renaissance vocal motet by Josquin, “Ave Christe,” reset for piano in 1988 by the composer Charles Wuorinen. This austerely beautiful piece is thick with slow-moving contrapuntal lines. Yet every detail came through in Mr. Serkin’s calmly assured performance. At times Josquin’s wide-spaced harmonies seemed like premonitions of mystical passages from the late Beethoven piano sonatas.

Mr. Serkin’s performance had the effect of inviting the audience into a contemplative state, a mood sustained throughout the next work, Messiaen’s “Petites Esquisses d’Oiseaux,” though the music could not have been more different. Messiaen’s lifelong fascination with bird song is captured in this 15-minute suite from 1985, a fantastical portrait of a robin, blackbird, song thrush and skylark. The exuberant and rippling music is full of literal transcriptions of skittish bird calls, punctuated by outbursts of keyboard-spanning arpeggios and pungent chords that sound like depictions of flocks of birds taking frenzied flight.

After this Mr. Serkin took the audience back into a pensive state with Brahms’s Theme and Variations in D minor, his transcription of the slow movement from his early Sextet for Strings in B flat. In its contrapuntal severity the music looked back to Bach, but in its wayward harmonies it hinted at the path-breaking Brahms to come in later years.

Somehow these pieces set the ideal mood for the premiere of Mr. Wuorinen’s Scherzo for Piano, a 92nd Street Y commission. After the intensity of the Josquin and Brahms the audience needed to let loose, and Mr. Serkin’s exhilarating performance of this dazzling, 10-minute tour de force gave listeners the chance to do so. Mr. Wuorinen is a formidably complex composer. But like many of his scores, this one crackles with viscerally exciting activity.

After the stern opening, when a six-note motive is bluntly stated, the piece becomes a frenetic, perpetual-motion fantasy. Yet, amid the spiraling flights and blasts of jerky chords, a halting thematic line threads through the textures. Mr. Serkin played the piece with uncanny clarity and wondrous colorings. When the composer took the stage for a bow, he was greeted more by whoops than bravos, which seemed right.

After intermission Mr. Serkin gave an unusually thoughtful account of Brahms’s Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B flat, a virtuosic work often milked for showiness. He emphasized the contrasts in the variations, as Brahms turns Handel’s fussily ornamented Baroque tune into a Gypsy dance, a rigorous canon, a siciliano and whatnot. During the ethereal variation in G minor Mr. Serkin played as if channeling the music from another realm. Yet the propulsive variations were jolted with steely fortissimo chords. The fugue built inexorably to a cascade of octaves and chords in its triumphant final moments.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 10, 2008, 03:20:27 PM
An All-Brahms Program, Both Passionate and Poised

(http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/04/08/arts/emerspan.jpg)

New York Times

Brahms, an intensely self-critical composer who destroyed many of his works before publication, described his Clarinet Trio in A minor and Clarinet Quintet in B minor as “twin pieces of foolishness.” The many Brahms bashers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries perhaps agreed.

But it’s hard to imagine disliking the magnificent quintet, which the Emerson String Quartet and the clarinetist David Shifrin eloquently performed at the Rose Theater on Sunday afternoon, the second all-Brahms concert the Emerson has given this season.

Brahms was inspired to abandon plans for retirement after hearing the clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld perform (among others) Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet. It influenced the form of Brahms’s own quintet, which also has an expansive opening movement and a theme-and-variations finale. Mr. Shifrin played the rhapsodic clarinet part with soulful flair and a clear tone, while the Emerson performed with an unsentimental elegance that was restrained in the autumnal nostalgia of the first movement and passionate in the concluding con moto. The cellist David Finckel and the violist Lawrence Dutton sounded particularly fine throughout the afternoon.

The program opened with the Quartet No. 3 in B flat, written in 1875 during a happy summer the composer spent at the riverside suburb of the university town of Heidelberg. The quartet is distinguished from its two sterner predecessors by its more genial and lyrical character, although those qualities weren’t always illuminated in this performance, which at times seemed rather dry, with a sluggish final movement.

The Emerson was joined by the violist Paul Neubauer and the cellist Colin Carr for a lively rendition of the Sextet No. 1 in B flat. Written early in Brahms’s career after a tumultuous period living in Clara Schumann’s house, the work’s poise in no way reflects the circumstances of its creation.

Mr. Finckel’s voluminous tone was aptly complemented by Mr. Carr and the violas during the opening melody, which Brahms assigned to the lower strings on the advice of the violinist Joseph Joachim. The Emerson and colleagues offered a richly hued interpretation, with a colorful scherzo, stirring Andante and graceful Rondo.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 11, 2008, 05:49:50 AM
horowitz toscanini live brahms concerto #1 mvt1pt1 1935

mvt 1 pt 1 http://www.youtube.com/v/pfq4-Il4-dk

mvt 1 pt 2 http://www.youtube.com/v/KspFtrFHXOA


Clocking in at a mere 17 minutes, this is perhaps THE speediest 1st movement of PC 1 on record ........

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: M forever on April 12, 2008, 05:32:15 PM
Levine / Kissin / BSO / Brahms Sym 3 & PC #2, op. 83

I didn't get to go to that because I was too busy, and now I am in New York. Tonight, they had the NYP with Lang Lang playing a piano concerto by Tan Dun which might have been interesting to hear (I played a cello concerto by Tan Dun based on his music for "Hidden Tiger, Crouching Draon" with my orchestra once, and that was quite fun) but I thought it might be too painful to have to watch Lang Lang have a spastic attack on the podium, and they also played the Firebird conducted bt Slatkin, and that didn't really interest me, so I didn't make an effort to go.

But Karl Henning went to above Brahms concert, maybe he will tell you what it was like.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 13, 2008, 02:23:51 PM
Brahms D Minor Violin Sonata
Richter & Oistrakh - Brahms Sonata No.3 : IV. Presto Agitato

presto http://www.youtube.com/v/uRS5ye9_2i0




Brahms D Minor Violin Sonata
violin: Itzhak Perlman
piano: Daniel Barenboim

Allegro http://www.youtube.com/v/CR3h78Il5E4

Presto http://www.youtube.com/v/XykEvcfsrpI&feature=related
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: greg on April 14, 2008, 12:35:44 PM


Clocking in at a mere 17 minutes, this is perhaps THE speediest 1st movement of PC 1 on record ........


wow, that's pretty fast stuff.....
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 14, 2008, 03:25:33 PM
Josef Suk (violin)
Rudolf Firkusny (piano)
Brahms: Sonata No. 3 for Piano in D Minor, Op. 108
(Second movement - Adagio)

http://www.youtube.com/v/djB1Iqu0wUs
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: val on April 15, 2008, 11:00:12 PM
Regarding the 3rd violin Sonata, I believe that no one reached the quality of David Oistrakh with Yampolski. The sound of Oistrakh, his eloquence, even the passion, are extraordinary. And Yampolski is a good partner.

Last night I heard again the string Quintet opus 88 buy the Amadeus Quartet with Aronowitz. The opus 88 is one of the most beautiful inspirations of Brahms, in special the first movement. And the Amadeus are perfect.

I also listened to the Juilliard with Trämpler in the same work and they seem heavy and prosaic compared to the Amadeus: the phrasing of the sublime 2nd theme of the first movement in the viola is a good example.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 16, 2008, 05:25:15 AM
Brahms, Symphony No. 1 in C minor Op. 68
Los Angeles Philharmonic / Carlo Maria Giulini / Deutsche Grammophon- 410 023 2(CD)


(http://www.classicstoday.com/images/coverpics/11601_coverpic.jpg)

(http://www.classicstoday.com/images/sp_art/p10s10.gif)

*** The broadly phrased first-movement introduction conveys extraordinary power and tension, while the conductor's astute attention to orchestral balance and accurate note values imparts a genuinely forward-moving impetus and inner rhythm that justifies his moderate interpretation of Brahms' Allegro directive, as well as his observing the long exposition repeat. Here and throughout the symphony the composer's espressivo passages elicit ritards and other tempo modifications that Giulini doles out in careful proportions.  ***

The final movement especially showcases the Los Angeles Philharmonic's uniformly beautiful, dynamically contrasted, committed playing, from the marvelously varied string sonorities (yes, even in the tricky pizzicato accelerandos) to the magnificent, full-throated brass playing in the coda. Integrity, passion, and deep musical intelligence define this classic, splendidly engineered Brahms First, which unquestionably surpasses Giulini's enervated remake with the Vienna Philharmonic (also on DG). Kudos to Arkivmusic.com's on-demand CD reissue program for making it available again.


--Jed Distler
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: M forever on April 16, 2008, 11:11:26 PM
Brahms, Symphony No. 1 in C minor Op. 68
Los Angeles Philharmonic / Carlo Maria Giulini / Deutsche Grammophon- 410 023 2(CD)


(http://www.classicstoday.com/images/coverpics/11601_coverpic.jpg)

(http://www.classicstoday.com/images/sp_art/p10s10.gif)

*** The broadly phrased first-movement introduction conveys extraordinary power and tension, while the conductor's astute attention to orchestral balance and accurate note values imparts a genuinely forward-moving impetus and inner rhythm that justifies his moderate interpretation of Brahms' Allegro directive, as well as his observing the long exposition repeat. Here and throughout the symphony the composer's espressivo passages elicit ritards and other tempo modifications that Giulini doles out in careful proportions.  ***

The final movement especially showcases the Los Angeles Philharmonic's uniformly beautiful, dynamically contrasted, committed playing, from the marvelously varied string sonorities (yes, even in the tricky pizzicato accelerandos) to the magnificent, full-throated brass playing in the coda. Integrity, passion, and deep musical intelligence define this classic, splendidly engineered Brahms First, which unquestionably surpasses Giulini's enervated remake with the Vienna Philharmonic (also on DG). Kudos to Arkivmusic.com's on-demand CD reissue program for making it available again.


--Jed Distler

Again, a very good recording from Giulini and the LAP, and funny how, once again, the American cultural inferiority complex has to come through at the end - but what else can you expect from the idiots who write for "classicstoday"? But again, as with the 2nd, that shouldn't deter people from enjoying this great recording, as well as Giulini's later recording with the WP which is another monument to this extraordinary conductor's art and which has nuances in the playing and tonal production which most other orchestras - including the LAP in its best days - can only dream of. That doesn't diminish the quality of this particular recording, seen by itself, though. But the sound is not "10". It is nice, warm and compact, but also rather dry and boxy - but still quite listenable.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: val on April 17, 2008, 12:04:18 AM
Quote
M forever
Again, a very good recording from Giulini and the LAP.

This version is very good, but I prefer the former version of the four Symphonies that Giulini recorded with the Philharmonia Orchestra. More dynamic, more powerful, the articulation being much more clear. The 2nd and 3rd in special are extraordinary.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: M forever on April 17, 2008, 11:16:11 AM
I wasn't aware actually that Giulini recorded a complete Brahms cycle with the Philharmonia for EMI. I only knew of the 4th with the CSO. Those earlier recordings seem to be hard to find - all could find online was an OOP edition of 2 and 3 from EMI France, but no copies are available on either amazon.de or .fr at this time  :(
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 18, 2008, 03:07:46 AM

Brahms-Symphony n.4-Bernstein


http://www.youtube.com/v/aA1-mc7IEYM

http://www.youtube.com/v/T9q_v_oXGBs&feature=related
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 19, 2008, 06:24:35 AM


April 16, 2008
Music Review
Variations on the Violin, All in the Key of Brahms
By BERNARD HOLLAND

(http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/04/16/arts/mutt190.jpg)


For Anne-Sophie Mutter the saying “Make every note count” becomes less a vague cliché and more a matter of fact. Her violin playing has an imagination, a curiosity and a near-endless reserve of psychic energy that made each phrase of her all-Brahms program with Lambert Orkis at Carnegie Hall on Monday an adventure and a discovery.

How to use vibrato (or how not), how to reduce music to a whisper and still make it heard, how to alter speeds in ways that are both dramatic and logical — all these set this German violinist on a plane above most colleagues. Always an interesting musician, Ms. Mutter becomes more of one every year. Monday’s concert marked her 20th year of visits to Carnegie Hall.

In principle, the Isaac Stern Auditorium, with its 2,800 seats, is too big for a violin and piano recital. Making an event like this intimate was too much to ask, but after a few minutes of adjustment, listeners did begin to feel themselves in a smaller space. Neither volume nor timbre could explain the effect; more likely was a certain enlightened intensity, something more sensed than directly heard.

Intimacy makes these three duo sonatas work. The Presto agitato finale of the D minor Sonata shows that Brahms in middle age was still not through with fierce, thick and violently difficult piano writing. Elsewhere in the piece and in the Sonatas in A and G played earlier in the evening, tenderness and quiet reflection become less battlefield lulls than guiding tendencies.

Listening to Mr. Orkis play Brahms’s demanding music made it easy to understand why Ms. Mutter has been so faithful to their partnership. He commands this music, but it also excites him, and consequently us.
 (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/16/arts/music/16mutt.html?scp=1&sq=brahms&st=nyt)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 22, 2008, 03:43:53 AM
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No 1,Op. 15. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No 2,Op. 83. 3 Pieces,Op. 117. 4 Pieces,Op. 119. 2 Rhapsodies,Op. 79.
Emanuel Ax pf
Boston Symphony Orchestra; Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Bernard Haitink; James Levine
Sony Classical Reissue CD     8869703510-2

(http://www.gramophone.co.uk/cdcovers/886970351027.jpg)

Review from Grammophon

Remastered Brahms reveals the fire burning in Ax’s concertos

Ivan March’s original 1986 review of the Ax/Levine Brahms D minor claimed the pianist to be “clearly happiest in the work’s reflective pages”, while finding the first movement’s thrust “somewhat muted”. Ahem: the Chicago Symphony’s full-throated brass? Their vibrant, shapely strings? Ax’s bottom-up tonal solidity? His fire-in-the-belly trills and powerful scale passages? “Muted” my foot! Yes, the piano tone is a tad monochrome and bloomless, but that’s RCA’s early digital technology talking. Still, it’s obvious that the Levine/Chicago/Brahms trifecta was something special (let’s hope their Brahms symphony cycle will turn up again).

Contrary to Richard Osborne’s B flat Concerto observations, I find nothing “mannered” about Ax’s expansive, purposefully inflected opening cadenza, although the “cloudy” quality RO infers in the sound may have to do with Haitink’s generalised though superficially beautiful blending of orchestral strands (his Concertgebouw traversal with Arrau reveals a higher degree of textural differentiation and linear projection). Ax brings power, forward momentum and steadfast security to the Scherzo’s most gnarly sequences, and takes plenty of time to savour the Andante’s softly rising melodies without overindulging in the least. The solo numbers showcase Ax’s big-hearted, musicianly pianism at its acme.

It’s anyone’s guess as to why Op 119’s first three pieces are on one disc, with No 4 on the other. Had all four been grouped together, disc one still would have three minutes to spare. Ax’s booklet-notes offer salient background information and disarming personal anecdotes about the music.
 
Jed Distler  
 
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: max on April 22, 2008, 03:44:03 PM
Well now we know for sure that Brahms is inferior to Beethoven. He's only got 15 pages compared to 42
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 23, 2008, 05:35:38 AM
Well now we know for sure that Brahms is inferior to Beethoven. He's only got 15 pages compared to 42

Brahms is only about 1/3 as good as Beethoven .......
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 23, 2008, 05:38:17 AM



Berlin Philharmonic unveils the new season   
April 23 2008      
    
Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker announced their 2008-9 season at a press conference in Berlin on Tuesday. The orchestra will give 125 symphonic concerts and six opera performances during the season, 91 of which will be at the orchestra’s home, the Philharmonie. Rattle himself will conduct 57 concerts with the BPO. 

Following the current season’s dual focus on two composers (the music of Webern has been juxtaposed with the Beethoven symphonies), the 2008-9 season’s focus will be on the music of Bernd Alois Zimmermann alongside orchestral and choral music by Robert Schumann. Rattle will conduct Zimmermann’s Symphony in One Movement for Orchestra and guest conductors will perform Alagoana (Caprichos Brasileiros), Photoptosis, Requiem for a Young Poet and the Violin Concerto. The Schumann works will include Das Paradies und die Peri, the Konzertstück for Four Horns and Orchestra, the Piano Concerto and the Fourth Symphony – all to be conducted by Rattle. Sakari Oramo will conduct the Violin Concerto and the Second Symphony and Heinz Holliger will take charge of the Fantasy for violin and the First Symphony. A first for the orchestra will be a pair of concerts in the vast space of Hanger 2 at Tempelhoff Airport, the airport of the former East Berlin. Stockhausen’s Gruppen will be paired with Messiaen’s Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum – the huge space allowing the three orchestras to be placed around the audience with the percussion positioned up in the roof of the hanger.

The other ‘core’ focus will be on the orchestral music of Brahms: Rattle will conduct a cycle of the four symphonies and also take them on tour to Korea and Japan (and they will also be recorded by EMI).  To open the season Rattle and the BPO will give concerts that combine the Prelude and Liebestod from Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde and Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie – they will not only perform this programme at home in Berlin but also at the BBC Proms, the Salzburg Festival and at Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool, the city where Rattle was born. Guest conductors in the new season are Harnoncourt (Haydn’s Orlando Paladino), Barenboim, Boulez, Bychkov, Dudamel, Eötvös, Alan Gilbert, Haitink, Harding, Holliger, Mehta, Muti (returning after an interval of 17 years), Oramo, Ozawa, Petrenko, Trevor Pinnock (making his BPO debut), Thielemann, Welser-Möst and Zinman. The Berliner Philharmoniker’s Pianist in Residence for the season is Mitsuko Uchida who appears as soloist with the orchestra as well as in chamber music and as Lieder accompanist. EMI Classics, which has an exclusive recording contract with Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker has three projects (in addition to the Brahms symphonies) scheduled for the coming months. In June there is a Stravinsky programme that links the three symphonies (Symphony of Psalms, Symphony in C and Symphony in Three Movements); in August Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique will be released in tandem with Le mort de Cléopâtre (with Susan Graham) and in September EMI will be recording Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges (with Magdalena Kozená, Annick Massis, Nathalie Stutzmann, José van Dam and Sophie Koch) and the suite from Ma mère l’oye (to be recorded live in concert). At the press conference in Berlin, Rattle spoke of his excitement at the range and depth of music on offer, and parried questions about the renewal of his contract which is due in 2009: speculation is rife about the relationship between orchestra and conductor though many members of the orchestra expressed their admiration for their music director. Judging by the response of the Berlin audience at the concert the previous night music-lovers in the city are in no doubt at all as to high quality of the partnership’s music-making. James Jolly, Gramophone editor-in-chief   


 (http://www.gramophone.co.uk/newsMainTemplate.asp?storyID=3015&newssectionID=1)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: MN Dave on April 23, 2008, 05:38:38 AM
Brahms is only about 1/3 as good as Beethoven .......

Tut-tut.  $:)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: eyeresist on April 23, 2008, 05:36:31 PM
 
Look out - it's the Brahms Police!  :o
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: max on April 23, 2008, 09:25:52 PM
Brahms is only about 1/3 as good as Beethoven .......

...this may even sound reasonable to Brahms own opinion of himself vis a vis Beethoven but then it's kind of hard to say because Brahms is VERY different from Beethoven!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 24, 2008, 03:49:36 AM
Brahms Cello Sonata in F. Jian Wang, Emanuel Ax


1st mvt http://www.youtube.com/v/iZuG0i7SSk0
 
2d mvt http://www.youtube.com/v/vlyRjLd8Nr4&feature=related

3d mvt http://www.youtube.com/v/Wp29TtGosg8&feature=related

finale http://www.youtube.com/v/mSWuD5S2LcI&feature=related
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 24, 2008, 04:09:26 AM
...this may even sound reasonable to Brahms own opinion of himself vis a vis Beethoven but then it's kind of hard to say because Brahms is VERY different from Beethoven!

One thing we know with absolute certainty: Brahms worshipped Beethoven ........  0:) 
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: MN Dave on April 24, 2008, 04:13:30 AM
...this may even sound reasonable to Brahms own opinion of himself vis a vis Beethoven but then it's kind of hard to say because Brahms is VERY different from Beethoven!

Not as different as some. What do you think the main differences are?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: M forever on April 24, 2008, 07:38:34 PM
A first for the orchestra will be a pair of concerts in the vast space of Hanger 2 at Tempelhoff Airport, the airport of the former East Berlin.

Tempelhof (not "hoff") is in West Berlin. Not that it matters much in this context though.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: greg on April 25, 2008, 01:57:44 PM
Brahms is only about 1/3 as good as Beethoven .......
Funny, I've never even visited the Beethoven thread.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 25, 2008, 02:57:18 PM
Funny, I've never even visited the Beethoven thread.

 Greg, click here and ......... VOILA ......... problem solved!  (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,12.msg172984.html#msg172984)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: The new erato on April 25, 2008, 11:22:53 PM
One thing we know with absolute certainty: Brahms worshipped Beethoven ........  0:) 
And we will never know the possibility of it being the other way around..................
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: greg on April 26, 2008, 04:35:14 AM
And we will never know the possibility of it being the other way around..................
doesn't that suck? I mean, I could've possibly said stuff like "Beethoven worshipped Brahms"....... has a nice sound to it.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: greg on April 26, 2008, 04:36:19 AM
Greg, click here and ......... VOILA ......... problem solved!  (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,12.msg172984.html#msg172984)
done
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on April 26, 2008, 07:50:06 AM
done

Extraordinarily impressive accomplishment, Greg ...........
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Bonehelm on April 26, 2008, 11:31:53 PM
Tempelhof (not "hoff") is in West Berlin. Not that it matters much in this context though.

Here we have the spelling nazi guru again. No one cares, hotshot.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: M forever on April 29, 2008, 06:08:33 PM
Here we have the spelling nazi guru again. No one cares, hotshot.


Yes, and "Nazi" has to be spelled with a capital "N" in that context because it is a name (or an abbreviation for one). Don't you know anything?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: greg on April 30, 2008, 01:05:43 PM
Hahahaha. This is ffunny.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Bonehelm on April 30, 2008, 06:58:43 PM
Yes, and "Nazi" has to be spelled with a capital "N" in that context because it is a name (or an abbreviation for one). Don't you know anything?

Of course, of all people, I would expect you M the great German master to know how to spell that word. Especially when you are one of those who are picky about everything that doesn't really matter and take the most trivial, infantile things seriously.  ::)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: greg on April 30, 2008, 07:00:30 PM
Of course, of all people, I would expect you M the great German master to know how to spell that word. Especially when you are one of those who are picky about everything that doesn't really matter and take the most trivial, infantile things seriously.  ::)
(whisper whisper)
even worse than the soup nNazi......


(runs away desperately)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: M forever on April 30, 2008, 07:21:36 PM
Of course, of all people, I would expect you M the great German master to know how to spell that word. Especially when you are one of those who are picky about everything that doesn't really matter and take the most trivial, infantile things seriously.  ::)

You are mistaken about that. For instance, the most trivial, infantile thing on this forum is you, and I don't take you seriously at all.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Brian on April 30, 2008, 07:58:56 PM
Actually, I often call myself a Grammar Nazi, and proudly. What's the ruckus?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on May 01, 2008, 03:50:34 AM
At last night's music appreciation class, I heard a work of Brahms I had not heard before:

Rhapsody No. 2 in G minor, Op. 79

I was absolutely floored!!  Marvelous!   :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: greg on May 01, 2008, 06:06:23 AM
At last night's music appreciation class, I heard a work of Brahms I had not heard before:

Rhapsody No. 2 in G minor, Op. 79

I was absolutely floored!!  Marvelous!   :)
you've gone this long in your life without hearing that one?
wow, that's pretty sad......  :'(

don't tell me you haven't heard the first rhapsody either?

ok, quick, go to youtube!

http://youtube.com/watch?v=in18sXiNhQw

(and there's a bunch more)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on May 01, 2008, 06:33:36 AM
you've gone this long in your life without hearing that one?
wow, that's pretty sad......  :'(

don't tell me you haven't heard the first rhapsody either?

That's part of the journey, not discovering everything at once.   :-\

And no, I haven't heard the first one either.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: MN Dave on May 01, 2008, 06:34:41 AM
That's part of the journey, not discovering everything at once.   :-\

Yes.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: The new erato on May 01, 2008, 08:41:00 AM
At last night's music appreciation class, I heard a work of Brahms I had not heard before:

Rhapsody No. 2 in G minor, Op. 79

I was absolutely floored!!  Marvelous!   :)
And which performance was it?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on May 01, 2008, 08:42:21 AM
And which performance was it?

It was Emmanuel Ax.  Sony.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: The new erato on May 01, 2008, 08:46:53 AM
It was Emmanuel Ax.  Sony.
Thank you. Don't know that one, but like Ax in Brahms chamber music like this:

(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/020/29841.jpg)

Fine record.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on May 01, 2008, 08:54:39 AM
Thank you. Don't know that one, but like Ax in Brahms chamber music like this:

(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/020/29841.jpg)

Fine record.

That's my favorite Brahms CD (well, 2 CDs)  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: greg on May 01, 2008, 10:38:45 AM
That's part of the journey, not discovering everything at once.   :-\

And no, I haven't heard the first one either.
if only i could rewind time and discover the Mahler symphonies for the first time  :-[
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 01, 2008, 10:42:56 AM
if only i could rewind time and discover the Mahler symphonies for the first time   :-[

You could try a brain transplant (just make sure that the person whose brain you are transplanting has never heard Mahler's music before) ........
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: greg on May 01, 2008, 10:43:28 AM
You could try a brain transplant (just make sure the person whose brain your transplanting never heard Mahler before) ........
but then i most likely wouldn't enjoy it!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 01, 2008, 10:45:26 AM
That's my favorite Brahms CD (well, 2 CDs)  :)

Chambernut obviously likes to Ax Ma .........
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 01, 2008, 10:46:52 AM
but then i most likely wouldn't enjoy it!

picky picky

Since when did you become so hypercritical?

If transplant with PERSON A fails, just try it with PERSON B ......... and if that fails ........... PERSON C ........
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: greg on May 01, 2008, 10:47:43 AM
picky picky

Since when did you become so hypercritical?

If transplant with PERSON A fails, just try it with PERSON B ......... and if that fails ........... PERSON C ........
Maybe I'll put a beehive in my head instead?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 01, 2008, 10:51:07 AM
Maybe I'll put a beehive in my head instead?

Just go with a beehive hairdo instead:  (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a3/Retro_formal_beehive_updo.jpg)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Haffner on May 01, 2008, 12:15:17 PM
You could try a brain transplant (just make sure the person whose brain your transplanting never heard Mahler before) ........



That Jim Carrey... "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind".


I'd want to go back to the time that Wagner's Ring... and Mahler's 9th first "clicked".
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: M forever on May 01, 2008, 12:53:08 PM
At last night's music appreciation class, I heard a work of Brahms I had not heard before:

Rhapsody No. 2 in G minor, Op. 79

I was absolutely floored!!  Marvelous!   :)

I heard that recently in concert with the BSO and James Levine. I had heard it on recordings, and I played it once while at the music academy in the student orchestra, but apart from that, the BSO concert was the only time I ever heard it in concert or even saw it offered. Which is hard to understand because it is a highly attractive work and Brahms is not exactly an "unknown" or "unpopular" composer...
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: eyeresist on May 01, 2008, 08:37:57 PM
I heard that recently in concert with the BSO and James Levine. I had heard it on recordings, and I played it once while at the music academy in the student orchestra, but apart from that, the BSO concert was the only time I ever heard it in concert or even saw it offered. Which is hard to understand because it is a highly attractive work and Brahms is not exactly an "unknown" or "unpopular" composer...
You might be thinking of the Serenade No. 2, which is certainly a wonderful work - as is no. 1. I'm surprised they aren't usually included in symphonic cycles. They're lighter than the symphonies or piano concertos, but by no means are they juvenilia!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: M forever on May 01, 2008, 09:22:40 PM
You are right, I was thinking of the 2nd *serenade*, not the 2nd *rhapsody*.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on May 02, 2008, 02:49:44 AM
Chambernut obviously likes to Ax Ma .........

 ;D   :D   0:)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 03, 2008, 10:03:32 AM
Reginald Kell Brahms Clarinet Quintet B minor Op.115 Part1-5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8ksAKJgGAg&feature=related
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 03, 2008, 03:40:20 PM


Anton Kuerti lifts listeners to their feet
 
ARTHUR KAPTAINIS
The Gazette

Saturday, May 03, 2008

(http://canscene.ripple.ca/uploads/kuerti.jpg)

Normally noted for experimentalism, Denis Brott built the Thursday opening of his Montreal Chamber Music Festival in St. James United Church around two established masterpieces in F Minor and the established Toronto pianist Anton Kuerti, who appears here often.

One can understand why. He played Beethoven's Sonata Op. 57 "Appassionata" with a vitality that lifted his listeners quickly to their feet. My preference in this score is for a more monumental style, but the receding thunderstorm in the final bars of the opening movement was vividly sketched and the middle movement, with ample rubato, sang warmly.

After intermission we heard Brahms's Piano Quintet Op. 34, often assigned to a cohesive string quartet and matching pianist. The players on this occasion, led by Jonathan Crow on first violin, were individuals who sounded it. The texture was more than usually contrapuntal. Still, the first movement rang out heroically and the Scherzo seethed. Brott on cello probably would have appreciated a chance to start the finale again. But this festival is known for spontaneous performances.

The concert began harmlessly with some four-hands Mozart (K. 501). Kuerti played primo and Wonny Song played secondo. They switched for Schubert's long-winded Allegro D. 947.
(http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/arts/story.html?id=11aae661-92f8-4a35-bcdc-c6c4421b6762)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 03, 2008, 03:46:29 PM


From the Los Angeles Times
MUSIC REVIEW
Los Angeles Philharmonic plays Brahms, Wagner
The L.A. Phil, under Salonen's baton, blurs the divide between Brahms and Wagner.
By Mark Swed
Times Music Critic

May 3, 2008

In their day, Brahms and Wagner divided audiences into angrily opposing camps. Sober conservatives went to the concert hall thankful to Brahms for upholding tradition in his beefy symphonies and concertos and chamber music. Meanwhile, besotted Wagnerians agitated for a music of the future, which could be found in opera houses able to meet the unprecedented musical and scenic demands of their German idol.


Thursday night, Esa-Pekka Salonen once again pitted classicist against sensualist at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The first half of his Los Angeles Philharmonic program was devoted to Brahms' Second Piano Concerto, 50 minutes long and written in 1881. After intermission came 40 minutes' worth of excerpts from Wagner's "Götterdämmerung," the last of his "Ring" operas, which was completed in 1874. The match was a fair fight. And a great concert.


In many ways, the Brahms/Wagner divide was less about the composers than about their followers. Sixty years ago, Schoenberg never tired of telling his students in Los Angeles that Brahms was a closet progressive whose thick, chromatic harmonies subverted tonality. And for all Wagner's musical advances, no composer ever became more quickly canonized.


The L.A. Philharmonic, in fact, first played music from "Götterdämmerung" in 1921, two years after the orchestra was founded and six years before it got around to Brahms' Second Piano Concerto. These days, Wagner's "Ring" is such standard fare that stage directors try harder and harder to keep it fresh. Sunday, a new production of “Siegfried” opened in Vienna in which Brünnhilde was awakened by the titular hero not on her fire-protected rock but in a public restroom.

(http://www.ballade.no/nmi.nsf/pic/andsnestoseks/$file/andsnestoseks.jpg) (http://ccrma.stanford.edu/groups/edison/brahms/brahms2.gif)


Although the interpretations of both composers were slightly outside the norm, the Disney Hall on Thursday felt free of dogma. Leif Ove Andsnes, the popular Norwegian pianist, was the soloist in the Brahms, and neither he nor Salonen cares much about the soft side of the composer.


That meant that for the "Aimez-vous Brahms?" crowd, the crisp-toned piano and no-nonsense orchestra might have felt a little like ice water used to extinguish whatever smoldering flames of romance they find in this, the more lyrical of Brahms' two piano concertos. Still, I thought the performance might also have provided a perfect soundtrack for Françoise Sagan's 1959 existentialist novel about a disillusioned middle-aged woman and her young lover.


Often the ground beneath one's feet was not solid in this performance. Brahms has a habit in his concerto of creating the impression that the piano is swaying nicely while the orchestra is just adding something pleasantly murky underneath. In reality, there are fault lines in this score.


Andsnes has brilliant technical command. He was true to the notes on the page, incisive in his rhythms and outstanding in his ability to balance rich Brahmsian textures with revelatory clarity. On the surface, he played with songful grace, but he and Salonen also delved deep below, pointing up rhythmic intricacies and taking striking note of dissonances.


Wagner is less obscure. He creates spectacles of sound in his orchestra, and "Götterdämmerung" sounded spectacular. Salonen chose the standard orchestral excerpts -- "Dawn and Rhine Journey" and "Siegfried's Funeral March" -- and ended with Brünnhilde's "Immolation." Soprano Lisa Gasteen was the soloist.


The orchestra was large. Four harps were placed at the lip of the stage in front of the first violins. The horn contingent looked massive, and there was one player in the balcony for an offstage effect.


As "The Tristan Project" proved a couple of years ago, Wagner in this hall is something special. Again Salonen emphasized clarity, the true sounds of instruments rather than mushy magic. His is a Wagner without the voodoo. And yet to hear penetrating brass, singing strings, the refracted color of the wood- winds and the quartet of harps calling a listener to heaven is to be in a kind of sonic heaven.


Again, an "Aimez-vous Wagner?" contingent could miss some warmth. Gasteen was a stern and angry Brünnhilde, not an ecstatic one. But the Australian soprano commands attention. She has a dark, rich tone that can rise above the orchestra when it needs to. She went to her funeral pyre a stoic, not a mystic, which I found moving.


Also moving, and often thrilling, were the Philharmonic horns, which had a big night, even if they started off slightly shaky in the Wagner. Both pieces were built from horn calls, and Eric Overholt and William Lane were the protagonists in Brahms and Wagner, respectively. Peter Stumpf provided the lyricism necessary for the cello solo in Brahms' slow movement.
(http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/arts/la-et-phil3-2008may03,0,6874519.story)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: M forever on May 04, 2008, 12:11:46 PM
The L.A. Phil, under Salonen's baton, blurs the divide between Brahms and Wagner.

The LA Phil blurs a lot of things under his baton. Most of what I heard from them during the past years while I lived in SoCal was mediocre at best. The playing of the orchestra under him is often surprisingly insecure and awkward, and there are usually lots of booboos plus the string playing has really degenerated massively under Salonen's "leadership". They used to sound great, better than the string sections of most other more or less major American orchestras, now they just sound scrappy and thin. I am glad I am in a place now where I can hear much better music making all the time. This article just reminded me of that, thanks! Like last week, I heard both the NY Phil with Dutoit and the Orchestre National de France with Masur, both concerts were outstanding.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 07, 2008, 08:56:04 AM
Brahms - it's his birthday, after all. ;D

Which means it's also Tchaikovsky's birthday also. 

Happy birthday Brahms & Tchaik!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Haffner on May 07, 2008, 08:56:49 AM
Happy birthday Brahms & Tchaik!

YES!!!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 11, 2008, 03:14:13 AM
This post is dedicated to Mark Antony Owen ...... Ah, hell, this entire page is dedicated to Mark Antony Owen .........



May 11, 2008
CLASSICAL RECORDINGS
Songs of Tragedy, Triumph and Hope
BRAHMS: ‘EIN DEUTSCHES REQUIEM’

Twyla Robinson, soprano; Mariusz Kwiecien, baritone; Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Robert Spano. Telarc 80701; CD.

ONE of the great gifts that come with the music directorship of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus, an amateur group founded by Robert Shaw in 1970 and lovingly shaped by him over almost two decades. And Robert Spano, in his choice of repertory, has lustily availed himself in his seven years on the job.  But what also comes with the territory in respect to recordings is that, as likely as not, Shaw got there first. In this case Mr. Spano’s strongest competition includes a Shaw recording with the orchestra and chorus from 1983, also on Telarc.

Mr. Spano shows a firm grasp of the work’s structure, which is remarkable in its symmetry, the seven movements rising to burly climaxes in the second and sixth and subsiding to a peaceable equilibrium in the choralelike fourth. The orchestra plays well, and the chorus is its usual sonorous self.  But the text came across a little better in the Shaw recording. The fault here may lie in the recording rather than the singing, for certain orchestral details, like the timpani triplets in the second movement, are also less clearly etched.

In addition the vocal soloists sound a bit strained in their separate ways. Mariusz Kwiecien sings with a broad, sturdy tone but with a vibrato that sometimes grows wobbly. Twyla Robinson produces a thinner sound, again with a vibrato that can prove trying. Shaw’s soloists, Richard Stilwell and Arleen Augér, are more winning, and his performance generally sounds more incisive, if only because of the way it was recorded. Still, for listeners not wedded to it, or to any of a number of other worthy versions, Mr. Spano’s account merits serious consideration.

JAMES R. OESTREICH
(http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/11/arts/music/11reco.html?scp=1&sq=brahms&st=nyt)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 17, 2008, 07:00:24 AM
San Francisco Gate

Music review: Brahms PC #1 & Serenade #2
Joshua Kosman, Chronicle Music Critic
Friday, May 16, 2008



For a fully rounded musical portrait of the young Brahms, you could do worse than to pair his First Piano Concerto with the Serenade No. 2 in A. That's what Michael Tilson Thomas did in Davies Symphony Hall on Thursday night, in the second installment of the San Francisco Symphony's three-week Brahms Festival, and the contrasts could hardly have been more marked. The two pieces were published and premiered nearly back-to-back in 1858-59, although the roots of the concerto go back several years to Brahms' abortive stab at writing a First Symphony. But taken together they offer a nicely compact glimpse of the 26-year-old composer's artistic concerns.

The First Concerto, published as Op. 15, finds him in a thunderously oratorical mode, with Beethoven's example very much on the brain. The music is craggy, explosive stuff, full of ominous trills, asymmetrical rhythms and dark harmonies.

But with Op. 16, Brahms turns around and puts on his party-entertainer hat. The serenade, inspired in a wonderfully anxiety-free way by the lighter confections of Mozart and Schubert, has no more urgent goal than to please. The melodies are light and ingratiating, the harmonies uncluttered, and even the dark instrumental palette - Brahms had the ingenious idea of scoring the piece for an orchestra without violins - hardly casts a shadow on the prevailing pleasantness.

The differences between the two pieces would have been pronounced in any case, but Thomas made the point all the more explicit in his interpretive emphases. The concerto, with Yefim Bronfman as the soloist, wasn't merely robust, it was titanic; the performance of the serenade courted suavity and fluidity almost to the point of evanescence.

Both performances made their case, up to a point. Bronfman rose to the concerto's technical challenges without perceptible struggle, and his largely muscular rendition was punctuated by sudden bursts of light-footed grace. Thomas led the orchestra through all five movements of the serenade with unforced charm.

Yet it was hard to avoid the feeling that each piece might have stood more convincingly on its own, rather than existing in tonal opposition to the other. The desire to set oneself apart from others is a constant theme in Brahms' life and career - he was determined to show that he was not Beethoven, not Schumann, not Wagner - and to hear it extended to the works themselves seemed oddly constraining.

The evening's least psychically charged episode came at the beginning, with a performance of the "Haydn" Variations that began rather flaccidly but gained power by the end. Thomas took the occasion to salute three longtime Symphony members who are retiring from the orchestra: violinist Daniel Kobialka, violist Leonid Gesin and trombonist Mark Lawrence. All three have made important contributions to the orchestra and to the musical life of the Bay Area; they will be missed.
 (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/05/16/DDFM10NQ5E.DTL)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 17, 2008, 07:01:18 AM
New York Times
May 16, 2008
MUSIC REVIEW
A Brahms Piano Quartet, With No Strings Attached
By VIVIEN SCHWEITZER



Musicians and composers have long been tempted to transcribe and rearrange each other’s works, like chefs experimenting with a recipe. Sometimes new ingredients are a welcome addition; on other occasions you yearn for the original flavors.

That was the case when the Sylvan Winds performed an arrangement of Brahms’s Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor at Weill Recital Hall on Wednesday, with the pianist Claude Frank. The flutist Samuel Baron arranged the work, originally for piano and three strings, for piano and wind quintet. The transcription is idiomatic and particularly effective in the Rondo alla Zingarese, the fiery final movement. In the slower sections I missed the emotive warmth and passion of Brahmsian strings.

But the main problem was the painfully sloppy playing of Mr. Frank, a distinguished pianist who sounded here as if he were sight-reading, prompting a near-derailment and a mushy overall effect particularly unfortunate in the vivacious Rondo. A more polished piano sound would certainly have better complemented the fine playing of the wind players: the flutist Svjetlana Kabalin (the only original member of the group), the clarinetist Pavel Vinnitsky, the bassoonist Erik Holtje and the horn player Zohar Schondorf. The lilting, pure tone of the oboist Alexandra Knoll was particularly admirable throughout the evening.

The concert opened with an appealing performance of Samuel Barber’s languidly lyrical “Summer Music” for wind quintet, written in 1956 and part of his small chamber music output. Barber didn’t attach a specific program to the work, but the Sylvan musicians aptly conveyed the sultry prairie humidity it evokes and the vitality of its jaunty outbursts.

The program also included Mozart’s Quintet for piano and winds in E flat. A few ragged edges notwithstanding, the wind players and Mr. Frank mostly did justice to this work. After its premiere in 1784 (when the composer played the piano part), Mozart wrote to his father that he considered it “the best thing I have written in my life.”
 (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/16/arts/music/16sylv.html?ref=arts)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Bonehelm on May 17, 2008, 10:10:32 AM
Goddamn, Furtwangler's Brahms 1 is one high-voltage performance. I just got shocked by it.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: M forever on May 17, 2008, 02:37:50 PM
It would be fun to hear you try to pronounce the name "Furtwängler". Could you record a clip of that and post it here?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: MN Dave on May 17, 2008, 02:40:21 PM
fart-wiggler? ;)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Bonehelm on May 17, 2008, 10:05:03 PM
It would be fun to hear you try to pronounce the name "Furtwängler". Could you record a clip of that and post it here?

I would like to hear you pronounce Huang Xie Shua'er first.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 18, 2008, 03:56:10 AM
Concert review: With D Minor Piano Concerto, Pianist Bronfman Channels Torment of Young Brahms
By Richard Scheinin
Mercury News
Article Launched: 05/17/2008 01:33:45 AM PDT



Some people will tell you that music, especially orchestral music, is an objective thing: It doesn't exist beyond the notes, which simply are to be played as the composer instructed. Everything else - the emotions, the supposed story line of a given piece - is your own projection onto the music. Well, if you actually believed that while going into Davies Symphony Hall on Thursday, you probably would have abandoned the theory by the time you left. Because soloist Yefim Bronfman's soul-stirring account of Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor was one in which he stepped into the shoes of the composer, young Brahms, grappling with his impossible love for a woman, and played that role for about 50 monumental minutes, an actor on the stage, with the San Francisco Symphony, led by Michael Tilson Thomas, as his consoling Greek chorus.

At least that's how I heard it. Pianist Bronfman, a bear-like presence who can trill like an angel or make the bass register growl, was Brahms, who composed this piece between 1854 (the year he turned 21) and 1858 (when he turned all of 25).

In love with mentor

In those years, Brahms drew close to Robert Schumann, the composer, and his wife Clara Schumann, the pianist and composer, adopting them as mentors and surrogate parents, but also wildly falling for Clara, 15 years his senior, fighting his passions for her (as she did for him), even while grieving for Robert,
who descended through madness and institutionalization to his death.

That's the story line, a strong frame for a forthright narrative performance by Bronfman, who tonight performs again at Davies, where the symphony is in the midst of a three-week Brahms festival.
His performance Thursday transcended, if not buried, its purely technical dimension: the way he dispatched its massive blitzes of octaves and other sequences, his command of the cadenzas, his ability to make you hear the inner voices of chords - and he played, it seemed, thousands.
What emerged beyond that was an emotional journey, in all its complexity: Sometimes he would intentionally muddy the chords, holding down the pedal to create a clash of bleeding sonorities, underscoring the turmoil in Brahms' heart.

Bronfman and Tilson Thomas began coyly enough; the first half of the opening movement, which lasts more than 20 minutes, was almost muted.

Then, all at once, Brahms/Bronfman's temperament switched, with violently percussive volleys across the keyboard and then a rocking back and forth in mood: tearful or dreamy yearning, fiery frustration and a final scream with a pummeled chord in the bass.

The second movement, the Adagio, often described as a portrait of Clara, was part prayer of thanksgiving, with an accruing strength in the piano, and part lonely cry for help - to be loved. Gorgeous clarinets touched down amid exceptionally tender playing by the orchestra: that consoling chorus.
And then the finale, with Brahms/Bronfman striding out onto the world's stage: a young man's declaration of confidence in his abilities to live, if not love.

Aside from being an almost unbelievable achievement by a composer in his early 20s, the concerto, which Brahms first conceived as a symphony, and then as a sonata for two pianos, reflected, in its very process of composition, the transformation happening in Brahms's life.

It remains a huge statement of personality and ego, filled with "enormous Brahmsian gestures," to steal a phrase from Tilson Thomas, who spoke off and on through the program. Bronfman's performance was filled with such gestures, yet the first half of the concert - also memorable - was almost devoid of them. It featured two works by Brahms, the Variations on a Theme by Haydn and the Serenade No. 2 in A major, that are practically ego-less: works that don't get in your face.




 (http://www.mercurynews.com/entertainmentheadlines/ci_9292784)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: M forever on May 18, 2008, 01:04:52 PM
I would like to hear you pronounce Huang Xie Shua'er first.

I have no idea how that is pronounced.

I only know very little about Chinese culture. But I don't imagine I do either. That's why I don't post nonsense about it on internet forums.

Just like you know very little about German culture. But you imagine you do. That's why you shouldn't post nonsense about it on internet forums.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Bonehelm on May 18, 2008, 10:29:41 PM
I have no idea how that is pronounced.

I only know very little about Chinese culture. But I don't imagine I do either. That's why I don't post nonsense about it on internet forums.

Just like you know very little about German culture. But you imagine you do. That's why you shouldn't post nonsense about it on internet forums.

That's amusing.

I need to know about German culture to listen to German music? And when did I post any nonsense about German culture? I make posts against you, not your culture, if you want to be a hero and defend your people.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 20, 2008, 07:09:33 AM
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/88/Olga_Kern.jpg/441px-Olga_Kern.jpg)

Olga Kern brings genius for interpretation to Moscow Virtuosi concert
Chicago Sun-Times
 
 May 20, 2008

(http://www.charlottesymphony.org/images/OlgaKern1.jpg)

MOSCOW VIRTUOSI CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
AT SYMPHONY CENTER

(http://news.boisestate.edu/newsrelease/archive/2003/062003/KERN.jpg)


There really was no need to read the program notes about Olga Kern before the performance Sunday night by the Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra at Symphony Center. True, these notes included the intriguing facts about the bravura 33-year-old Russian pianist accompanying the ensemble: She was born into a family of musicians with ties to both Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff, and she was the gold medalist in the 11th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. But you might well have guessed some of this simply by listening to her two galvanic performances of radically different pieces -- Haydn's Piano Concerto in D Major and Shostakovich's Concerto No. 1 in C Minor for Piano, Trumpet and Strings.

(http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2007/07/23/arts/Kern600.jpg)

Kern, a stunning blond with a sensational sense of glam fashion, played both pieces as if she had composed them. And it was not just a matter of her breathtaking technique, which quickly becomes an established fact. She is a pianist with an empresslike control over every note and phrase she plays -- a musician with the ability to shape a piece from start to finish and to illuminate every moment of the music, no matter how propulsive or emotional it might be. A master of color, rhythm, tone and articulation, Kern is, above all, a true interpretive genius.

(http://www.nashvillesymphony.com/img/0708guests/okern_lg_christian_steiner.jpg)

 (http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/weiss/958971,CST-FTR-moscow20web.article)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: MN Dave on May 20, 2008, 07:11:33 AM
WHY MUST YOUR HEADLINES BE SO LARGE? WE ARE NOT RETARDED. WELL, I'M NOT.

 $:)

 :P
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 20, 2008, 07:14:11 AM
WHY MUST YOUR HEADLINES BE SO LARGE? WE ARE NOT RETARDED. WELL, I'M NOT.

What's a "headline"?

What does "large" mean?

What does "retarded" mean?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: MN Dave on May 20, 2008, 07:16:11 AM
 ;D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: op.110 on May 20, 2008, 09:13:37 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41KT72371EL._SS500_.jpg)

(http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/7a/2b/d683820dd7a0a670e985d010.L.jpg)


Oistrakh and Brahms; I need not to say anything more.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: edward on May 20, 2008, 09:32:45 AM
Oistrakh and Brahms; I need not to say anything more.
These are indeed excellent. Have you heard the 2nd sonata with Richter on this live Orfeo? I think it's on an even higher plane.

(http://www.arkivmusic.com/graphics/covers/full/28/287723.JPG)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: greg on May 20, 2008, 10:13:01 AM
Goddamn, Furtwangler's Brahms 1 is one high-voltage performance. I just got shocked by it.

It would be fun to hear you try to pronounce the name "Furtwängler". Could you record a clip of that and post it here?

fart-wiggler? ;)

I have no idea how that is pronounced.

I only know very little about Chinese culture. But I don't imagine I do either. That's why I don't post nonsense about it on internet forums.

Just like you know very little about German culture. But you imagine you do. That's why you shouldn't post nonsense about it on internet forums.

That's amusing.

I need to know about German culture to listen to German music? And when did I post any nonsense about German culture? I make posts against you, not your culture, if you want to be a hero and defend your people.
ah, good times.......
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: op.110 on May 20, 2008, 12:02:58 PM
These are indeed excellent. Have you heard the 2nd sonata with Richter on this live Orfeo? I think it's on an even higher plane.

(http://www.arkivmusic.com/graphics/covers/full/28/287723.JPG)

I WANT IT!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 25, 2008, 12:53:21 PM
BRAHMS FESTIVAL PART II: 'Requiem' with gentle strength
Joshua Kosman, Chronicle Music Critic
Friday, May 23, 2008



If the San Francisco Symphony's three-week Brahms Festival could be said to have a goal or an end point, it must surely have been the composer's "German Requiem," which wound things up in splendid fashion in Davies Symphony Hall on Wednesday night.  A showcase for the Symphony Chorus and a natural culmination of the preceding programs of symphonies, serenades and piano concertos, "A German Requiem" offered a performance that was at once expansively robust and gentle. That turns out to have been the approach to Brahms' music that Michael Tilson Thomas has favored all month long.  On this occasion, he had particularly fine assistance from the chorus, which seems to be flowering under the leadership of its new director, Ragnar Bohlin.  The challenge in much of this work, which synthesizes Brahms' late-Romantic voice with his longtime interest in the sacred music of the Renaissance and Baroque, is to build blocks of choral sound that are weighty without being immobile. Brahms' writing, here as so often in his large-scale works, has both the patina of age and the fluency of immediate expressiveness, and both aspects need to find voice in a performance.  The program repeats at 8 p.m today and Saturday in Davies Symphony Hall. Audio sample of the program is available at links.sfgate.com/ZDLW. 
 (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/05/22/DD7410R25A.DTL)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Bonehelm on May 25, 2008, 10:28:29 PM
ah, good times.......

You know what's even better? If 71dB chimed in the discussion and started producing multidimensional longitudunal maxillary-aural circumferantial astoundingly hexagonic pentagonal hermaphroditic vibrational gravity sound waves.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Harry on May 25, 2008, 10:33:37 PM
You know what's even better? If 71dB chimed in the discussion and started producing multidimensional longitudunal maxillary-aural circumferantial astoundingly hexagonic pentagonal hermaphroditic vibrational gravity sound waves.

O, you have done your homework....... ;D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: greg on May 26, 2008, 01:41:48 PM
You know what's even better? If 71dB chimed in the discussion and started producing multidimensional longitudunal maxillary-aural circumferantial astoundingly hexagonic pentagonal hermaphroditic vibrational gravity sound waves.
No, those types of waves aren't multidimensional enough for this discussion......
you'd have to add seasoning..... like the ashes/remains of Sir Edward Elgar.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: mn dave on May 30, 2008, 06:50:39 AM
I read somewhere that Brahms "played" with toy soldiers. Is this true? Or was he merely a collector? Or perhaps he had his friends over for some war games?  ;D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: M forever on May 30, 2008, 09:11:32 PM
Yes, Brahms collected tin soldiers for a long time. Apparently, he also liked to play with them.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Greta on May 30, 2008, 09:27:51 PM
I had a friend with too much money that liked to collect toy soldiers, the high end kind, incredibly detailed with the little scenery and amazing paint work, cannons to boot, reenacting specific scenes from the Civil War, he was a huge history buff. Not allowed to touch them, no, no, just for pretty in a case - cost up to $500 per set...  ;D  :o
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 31, 2008, 03:53:50 AM
CLASSICAL: REVIEW

All Brahms Program: Orchestra rose to Angelich's challenge
KEN WINTERS

Special to The Globe and Mail
May 31, 2008
Toronto Symphony Orchestra / Nicholas Angelich, piano / Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor


Angelich, 38, not widely known this side of the Atlantic, is a formidable artist, with every note of Brahms's daunting piano part in this concerto thoroughly within his musical and technical grasp. His was a big performance, strong, incisive, spacious yet always lyrical, too.  ***. The flying chords and scintillating trills of the opening, the gossamer rapid-fire double octaves of the scherzo, and the major fireworks of the finale were all perfectly judged and timed. The orchestra rose to Angelich's challenge with a mercurially adroit accompaniment under the dynamic young conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who seemed to be working without a score and who followed Angelich like his own shadow. Nézet-Séguin is a climactic sort of conductor, given to extreme contrasts and seismic crescendos, perhaps too frequently hitting the top of the orchestra's dynamic range. But his vitality, his complete awareness of what's in Brahms's grand musical scheme and his musical talent are unmistakable, infectious when they do not overwhelm.

*** After intermission, in Brahms's Fourth Symphony, which the legendary Brahmsian Herbert von Karajan said was one of the four most difficult symphonies in the repertoire, Nézet-Séguin exhibited the same super-exploitive tendencies in the dynamic layout of his concept of the piece as he did in the concerto, along with a tendency to speed up in the loud passages and slow down in the soft ones.
 (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080531.TSO31/TPStory/TPEntertainment/Music/#)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on May 31, 2008, 03:56:15 AM
ALL BRAHMS CONCERT
Guest's tinkering makes Brahms burn brighter 
May 30, 2008
JOHN TERAUDS
CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC

 *** This week’s program is all Johannes Brahms: the weighty Symphony No. 4, from 1885, and the Piano Concerto No. 2, which is four years older. At the piano sits 30-something Nicholas Angelich, making his Toronto debut as a replacement for veteran keyboard master Stephen Kovacevich, who had to cancel. It’s an opportunity to glory in the richness of late-Romantic writing full of drama, pathos and, frequently, sweet melody. The orchestra can show off its balance and nimbleness, while the pianist can also make a nice show of virtuoso passages. *** Nezet-Seguin’s tinkering is like the musical equivalent of turning the colour saturation up on a digital photograph: everything burns just a little bit brighter. It’s a heady feeling - as the enthusiastic ovations at the end of both pieces confirmed. But it can also feel like a bit much, sometimes.
 (http://www.thestar.com/printArticle/433976)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: greg on May 31, 2008, 05:28:35 AM
Yes, Brahms collected tin soldiers for a long time. Apparently, he also liked to play with them.
I can just imagine watching him sit in a room by himself, playing with his tin soldiers......

ah, so he WAS human!  ;D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on June 02, 2008, 08:39:38 AM
Lately, I can't get enough listens to Brahms' Cello Sonata in E minor, Op. 38

I have the Rostropovich/Serkin DG recording, and I just love the tone of Rostropovich's cello on this one!  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on June 11, 2008, 04:05:18 AM
Lately, I can't get enough listens to Brahms' Cello Sonata in E minor, Op. 38

Yeah, love the cello sonatas.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on June 22, 2008, 05:01:49 AM
(http://www.internazionale.it/pagine/blognote/kzcd/413472.gif)

Brahms PC 1 in D Minor Zimerman / Bernstein / VPO

mvt 1 pt 1 http://www.youtube.com/v/r7nN5C0v7X0

mvt 1 pt 2 http://www.youtube.com/v/YXtjFbQ63yg&feature=related

mvt 1 pt 3 http://www.youtube.com/v/p38l2hTaCh8&feature=related

(http://incentraleurope.radio.cz/pictures/hudebnici/zimerman_krystian1.jpg)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on June 22, 2008, 05:03:43 AM
Brahms PC 1 Ashkenazy / Giulini

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc9QMV6J-AQ
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on June 22, 2008, 05:04:25 AM

Brahms PC 1 in d minor Freire

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NN5yYjXOTPY
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on June 22, 2008, 05:05:24 AM
Brahms PC 1 in d minor  Rubinstein / Haitink

1/3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4g3v_h3_sU

2/3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3VOHnpxVBM

3/3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mt4UHjQMaHU
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on June 22, 2008, 05:05:40 AM
Brahms PC1 in d minor  Gerstein / Dudamel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKVRQXLPdHk
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on June 22, 2008, 05:05:57 AM

Brahms PC1 in d minor  Serkin / Szell

1/6 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TspOErZUTw

2/6 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xj1DXJoRljY
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on June 22, 2008, 05:06:27 AM
Brahms PC 1 in d minor  Hough h

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TC2Wkv8IS8
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on June 22, 2008, 05:06:42 AM
Brahms PC 1 in d minor  Horowitz

1st mvt http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfq4-Il4-dk

3d Mvt http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egWfN-aFv8k
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on June 22, 2008, 05:06:56 AM
Brahms PC1 in d minor Arrau

1/3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCKi-z9CgUQ

2/3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6bphz7qKoU

3/3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feePOJ3pvxE
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on June 22, 2008, 05:07:20 AM
Brahms PC 1 in d minor  Campanella

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gkksP3-R58



Michael Rabin - Wieniawski Concerto No.2 in d minor

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6HVWRXI3X0
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: karlhenning on July 16, 2008, 10:32:40 AM
As near-universally likeable as Brahms's music is, it is worth remembering that in his day, there were those who wished he wrote more like The Good Old Days:

Quote from: J.F. Runciman
After the weary, dreary hours spent in listening to the works of Brahms I am lost in wonder at the amount of devotion accorded him and the floods of enthusiasm with which he is overwhelmed. I endeavor to comfort myself with the thought that even though Brahms gives us nothing in the way of beautiful themes, lovely harmonies or refreshing modulations, his example in preserving those musical forms, which Wagner sought to destroy, might stimulate other composers to enliven the old symphonic molds with melodies of beauty and grace. But, no. What do we see instead? Mistaking Brahms's un-beauty for a new line of thought, his followers amuse themselves with seeking in what a variety of means they, too, can twist and torture a series of commonplace tones and chords.

San Francisco Examiner, 9 May 1894
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: eyeresist on July 16, 2008, 04:25:25 PM

So Brahms is responsible for New Tonalism?

 
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on July 17, 2008, 10:18:58 AM
Brahms PC 1 Barenboim / Rattle / BPO / EUROPA CONCERT IN ATHENS

pt 1 http://www.youtube.com/v/LZEX_siD3yE

Note how Barenboim butchers the octave trills @ 6:29   :o



pt 2 http://www.youtube.com/v/Q7omvsjY9jQ&feature=related

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on July 19, 2008, 08:04:01 AM
Simone Ferraresi: Handel Variations, No. 14

http://www.youtube.com/v/uby5JBdFYUo

(the final note is missing)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on July 19, 2008, 08:04:54 AM
Brahms Horn Trio
Clevenger / Perlman / Barenboim /

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSYZPnhtCC8



Cf. Ligeti's Horn Trio (1982)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMNdFTdCzCs
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on July 24, 2008, 01:01:17 PM
Rostropovich & Serkin Brahms Cello Sonata No. 1 in E minor 3rd mov


http://www.youtube.com/v/-YmXptuK5mw
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: zamyrabyrd on July 26, 2008, 03:58:45 AM
Brahms PC 1 Barenboim / Rattle / BPO / EUROPA CONCERT IN ATHENS
Note how Barenboim butchers the octave trills @ 6:29   :o

Oh gosh, you saw it too. It was on TV this past week.  Rattle is simply bizarre as a conductor, so distracting with his mannerisms and face pulling.

To clean out my ears, I listened again to Arrau. Besides everything else, like perfect technique and a grand sound, he had a proper structural grasp of the work.

ZB
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on July 30, 2008, 12:13:21 PM
Documentary:

http://www.youtube.com/v/gievZ0TiNy8

Brahms: Piano Quartets Renaud & Gautier Capuçon, Gérard Caussé, Nicholas Angelich. New release on Virgin Classics
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on August 09, 2008, 05:22:14 AM
Brahms Piano Conc.No.2- Van Cliburn / Kiryll Kondrashin (1962/USSR)


http://www.youtube.com/v/Zhl1YxzdsII

http://www.youtube.com/v/UlTcQINtfb8&feature=related
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on August 12, 2008, 02:24:07 AM
Boris Berezovsky, Brahms Piano Sonata No.3


1 mvt http://www.youtube.com/v/Zg7mu9jLugE

3 mvt http://www.youtube.com/v/p3qflJ7LP0E

5 mvt http://www.youtube.com/v/VL97RFb-w_Q
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on August 12, 2008, 02:29:38 AM
Barenboim Brahms PC 2 / Munich / Celibidache


http://www.youtube.com/v/D18AujwrQb4&feature=related


http://www.youtube.com/v/EoH9QOVSqX0
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: BachQ on August 14, 2008, 03:34:51 AM
Andras Schiff offers an average performance of Brahms' 2d PC

http://www.youtube.com/v/NRUrfF7ZwVA

Notice the awkward tempo at 1:26-1:41

Also:

Notice the French horn screw-up at 0:17



http://www.youtube.com/v/qcR4MAw5Vz4
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Senta on October 02, 2008, 07:49:23 PM
I think this thread needs to be reactivated....  ;)

I have wanted to be able to really get into Brahms for a very long time, but somehow, he has always eluded me. I loved and studied some of the piano works growing up (especially the Intermezzos), but the orchestral works I never devoted time to studying, I think feeling I wasn't ready to absorb them. I believe firmly that when you are ready for certain music, it finds you, and that is exactly what happened to me this past weekend.

Not one to seek out live performances of Romantics, usually opting for lesser performed modern/contemporary works (and Mahler!), I found myself in Atlanta for their opening weekend there, with a chance to see the ASO on Sunday in Bach, Beethoven and Brahms - the 1st Symphony.

Though familiar with the work in a general way, I felt as if this were the first time I'd heard it in this extremely energetic and gorgeously played performance by Spano and his troops, I even found myself choked up at times during the 2nd mvmt, and also the last, where the dynamic swells seemed as if they made the very walls breathe. Maybe it just took good, live Brahms to make the connection, but the veil that for me cloaked Brahms for so long had suddenly been lifted.

What could be more arresting than that soulwrenching opening, crying toward the heavens, and the incisive rhythmic tumult of the 1st mvmt...with the tragic respite of solo horn and clarinet...

More enveloping than the tenderness and profound sweetness of the Andante...the delayed resolutions reminding us of Tristan's angst...the lonely oboe wandering between the hope and despair of major and minor...and the molten string musings thrillingly underlined by the basses?

Then upon hearing horn and violin as one, in perfect unison...the world crumbles, and the violin takes off on a flight of fancy almost too beautiful to bear, until it can reach no further and comes to rest upon a soft bed of winds.

Next, the noble clarinet leads us into a spring pasture blooming with wildflowers...where we share a fractured Baroque dance with the stream and the deer...

The tour de force of the final movement thrusts into a stormy wilderness before the horn, a la Sibelius 7, gives us a glimpse of transcendence, supported by his cousins, the trombones...

And then a majestic hymn for strings and later winds and timpani, looks forward to Elgar and Holst, and then propels us into the realm of Beethoven, and back into the storm, until the raucous horns take us to its climax. Revisiting the hymn...we find its full flowering in a sweeping arc that takes us through a railing of utmost vehemence, silenced by the horn as a promise of better things to come. The strings foretell romance, and finally we reach the rollicking end where the full orchestra capitalizes on the glorious vision the horn has heralded before.

At least....that's how it seems when I hear it! :D

I have listened to each of the three recordings I have of Brahms 1st in the last days...some more than once, and am very much looking forward to setting about exploring the other symphonies, and also the concertos. I do know the 3rd also quite well, through Levine's recording with Vienna, and love it...it is the 2nd and the 4th I do not know well so far.

My collection is kind of haphazard of Brahms' orchestral works, I have a small, random smattering of performances of each. The Variations on Haydn are a favorite though. ;)

I know there are MANY good Brahms recordings, and would appreciate a few recommendations.  I am already on the lookout for the rest of Giulini's recordings, I only have his 1st with the WP, which I find a bit slow, but almost no one can top him on the 2nd mvmt! The only complete cycle I have is Eschenbach's, which I got for a song once, and it is surprisingly good, I have enjoyed it a lot.

What are your favorites of his concertos? The Double Concerto is high on my list to get to know.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: rappy on October 03, 2008, 03:26:16 AM
Hello Santa,

that's a nice story! Concerning the recordings, I must admit I find HvK to be a very good Brahms conductor. For the 4th, Kleiber is a must have. Of the double concerto, I have a recording with Oistrakh/Rostropovich and I'm very satisfied with it. But i would recommend you to get into the piano concertos first, they might be his finest orchestral works and they are maybe not as difficult as the double concerto on the first listening(s).
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: greg on October 03, 2008, 02:01:33 PM
Hello Santa,

actually, it's "Senta." Santa's granddaughter?  ???
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: greg on October 15, 2008, 11:16:40 AM
I have an announcement. The complete Brahms catalogue is available on IMSLP thanks to the Brahms Institute. I know, an exhilarating feeling  to see my Brahms folder completely full with everything- and what's nice is, I don't have to worry about collecting his stuff anymore. My collection is finished forever, unless they find some hidden manuscript or something.  8)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: The new erato on May 01, 2009, 02:17:34 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41JlBi4J-eL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

And now DG announces this 46 CD set at 64 euro (announced as complete works, but I doubt that) with aritsts like von Mutter, Karajan, Abbado, Pollini, Norman. I expect to have many of these recordings, but unless this is includes just another recycle of the Amadeus Chamber Music (which I have in several incarnations) this set will excert a heavy pull.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Opus106 on May 01, 2009, 05:00:19 AM
Any idea who's symphonies are included, erato?  :-[

Who are the performers in the symphonies, erato?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Harry on May 01, 2009, 05:56:37 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41JlBi4J-eL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

And now DG announces this 46 CD set at 64 euro (announced as complete works, but I doubt that) with aritsts like von Mutter, Karajan, Abbado, Pollini, Norman. I expect to have many of these recordings, but unless this is includes just another recycle of the Amadeus Chamber Music (which I have in several incarnations) this set will excert a heavy pull.

Is there any information as to what the box contains, and which performers, Erato?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: The new erato on May 01, 2009, 06:09:37 AM


"Verschwunden sind die riesigen Abmessungen und der hohe Preis, geblieben ist die herausragende Qualität: Die Brahms Complete Edition kehrt zurück!
Als Deutsche Grammophon 1983, im Gedenken an den 150. Geburtstag ihre komplette Brahms-Werkausgabe mit vielen Neu- und Ersteinspielungen auf den Markt brachte, handelte es sich um eine Box mit 62(!) LPs. Die monumentale Edition wurde seinerzeit mit dem begehrten Jahrespreis der deutschen Schallplatten-Kritik ausgezeichnet. Im Rahmen der CD-Ausgabe, die 1996, im Gedenken an Brahms' 100. Todestag, erschien, wurde für eini¬ge Werke nochmals auf aktuelleres Material aus den späten 80ern zugegriffen. Die CD-Box war damals mehr als 35 Zentimeter breit und wurde zu einem Preis verkauft, der sie eigentlich nur für Besserverdiener erschwinglich machte.

In diesem Jahr erscheint im Mai nun die Brahms Complete Edition neu - unverändert, und doch ganz anders: Nach wie vor breitet sich das majestätische Gesamtwerk des Hamburger Komponisten über 46 CDs aus, nach wie vor liest sich die Liste der beteiligten Künstler wie ein who-is-who aus dem Olymp der klassischen Musik, von Anne-Sophie Mutter über Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau bis Herbert von Karajan. Neu dagegen ist eine schmale, platzsparende Verpackung, die bei aller Zweckmäßigkeit dennoch elegant ausgefallen ist sowie der schmale Preis.

Höhepunkte der Edition: Herbert von Karajans dritte Gesamteinspielung der Brahms-Symphonien für DGG, die kurz vor seinem Tod in den Jahren 1987/88 entstanden ist. Violinkonzert und Doppelkonzert mit Anne-Sophie Mutter als Solistin. Die Klavierkonzerte mit Maurizio Pollini, dirigiert von Karl Böhm (Nr. 1) und Claudio Abbado (Nr. 2). Die berühmte Aufnahme des Deutschen Requiems unter Carlo Maria Giulini, Solistin Barbara Bonney. Das Klarinettenquintett in der klassischen Einspielung mit Karl Leister und dem Amadeus Quartett. Die Violinsonaten mit dem kongenialen Kammermusikduo Pinchas Zukerman und Daniel Barenboim, entstanden 1975, auf dem Höhepunkt ihrer Zusammenarbeit, eine Einspielung, die ebenso als Klassiker gilt wie die Cellosonaten mit Mstislaw Rostropowitsch und Rudolf Serkin. Daniel Barenboim fungierte ebenfalls als Pianist bei der Gesamteinspielung der Liedkompositionen von Johannes Brahms, Solisten: Jessye Norman und Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Eine absolute Rarität stellt die Rinaldo-Kantate nach Goethe dar, die durch Tenor René Kollo und Dirigent Giuseppe Sinopoli ihre definitive Einspielung erfuhr."

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Harry on May 01, 2009, 06:49:52 AM

"Verschwunden sind die riesigen Abmessungen und der hohe Preis, geblieben ist die herausragende Qualität: Die Brahms Complete Edition kehrt zurück!
Als Deutsche Grammophon 1983, im Gedenken an den 150. Geburtstag ihre komplette Brahms-Werkausgabe mit vielen Neu- und Ersteinspielungen auf den Markt brachte, handelte es sich um eine Box mit 62(!) LPs. Die monumentale Edition wurde seinerzeit mit dem begehrten Jahrespreis der deutschen Schallplatten-Kritik ausgezeichnet. Im Rahmen der CD-Ausgabe, die 1996, im Gedenken an Brahms' 100. Todestag, erschien, wurde für eini¬ge Werke nochmals auf aktuelleres Material aus den späten 80ern zugegriffen. Die CD-Box war damals mehr als 35 Zentimeter breit und wurde zu einem Preis verkauft, der sie eigentlich nur für Besserverdiener erschwinglich machte.

In diesem Jahr erscheint im Mai nun die Brahms Complete Edition neu - unverändert, und doch ganz anders: Nach wie vor breitet sich das majestätische Gesamtwerk des Hamburger Komponisten über 46 CDs aus, nach wie vor liest sich die Liste der beteiligten Künstler wie ein who-is-who aus dem Olymp der klassischen Musik, von Anne-Sophie Mutter über Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau bis Herbert von Karajan. Neu dagegen ist eine schmale, platzsparende Verpackung, die bei aller Zweckmäßigkeit dennoch elegant ausgefallen ist sowie der schmale Preis.

Höhepunkte der Edition: Herbert von Karajans dritte Gesamteinspielung der Brahms-Symphonien für DGG, die kurz vor seinem Tod in den Jahren 1987/88 entstanden ist. Violinkonzert und Doppelkonzert mit Anne-Sophie Mutter als Solistin. Die Klavierkonzerte mit Maurizio Pollini, dirigiert von Karl Böhm (Nr. 1) und Claudio Abbado (Nr. 2). Die berühmte Aufnahme des Deutschen Requiems unter Carlo Maria Giulini, Solistin Barbara Bonney. Das Klarinettenquintett in der klassischen Einspielung mit Karl Leister und dem Amadeus Quartett. Die Violinsonaten mit dem kongenialen Kammermusikduo Pinchas Zukerman und Daniel Barenboim, entstanden 1975, auf dem Höhepunkt ihrer Zusammenarbeit, eine Einspielung, die ebenso als Klassiker gilt wie die Cellosonaten mit Mstislaw Rostropowitsch und Rudolf Serkin. Daniel Barenboim fungierte ebenfalls als Pianist bei der Gesamteinspielung der Liedkompositionen von Johannes Brahms, Solisten: Jessye Norman und Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Eine absolute Rarität stellt die Rinaldo-Kantate nach Goethe dar, die durch Tenor René Kollo und Dirigent Giuseppe Sinopoli ihre definitive Einspielung erfuhr."



Thanks, that answered my question.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Brian on May 01, 2009, 07:02:47 AM
Wow, that's a star-studded lineup!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Dr. Dread on May 01, 2009, 07:07:52 AM
Wow, that's a star-studded lineup!

It's studded with stars?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 01, 2009, 07:29:38 AM
Höhepunkte der Edition: Herbert von Karajans dritte Gesamteinspielung der Brahms-Symphonien für DGG, die kurz vor seinem Tod in den Jahren 1987/88 entstanden ist.

Damn...I was hoping they'd include Karajan's early sixties cycle. Does anyone know if that is available anywhere at the moment?

Sarge
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Wanderer on May 01, 2009, 10:47:55 AM

"Verschwunden sind die riesigen Abmessungen und der hohe Preis, geblieben ist die herausragende Qualität: Die Brahms Complete Edition kehrt zurück!
Als Deutsche Grammophon 1983, im Gedenken an den 150. Geburtstag ihre komplette Brahms-Werkausgabe mit vielen Neu- und Ersteinspielungen auf den Markt brachte, handelte es sich um eine Box mit 62(!) LPs. Die monumentale Edition wurde seinerzeit mit dem begehrten Jahrespreis der deutschen Schallplatten-Kritik ausgezeichnet. Im Rahmen der CD-Ausgabe, die 1996, im Gedenken an Brahms' 100. Todestag, erschien, wurde für eini¬ge Werke nochmals auf aktuelleres Material aus den späten 80ern zugegriffen. Die CD-Box war damals mehr als 35 Zentimeter breit und wurde zu einem Preis verkauft, der sie eigentlich nur für Besserverdiener erschwinglich machte.

In diesem Jahr erscheint im Mai nun die Brahms Complete Edition neu - unverändert, und doch ganz anders: Nach wie vor breitet sich das majestätische Gesamtwerk des Hamburger Komponisten über 46 CDs aus, nach wie vor liest sich die Liste der beteiligten Künstler wie ein who-is-who aus dem Olymp der klassischen Musik, von Anne-Sophie Mutter über Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau bis Herbert von Karajan. Neu dagegen ist eine schmale, platzsparende Verpackung, die bei aller Zweckmäßigkeit dennoch elegant ausgefallen ist sowie der schmale Preis.

Höhepunkte der Edition: Herbert von Karajans dritte Gesamteinspielung der Brahms-Symphonien für DGG, die kurz vor seinem Tod in den Jahren 1987/88 entstanden ist. Violinkonzert und Doppelkonzert mit Anne-Sophie Mutter als Solistin. Die Klavierkonzerte mit Maurizio Pollini, dirigiert von Karl Böhm (Nr. 1) und Claudio Abbado (Nr. 2). Die berühmte Aufnahme des Deutschen Requiems unter Carlo Maria Giulini, Solistin Barbara Bonney. Das Klarinettenquintett in der klassischen Einspielung mit Karl Leister und dem Amadeus Quartett. Die Violinsonaten mit dem kongenialen Kammermusikduo Pinchas Zukerman und Daniel Barenboim, entstanden 1975, auf dem Höhepunkt ihrer Zusammenarbeit, eine Einspielung, die ebenso als Klassiker gilt wie die Cellosonaten mit Mstislaw Rostropowitsch und Rudolf Serkin. Daniel Barenboim fungierte ebenfalls als Pianist bei der Gesamteinspielung der Liedkompositionen von Johannes Brahms, Solisten: Jessye Norman und Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Eine absolute Rarität stellt die Rinaldo-Kantate nach Goethe dar, die durch Tenor René Kollo und Dirigent Giuseppe Sinopoli ihre definitive Einspielung erfuhr."

The Rinaldo-Kantate with Sinopoli looks interesting. However, since I already have most of the included renditions of the major works I'll wait till the price becomes attractive enough to justify the duplications.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Que on May 01, 2009, 10:57:47 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41JlBi4J-eL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

And now DG announces this 46 CD set at 64 euro (announced as complete works, but I doubt that) with aritsts like von Mutter, Karajan, Abbado, Pollini, Norman. I expect to have many of these recordings, but unless this is includes just another recycle of the Amadeus Chamber Music (which I have in several incarnations) this set will excert a heavy pull.

In the previous edition the volumes with the vocal ensembles and choral works were of most interest.

I hope for Brahms fans that they will be released separately.

Q
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Wanderer on May 01, 2009, 11:24:28 AM
I hope for Brahms fans that they will be released separately.

I hope so, too. Much more convenient.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 11, 2009, 02:05:58 PM
At the moment, I'm listening to my 'box set' of JB's Piano Music as performed by Julius Katchen, an oft recommended set of these works, but I've found that some of his playing is just 'too vigourous', i.e. fortissimos taken UP a notch - BAMM!

So, the question is 'what else' is available for complete (or near) sets of these performances that might provide a different approach?  In searching Amazon at the moment, two sets peaked my interest:

Martin Jones on the bargain Nimbus label ($23 'new' for 6-CDs on the Marketplace) - I've enjoyed and own a number of Martin Jones peformances, but does he take this music at a different pace?  Are the sets varied enough to own both?

Hardy Rittner (yes, not complete - see just 2 volumes on Amazon) but recent (SACD release below) and w/ a fortepiano, and on a fave label of mine, i.e. MDG - this potential 'complete' set REALLY peaks my interest - any thoughts?  Thanks all -  :D

P.S. Apologize for the 'small' Jones image - all that I cound find (and enlarging would look terrible) -  :-\


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/517N6Q5Cu0L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/211SMQ11DVL._SL500_AA130_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41s5vK95TsL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: admiralackbar74 on July 11, 2009, 03:06:03 PM
SonicMan,

I, too, find Katchen to be a bit harsh, particularly in the late works (although he can be a bit rough with the variations as well).

Lupu is my personal favorite in the late works, but it's not a complete set.

The new DG box listed above has the complete works with Anatol Ugorski (never heard of him), Wilhelm Kempff, Daniel Barenboim, and Tamas Vasary (who plays the Op. 21, No. 1 variations, one of my favorite works by Brahms; but I've never heard this recording). No clue on whether these performances would be worthwhile or not (though I'm sure the Kempff performances would be great; he seems suited for this repertoire), but it is another option.

Otherwise, I know that Idil Biret has a complete set, and so does Gerhard Oppitz. I've heard some of the Biret set and while it is serviceable, I didn't find it particularly inspiring. Katchen does seem to be the best complete set around, but I'm sure others here will have heard more than myself and be able to help.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Scarpia on July 11, 2009, 06:01:12 PM
Damn...I was hoping they'd include Karajan's early sixties cycle. Does anyone know if that is available anywhere at the moment?

Sarge

I'm with you.  It's shocking that the 60's cycle has never been issued as a set.  I cobbled it together from:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41atfMHDmiL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41CQ2CFWE5L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
(http://www2.deutschegrammophon.com/imgs/s250x250/4777097.jpg)

The last one contains the '63 4th, the best 4th Karajan's has done, and the best part of the 60's cycle.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Joe Barron on July 12, 2009, 07:21:31 AM
I just realized that JB and I have the same initials. I must use that in a poem or story or something.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: George on July 12, 2009, 01:36:29 PM
At the moment, I'm listening to my 'box set' of JB's Piano Music as performed by Julius Katchen, an oft recommended set of these works, but I've found that some of his playing is just 'too vigourous', i.e. fortissimos taken UP a notch - BAMM!

So, the question is 'what else' is available for complete (or near) sets of these performances that might provide a different approach?  In searching Amazon at the moment, two sets peaked my interest:

In the "incomplete but it doesn't matter because the playing is so good" category, I'd say Lupu. His Brahms is on the tender side of things and really works well in these works IMO.

3 CD Set for under $16 New (http://www.amazon.com/Brahms-Concerto-Sonata-Rhapsodies-117-119/dp/B000BVEKK4/ref=pd_bxgy_m_img_b)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: MishaK on July 12, 2009, 03:45:24 PM
Damn...I was hoping they'd include Karajan's early sixties cycle. Does anyone know if that is available anywhere at the moment?

And I was hoping they'd include Abbado's first cycle with VPO/LSO/BPO/SK Dresden.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: The new erato on July 12, 2009, 11:10:31 PM
And I was hoping they'd include Abbado's first cycle with VPO/LSO/BPO/SK Dresden.
Yes, even though this set is tempting for some of the relative rarities, it contains too much recycling when it comes to the major works (symphonies, concertoes etc etc) of stuff that's been around "a thousand times" in various other guises for me to consider it. A pity considering the depth of DGs catalogue in the Brahms mainstays, and another example of the unimaginativeness and pure incompetence of "the majors" (what an oxymoron) these days.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 13, 2009, 03:20:45 AM
In the "incomplete but it doesn't matter because the playing is so good" category, I'd say Lupu. His Brahms is on the tender side of things and really works well in these works IMO.

3 CD Set for under $16 New (http://www.amazon.com/Brahms-Concerto-Sonata-Rhapsodies-117-119/dp/B000BVEKK4/ref=pd_bxgy_m_img_b)

George - thanks for the recommendation on Lupu - I own some of his recordings in other 'romantic' composers.  But, would still love to hear about those others that I posted, i.e. Martin Jones (a steal if good!) & Rittner on the fortepiano - hope others repsond - thanks all -  :D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Scarpia on July 14, 2009, 09:47:10 PM
Yes, even though this set is tempting for some of the relative rarities, it contains too much recycling when it comes to the major works (symphonies, concertoes etc etc) of stuff that's been around "a thousand times" in various other guises for me to consider it. A pity considering the depth of DGs catalogue in the Brahms mainstays, and another example of the unimaginativeness and pure incompetence of "the majors" (what an oxymoron) these days.

Another example of unimaginativeness, Kulebik's VPO Brahms cycle and Maazel's Cleveland Brahms cycles have never been on CD (that I have seen).
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Que on July 14, 2009, 10:15:03 PM
Another example of unimaginativeness, Kulebik's VPO Brahms cycle and Maazel's Cleveland Brahms cycles have never been on CD (that I have seen).

Kubelik's VPO Brahms is/was available in Japan. But I'm not in a hurry to get it, since his cycle with the BRSO (Orfeo) is incredibly beautiful.

Q
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: OzRadio on July 15, 2009, 10:14:18 AM
Does anyone know how Brilliant's complete Brahms set compares to that of DG's?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Harry on July 15, 2009, 12:01:33 PM
Does anyone know how Brilliant's complete Brahms set compares to that of DG's?

The DG set is preferable to the Brilliant set. But it doesn't mean the Brilliant set is bad, not at all, many good recordings in there, but overall the DG set has more quality.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Renfield on July 19, 2009, 01:09:25 PM
Kubelik's VPO Brahms is/was available in Japan. But I'm not in a hurry to get it, since his cycle with the BRSO (Orfeo) is incredibly beautiful.

Q

Que, I have the Vienna cycle (via amazon.fr), which I find very interesting, and sporadically very beautiful. The 4th, however, falls flat on its face. How does the BRSO 4th fare? Despite my Brahmsomania, I'm not as keen to duplicate performers as I am works.


Also, on a completely contradictory note to what I just said: does anyone know whether the 80's Karajan Brahms cycle in that box is remastered? I have the cycle on its original CD remastering via Japan, and 3/4 of it through the DG Karajan Collection set (the remastering in which I don't like), but I would buy that box for a new remastering! :o (Not to mention the chamber music, of which I have less than I'd like.).
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Que on July 21, 2009, 10:53:10 PM
Que, I have the Vienna cycle (via amazon.fr), which I find very interesting, and sporadically very beautiful. The 4th, however, falls flat on its face. How does the BRSO 4th fare? Despite my Brahmsomania, I'm not as keen to duplicate performers as I am works.


I'll get back to you on tha after a relistening! :)

Q
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: hansenkd on November 25, 2009, 07:28:06 AM
Hi.  Sorry to jump in here.  Your forum was recently brought to my attention.  I'm the creator of the Brahms Listening Guides website (http://www.kellydeanhansen.com), which I understand has been mentioned here.  I wanted to clarify a couple of things about the DG Complete Edition.

They really do mean it when they say "complete"--for the most part.  The only omission that is inexcusable is that the vocal quartet (Mathis, Fassbaender, Schreier, Fischer-Dieskau) only recorded Nos. 8-10 of the Op. 103 Zigeunerlieder.  Apparently they believed that since Jessye Norman included the solo versions of 1-7 and 11, that "covered" those pieces (never mind the lines of counterpoint that are lost in the solo versions).  For a while, I thought that you could only get those pieces recorded by a full choir, but it turns out that a true vocal quartet did record them.  You can get the recording from ArchivMusik (don't recall the name of the ensemble offhand).  Other than that, pretty much everything is there.  The main value is of course the songs.  This is the only way I know of to get ALL of the songs organized (as they should be) in complete opus number groups.  I have been told that the Brilliant set omits a few of them.  The cpo set has been stalled at the very end (I inquired and was told that the set would eventually be completed and would include the duets).  Fischer-Dieskau sings most of them (and sings them WELL), leaving a handful of mostly female-gender-specific songs (with gender-specific texts) to Jessye Norman (who is also terrific).  Barenboim plays for all of them.  The only caveat is, obviously, that most of the songs will not be in the original keys since DFD is a baritone and since most of the original keys are high keys.

Other than the stupid omission from Op. 103, the vocal ensembles are very valuable indeed, as is the Günter Jena survey of the complete small choral works.  The Sinopoli Rinaldo with Kollo is excellent--the Triumphlied not so much (but for a time the only available recording of the work).  The Gesang der Parzen is absolutely terrible.  You MUST have another recording of that work (Abbado is very good).  Giulini Requiem is MARVELOUS!!  One of the greatest, most underrated readings of the work.  Barbara Bonney is an absolute revelation in the fifth movement.

Would have been nice if they had made two sets available, one vocal and one instrumental.  The instrumental works are a mixed bag, and most are better obtained elsewhere.  The Amadeus recordings of the quintets and sextets moronically omit the expo repeats in the Op. 18 sextet and the Op. 111 quintet (although, felicitously, those very two pieces are available on a new recording from Hänssler by the Verdi Quartet that DOES include the repeats).  There might be some other missing expo repeats--I don't actually own the instrumental sets.  I bought all four vocal sets (vols. 5, 6, 7, 8) back when they were available in 1997-98.  They're lavishly packaged with gorgeous note booklets, which are surely unavailable in this compact release.

I also wanted to mention the Martin Jones piano works on Nimbus.  I happen to love this set.  Some people I know despise it.  Jones is not always the cleanest player (for example, the end of the E-flat Rhapsody from Op. 119 is kind of clunky), but he makes interpretive revelations in some pieces that I've simply never heard before.  Much of the F-minor sonata is simply astounding.  The note booklets from Malcolm MacDonald are excellent, and he includes some obscure rarities as well (about the only thing he leaves out are the easy versions of the Op. 39 waltzes, the cadenzas, and the 51 studies--all of which were recorded by Idil Biret on Naxos).  Happily, he performs the two books Paganini Variations as two separate pieces.  The 51 studies are clearly not MEANT to be recorded (and neither are the cadenzas in isolation, obviously).  The engineers botched clean track breaks in the Handel Variations and the Variations on an Original Theme.  This didn't matter much before the days of CD-R and file ripping (set was released in 1992), but is an annoyance now.  The only way I've found to avoid the awkward breaks is to burn to a standard (not compressed) audio CD.  Splicing the files together in playlists doesn't work so well.

All of those caveats--I do love the set.

Hope this helps somewhat.

KDH
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Maciek on November 25, 2009, 08:51:43 AM
hansenkd, welcome to the forum and thanks for a very helpful post! 8) Hope to read more from you on GMG.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Brahmsian on November 25, 2009, 09:45:35 AM
Welcome aboard hansenkd!  I'm very happy you decided to join us!  :)

Hope to hear from you some more.

Ray
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: jlaurson on March 22, 2010, 01:51:19 AM
Dip Your Ears, No. 100
Brahms Symphonies with Simon Rattle


http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/03/dip-your-ears-no-100.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/03/dip-your-ears-no-100.html)

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Renfield on March 22, 2010, 06:56:37 AM
Dip Your Ears, No. 100
Brahms Symphonies with Simon Rattle


http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/03/dip-your-ears-no-100.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/03/dip-your-ears-no-100.html)

Yes! I love that cycle. One of my favourites overall, and I've quite an obsession over Brahms symphonic intégrales.

In fact, it's probably the best Brahms cycle by the BPO on CD for my money, in terms of showcasing their sheer intensity as a collective instrument, and an intelligent, cohesive musical vision of the symphonies.

(Karajan on DVD is the only competitor. Though alas, his best readings never reached official channels. :()
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on March 22, 2010, 10:55:22 AM
Quote
Dip Your Ears, No. 100: Brahms Symphonies with Simon Rattle. But is there a better, more persuasive recommendation for Berlin’s new Brahms than hearing from RCO players—members of the alleged ‘world’s best orchestra’: “That’s how we would love to sound like. This is Brahms for the 21st century”?

In fact, it's probably the best Brahms cycle by the BPO on CD for my money, in terms of showcasing their sheer intensity as a collective instrument, and an intelligent, cohesive musical vision of the symphonies.

I own 14 Brahms symphony cycles. I don't need another...  And yet...damn this sounds interesting! I really need to stop reading you people  ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: The new erato on March 29, 2010, 10:04:11 AM
"Hyperion is proud to launch, as its Record of the Month for June 2010, a new venture in its enviable canon of song series. The Complete Songs of Johannes Brahms is expected to run to 9 volumes and will be overseen by Graham Johnson; volume 1 presents wonderful performances of 29 songs by Angelika Kirchschlager."
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Que on March 29, 2010, 10:46:40 AM
"Hyperion is proud to launch, as its Record of the Month for June 2010, a new venture in its enviable canon of song series. The Complete Songs of Johannes Brahms is expected to run to 9 volumes and will be overseen by Graham Johnson; volume 1 presents wonderful performances of 29 songs by Angelika Kirchschlager."

Interesting, after DG (Fischer-Dieskau & Jessey Norman) and CPO (Juliane Banse & Andreas Schmidt) a third cycle! :)

Q
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Josquin des Prez on March 29, 2010, 11:32:56 AM
Good. Brahm's lieder is very good and highly consistent.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: LapsangS on April 10, 2010, 12:31:26 AM
Brahms' music is very boring IMHO. I have never felt any deeper connection to it. I can listen to 2 Bruckner symphonies in one sitting but I could never listen a single Brahms symphony in it's entirety. I always fell asleep before the finale.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: The new erato on April 10, 2010, 09:16:06 AM
Brahms' music is very boring IMHO. I have never felt any deeper connection to it. I can listen to 2 Bruckner symphonies in one sitting but I could never listen a single Brahms symphony in it's entirety. I always fell asleep before the finale.
Bad for you. For me it's completely the other way round.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: hornteacher on April 12, 2010, 05:05:49 PM
For me it's completely the other way round.

Same here.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Scarpia on April 12, 2010, 08:14:13 PM
Brahms' music is very boring IMHO. I have never felt any deeper connection to it. I can listen to 2 Bruckner symphonies in one sitting but I could never listen a single Brahms symphony in it's entirety. I always fell asleep before the finale.

At some point you may reach a point where you understand it.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: oabmarcus on May 17, 2010, 05:50:01 AM
Brahms' music is very boring IMHO. I have never felt any deeper connection to it. I can listen to 2 Bruckner symphonies in one sitting but I could never listen a single Brahms symphony in it's entirety. I always fell asleep before the finale.

yes, i've had similar feelings in the past. But, after listening to a couple of great cycles (Sanderling+Giulini+Levine) + time for maturing. I am absolutely in love with is symphonies!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: karlhenning on May 17, 2010, 06:11:49 AM
Love Brahms, and even more having recently re-played the two Opus 120 clarinet sonatas.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Brahmsian on May 17, 2010, 08:19:37 AM
Love Brahms, and even more having recently re-played the two Opus 120 clarinet sonatas.

Those are among my absolute favorite Brahms' works.  Both the original clarinet version and the version for viola.

Karl, can you say _ _ _ _ _ _ _!

Insert text!  :D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: greg on May 17, 2010, 04:16:00 PM
Those are among my absolute favorite Brahms' works.  Both the original clarinet version and the version for viola.

Karl, can you say _ _ _ - _ _ _ _!

Insert text!  :D
"Les-tard?"
How dare you!  >:(
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: karlhenning on May 17, 2010, 04:23:21 PM
(I'm puzzled.)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: greg on May 17, 2010, 04:33:13 PM
(I'm puzzled.)
Actually, my guess at the fill in the blanks was "hell-yeah," but...

"lestard" is just a word I made up that would describe a retarded lesbian (and there are other words related to that).  ::)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: kishnevi on May 17, 2010, 05:47:02 PM
Those are among my absolute favorite Brahms' works.  Both the original clarinet version and the version for viola.

Karl, can you say _ _ _ - _ _ _ _!

Insert text!  :D

Any particular recording you would recommend?  The one I have is Manasse/Nakamatsu on HM, but I'm always open to suggestions, particularly the viola version, of which I hadn't heard before.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: George on May 17, 2010, 06:24:12 PM
Those are among my absolute favorite Brahms' works.  Both the original clarinet version and the version for viola.

Karl, can you say _ _ _ - _ _ _ _!

Insert text!  :D

Hell - yeah?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Opus106 on May 17, 2010, 08:40:56 PM
(I'm puzzled.)

I'm guessing très cool, even though the first word is missing one letter.

Actually, my guess at the fill in the blanks was "hell-yeah," but...

"lestard" is just a word I made up that would describe a retarded lesbian (and there are other words related to that).  ::)

I assumed it was a real (French) word/phrase -- and guess what! -- my translator says that it means "The Owl" (Les-tard) in French. ;D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Brahmsian on May 18, 2010, 03:57:30 AM
OK, I removed the dash, as it is only one word.  :D  Sorry for the confusion.   ;D

So, it should be:

Karl, can you say _ _ _ _ _ _ _!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: greg on May 18, 2010, 09:03:48 AM
I assumed it was a real (French) word/phrase -- and guess what! -- my translator says that it means "The Owl" (Les-tard) in French. ;D
Ha  :D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Guido on August 11, 2010, 01:26:18 PM
Is there a finer composer for the alto voice than Brahms? The youthful alto rhapsody and then the late op.91 songs with viola (a wonderful, wonderful touch - the viola used just as sensitively as the voice, lying in much the same range of course - the timbral parallels he draws are so simple yet breathtaking) - somehow he captures the soul and beauty of this voice type better than any other - a perfect match with his artistic temperament perhaps.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on October 27, 2010, 11:20:11 PM
OK people, I admit I avoided listening to Brahms, because that bloke insulted my dear good old shy Bruckner so much - BUT: avoiding Brahms was a mistake. Listened to Symphony No. 4 yesterday (Levine) for about 24 hours and I must say it rocks.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: mc ukrneal on October 27, 2010, 11:34:25 PM
OK people, I admit I avoided listening to Brahms, because that bloke insulted my dear good old shy Bruckner so much - BUT: avoiding Brahms was a mistake. Listened to Symphony No. 4 yesterday (Levine) for about 24 hours and I must say it rocks.
He does rock! As time goes on, I've actually grown to love all facets of his music. He was strong across the board with wonderful songs, solo music, chamber, etc.  There is just so much to explore. If you like lieder, there has been some interesting discussion on the Brahms lieder thread in the opera and vocal section of the forum.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on October 27, 2010, 11:58:41 PM
Well, I like some Lieder. But first I have to go through the Mahler ones.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: George on October 28, 2010, 02:59:35 AM
OK people, I admit I avoided listening to Brahms, because that bloke insulted my dear good old shy Bruckner so much - BUT: avoiding Brahms was a mistake. Listened to Symphony No. 4 yesterday (Levine) for about 24 hours and I must say it rocks.

Are you sure it wasn't Celibidache conducting?

 ;)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Florestan on October 28, 2010, 05:27:39 AM
Are you sure it wasn't Celibidache conducting?

 ;)
Hey, 24-hour would have been the edited version (no repeats).  ;D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: George on October 28, 2010, 06:38:34 AM
Hey, 24-hour would have been the edited version (no repeats).  ;D

;)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: snyprrr on October 28, 2010, 06:54:31 AM
Actually, my guess at the fill in the blanks was "hell-yeah," but...

"lestard" is just a word I made up that would describe a retarded lesbian (and there are other words related to that).  ::)

A "lestard" is someone who is retarded FOR lesbians, not a retarded lesbian.

As in, "you're such a GMG-tard".

Pettersson is a "mope-tard", and so forth.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 30, 2010, 01:13:35 PM
Well, this Brahms thread seems to have come to life again for the moment -  :D

I know that many of you have multiple Symphony cycles, and despite liking these works, I've not addressed my meager collection of just two (Klemperer & Mackerras; plus a number that have been culled out in the past) - Klemperer I like; Mackerras in these performances less so?

Now I'm sure that plenty of suggestions will be made - not only complete sets but recommendations for individual performances, but maybe an 'update' would help those w/ less listening exposure to these works make some wiser decisions - e.g. the one pictured below peeked my interest while reviewing the selections on Amazon?

So, please join in - what are your current favs in these works and are there new releases that should be considered?  Thanks all -  :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51tpouw3yKL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: DavidW on October 30, 2010, 01:41:49 PM
I like Janowski, but I'm not an expert on the subject. ;D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Scarpia on October 30, 2010, 03:53:57 PM
I like Janowski, but I'm not an expert on the subject. ;D

Janowski/Pittsburgh is superb.  Kertesz/VPO is my favorite.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: jlaurson on October 31, 2010, 04:00:35 AM

So, please join in - what are your current favs in these works and are there new releases that should be considered?  Thanks all -  :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51tpouw3yKL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Eschenbach Brahms is a hell of a cycle... Brahms-channeled-as-Wagner.

But there is one cycle above all:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51E6DDuIy6L._SL500_AA280_.jpg)
G.Wand
NDRSO
RCA (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005QHUZ/goodmusicguide-20)
also avail. as download (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0013AUXYY/goodmusicguide-20)


and, surprise of the season, this one---which is as different as imaginable from Wand, and yet tremendous.
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51woDDf67hL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Simon Rattle
Berlin Phil
EMI (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/03/dip-your-ears-no-100.html)
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/03/dip-your-ears-no-100.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/03/dip-your-ears-no-100.html)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Brian on October 31, 2010, 05:43:21 AM
Dave, I don't think I've got any "cycles," but I have individual releases I love - a recent SACD with Marek Janowski and the Pittsburgh SO is great for Nos 2 and 3 (my own review is listed first at Amazon, which has some good Marketplace deals... (http://www.amazon.com/Brahms-Symphonies-Nos-Hybrid-SACD/dp/B00112A6S2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1288532393&sr=8-1)), and my faves for No 4 are Kleiber/DG and Ormandy/Philly. I also am a big fan of Rafael Kubelik's cycle with the Bavarian Radio folks. And I have Nos 2 and 4 from the Wand cycle Jens so highly recommends, but haven't played them yet. Maybe something to listen to later this afternoon!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 31, 2010, 06:42:33 AM
Guys - thanks for all of the great responses - I was looking on Amazon this Sunday morning at the recommendations - I'm really impressed w/ Brian's review of the Janowski w/ the 2nd & 3rd; plus, two other reviewers that I respect there, including Scott Morrison, came in w/ 5* ratings for the same recording!  I also like the fact that Janowski's recordings are recent (in contrast to my Klemperer).

Curious for those into the 'older' cycles, does Wand really trump my Klemperer? I've had that one for a while - also still quite interested in that Eschenbach, just excellent reviews and on the bargain Virgin label - don't believe that I have anything w/ the Houston orchestra but they must be good (assume Brian has heard them?).

But thanks again - I'm sure many others just getting started w/ Brahms will be appreciative of these suggestions - Dave  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: jlaurson on October 31, 2010, 08:53:13 AM
Curious for those into the 'older' cycles, does Wand really trump my Klemperer?

are you kidding me? we're talking "perpetual musical sunshine" (Wand) versus "wery serias musik-making" (Big K.)
And it's not that old, actually... in superb sound in the remastered version.

Quote
I rarely stop looking for perfect performances and have an unhealthy habit of doubling and quintupling up works that I already own. Rarely does a performance come by that is so outstanding, so immediately satisfying all my desires, that I stop looking for new or even different recordings of the works in question. Maurizio Pollini's rendition of the late Beethoven sonatas is one such performance (although it hasn't kept me from amassing some 20-plus versions of each of those sonatas), G.Wand's Brahms is another.

Incredibly musical, these four recordings (in great sound, now that they are remastered) exude a vitality that is beyond words. G.Wand is the ego-less conductor who disappears in the music making, leaving only Brahms and the listener. The result is a most thankful one, indeed. I am not suggesting you throw away your Abbado, Karajan, Walter and Boehm (the rest can probably go, though) - but these are the performances I always turn to, the ones that never disappoint me, no matter what mood I am in. That's more than I can say about most recordings.

This may sound like hyperbole - but except for the handful of people I know who don't rank this set atop their Brahms collections all others would agree that it isn't.



Quote
I've had that one for a while - also still quite interested in that Eschenbach, just excellent reviews and on the bargain Virgin label - don't believe that I have anything w/ the Houston orchestra but they must be good (assume Brian has heard them?).

But thanks again - I'm sure many others just getting started w/ Brahms will be appreciative of these suggestions - Dave  :)

Houston and Eschenbach have turned out some great recordings... http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=2383 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=2383); my favorite being their Bach/Brahms Schoenberg arrangements.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/518ONBxdDBL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Brahms, Symphonies 1 & 2,
 Ac.Fstvl.Ovt., Haydn Variations,
Eschenbach / Houston SO (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001UDYC4Q/goodmusicguide-20)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51m3rkcyabL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Brahms, Symphonies 3 & 4,
Alto Rhapsody, Tragic Overture,
Eschenbach / Houston SO (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001UDYC50/goodmusicguide-20)

Not everyone's cup of tea, but if you like that kind of tea (strong, rich), it's very good.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Scarpia on October 31, 2010, 09:47:39 AM
Dave, I don't think I've got any "cycles," but I have individual releases I love - a recent SACD with Marek Janowski and the Pittsburgh SO is great for Nos 2 and 3 (my own review is listed first at Amazon, which has some good Marketplace deals... (http://www.amazon.com/Brahms-Symphonies-Nos-Hybrid-SACD/dp/B00112A6S2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1288532393&sr=8-1)), and my faves for No 4 are Kleiber/DG and Ormandy/Philly. I also am a big fan of Rafael Kubelik's cycle with the Bavarian Radio folks. And I have Nos 2 and 4 from the Wand cycle Jens so highly recommends, but haven't played them yet. Maybe something to listen to later this afternoon!

That release of 2, 3 is the gem of the set (the others are also very fine, but don't reach the same level, in my opinion anyway).  I also have and love the Klieber 4.

At times like this I find myself outraged that two significant Brahms cycles have never been on CD (to my knowledge).  There is a Kubelik, Weiner Phiharmoniker set from 1959 or so on Decca, and a Maazel Cleveland from the mid 70's, also Decca.  I had the Maazel on Vinyl (no more) have seen the Kubelik/WPO on vinyl as well.   Think of some of the other Maazel Cleveland recordings from the same era (the Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet, the Respighi Pines of Rome) and imagine what we may be missing.   And that any WPO recording from the late 50's has never been reissued boggles the mind!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: just Jeff on December 03, 2010, 12:53:45 AM
Top item from a collector's pov.

(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/Unused%20Covers/martzyFT.jpg)

(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/Unused%20Covers/martzyBK.jpg)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Bogey on January 06, 2011, 08:48:10 PM
Excuse the repeat if I asked this question before....is this a decent Brahms' effort and which of Böhm's efforts is this?

(http://store.acousticsounds.com/images/large/AUNJC_9013__39716__01152009115801-4286.jpg)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Scarpia on January 06, 2011, 09:31:08 PM
Excuse the repeat if I asked this question before....is this a decent Brahms' effort and which of Böhm's efforts is this?

(http://store.acousticsounds.com/images/large/AUNJC_9013__39716__01152009115801-4286.jpg)

Judging by the artwork, it appears to be a recording from the late 50's.  Bohm recorded the Brahms symphonies with the WPO in the early 70's.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 07, 2011, 07:00:06 AM
After many years, I've been updating my collection of Violin Concertos by Beethoven & Brahms; for the latter have added the disc below left (terrific!) and in the mail the box set (right) which includes Thomas Zehetmair in that work -  :D


(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BrahmsVConcRepin/1148102895_pfYU9-S.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51TPZmDjhvL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Antoine Marchand on January 07, 2011, 07:27:17 AM
After many years, I've been updating my collection of Violin Concertos by Beethoven & Brahms; for the latter have added the disc below left (terrific!) and in the mail the box set (right) which includes Thomas Zehetmair in that work -  :D


(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BrahmsVConcRepin/1148102895_pfYU9-S.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51TPZmDjhvL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Interesting suggestion, Dave; I love the Brahms violin concerto. Thanks!

Some time ago, I did some comparisons among the versions in my collection and this was the result:

I have had a little marathon of Brahms violin concertos this weekend:

(1981)
Anne Sophie Mutter
Berliner Philarmoniker
Herbert von Karajan
Deutsche Grammophon

(1960)
David Oistrach
Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française
Otto Klemperer
EMI Classics

Borika van den Booren
Berliner Symphoniker
Eduardo Marturet
Brilliant Classics

(1989)
Thomas Zehetmair
Cleveland Orchestra
Christoph von Dohnányi
Teldec

(1974)
Henryk Szeryng
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam
Bernard Haitink
Philips

Listening to all of these discs between last night and this morning, I have discovered -with some suprise- that my favorite version has been Oistrakh [alhtough the cover showed below says "Oistrakh", my copy with the same cover says "Oistrach"]/ Klemperer, although previously I had said Szeryng/ Haitink. Several soloists are excellent, but Klemplerer provides a superb orchestral accompaniment.


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51hd8JQ6WAL._SS500_.jpg)


I also listened to Nathan Milstein, but the result was the same.  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 07, 2011, 07:55:44 AM
Interesting suggestion, Dave; I love the Brahms violin concerto. Thanks!

Some time ago, I did some comparisons among the versions in my collection and this was the result:

I also listened to Nathan Milstein, but the result was the same.  :)

Antoine - thanks for the comments and quote (probably saw your post back then) - I have the Milstein in Brahms/Beethoven and David Oistrach in other composers - will take a look at the latter's offerings in the Brahms concerto.  Dave  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Taneyev on January 07, 2011, 08:17:13 AM
Top item from a collector's pov.
For some reason, Martzy vinyls are all collector's items.
That shown in the pictures, if on a very good or mint condition, can reach 3 figures. I don't understand why. She was a good violinist, but not an extraordinary one like Neveu or Hendel. Her German DG first editions can cost 4 figures.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Drasko on January 07, 2011, 08:19:15 AM
Excuse the repeat if I asked this question before....is this a decent Brahms' effort and which of Böhm's efforts is this?

(http://store.acousticsounds.com/images/large/AUNJC_9013__39716__01152009115801-4286.jpg)
http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,15508.20.html
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Scarpia on January 07, 2011, 08:54:42 AM
Has been issued by Australian Eloquence and German Eloquence.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41WJWQNMPSL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51d%2Bi7fDBfL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

There is also a Mono Brahms 2 with Berlin on DG from 1956.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 07, 2011, 09:23:29 AM
At times like this I find myself outraged that two significant Brahms cycles have never been on CD (to my knowledge).  There is a Kubelik, Weiner Phiharmoniker set from 1959 or so on Decca, and a Maazel Cleveland from the mid 70's, also Decca.  I had the Maazel on Vinyl (no more)....

I share your outrage. Although I still have the vinyl

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/gm2/brahmsmaazellp.jpg)

I'd love to have Maazel's Brahms on CD also....to join Szell and Dohnányi's Cleveland cycles on my shelf.

Sarge

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Scarpia on January 07, 2011, 09:27:47 AM
I share your outrage. Although I still have the vinyl

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/gm2/brahmsmaazellp.jpg)

I'd love to have Maazel's Brahms on CD also....to join Szell and Dohnányi's Cleveland cycles on my shelf.

Sarge

Yes, that was the LP set I had, but the pressings were poor and I ended up selling them when I switched over from LP to CD.   :(
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Drasko on January 07, 2011, 09:40:14 AM
Has been issued by Australian Eloquence and German Eloquence.
I have the German one, it's the evil amsi >:D

At times like this I find myself outraged that two significant Brahms cycles have never been on CD (to my knowledge).  There is a Kubelik, Weiner Phiharmoniker set from 1959 or so on Decca, and a Maazel Cleveland from the mid 70's, also Decca.  I had the Maazel on Vinyl (no more) have seen the Kubelik/WPO on vinyl as well.   Think of some of the other Maazel Cleveland recordings from the same era (the Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet, the Respighi Pines of Rome) and imagine what we may be missing.   And that any WPO recording from the late 50's has never been reissued boggles the mind!

Kubelik is partially available from Japan, can't recall if all of it was at any time.
http://www.hmv.co.jp/en/product/detail/3618513

Maazel has been out on Scribendum, but I'm not sure if they actually exist any more.
http://www.silveroakmusic.com/sc006.html
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Scarpia on January 07, 2011, 09:52:58 AM
I have the German one, it's the evil amsi >:D

Bummer.  It's an older one and it doesn't have the amsi logo on the front like the recent Eloquence releases do.   I was hoping that was before they had that brilliant idea.   :(
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Daverz on January 07, 2011, 01:22:52 PM
I'd love to have Maazel's Brahms on CD also....to join Szell and Dohnányi's Cleveland cycles on my shelf.

ARG (which means editor Donny Vroon, really) loves this Maazel set.  I  hope that doesn't put anyone off.  ;D

I'll probably grab it if it ever makes it to BRO.  I have way too many Brahms sets, but what's one more?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Bogey on January 07, 2011, 04:38:11 PM
http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,15508.20.html

Thank you!!!! I knew I had asked, but could not track it down.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 08, 2011, 05:39:22 AM
Maazel has been out on Scribendum, but I'm not sure if they actually exist any more.
http://www.silveroakmusic.com/sc006.html

The website worked. They took my order and confirmed purchase. Haven't gotten an email yet though. We'll see. Thanks for finding this, Drasko.

Sarge
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 18, 2011, 07:02:44 AM
Maazel has been out on Scribendum, but I'm not sure if they actually exist any more.
http://www.silveroakmusic.com/sc006.html

Thanks again, Drasko. The Maazel cycle arrived today.

Sarge
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Drasko on January 19, 2011, 02:11:54 AM
My pleasure. Good to know that silveroak website does work. Scribendum has few very nice boxes (not the cheapest though)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 19, 2011, 09:04:57 AM
My pleasure. Good to know that silveroak website does work.

It works...one just needs patience. Took about ten days to arrive. I have the feeling it's a one-man operation.

Sarge
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on January 27, 2011, 11:38:28 PM
Brahms, one of my all-time favorite composers! Whenever I hear someone dissing chamber music, I think: "That guy must have never listened to Brahms, has he/she?" It is good that Brahms was perfectionist: I can't mention single average/weak composition from him, at least when it is about structure, beauty and simple awesomeness. Too bad Brahms never composed opera, I would have loved to hear that. But I guess his lieds and ein Deutsches Requiem are close enough 8) And because his works include so much high quality, it would be very difficult to list all my favorites without mentioning almost every major composition of his and even many smaller ones.

Old joke: After successful concert, Joseph Joachim was about to propose a toast for Brahms: "Today I would like to honor the greatest composer of all time..." Brahms interrupted and said: " 'Tis true! Long live Mozart!"
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Renfield on April 01, 2011, 05:45:29 PM
That release of 2, 3 is the gem of the set (the others are also very fine, but don't reach the same level, in my opinion anyway).  I also have and love the Klieber 4.

At times like this I find myself outraged that two significant Brahms cycles have never been on CD (to my knowledge).  There is a Kubelik, Weiner Phiharmoniker set from 1959 or so on Decca, and a Maazel Cleveland from the mid 70's, also Decca.  I had the Maazel on Vinyl (no more) have seen the Kubelik/WPO on vinyl as well.   Think of some of the other Maazel Cleveland recordings from the same era (the Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet, the Respighi Pines of Rome) and imagine what we may be missing.   And that any WPO recording from the late 50's has never been reissued boggles the mind!

Some dire necromancy, this, but for anyone interested, the Kubelik Vienna Brahms was recently available on two separate French single issues.






Though it seems like they've gone OOP since I picked them up, ca. 2008.


Also, there was once a thread on Brahms cycles in the Great Recordings forum, IIRC. I'll see if I can find and resurrect it. The Brahms must flow! $:)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: MishaK on April 01, 2011, 05:54:28 PM
Some dire necromancy, this, but for anyone interested, the Kubelik Vienna Brahms was recently available on two separate French single issues.

You know, I adore Kubelik, but his VPO Brahms somehow doesn't really do it for me. I have 1 & 2 from an earlier Decca CD issue, but all I remember is a somewhat sluggish interpretation hampered further by rather woolly recorded sound. Have to confess not having listened to it in a while. Maybe I should give it another spin. But in general, the combination VPO/Kubelik seems not to have been a terribly good one. Of the four or so Ma Vlasts he recorded, the VPO/Decca version is by far the weakest. I downloaded somewhere some live CSO Brahms performances with Kubelik. Your post reminds me that I have yet to listen to them.  :o
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Renfield on April 01, 2011, 06:03:27 PM
You know, I adore Kubelik, but his VPO Brahms somehow doesn't really do it for me. I have 1 & 2 from an earlier Decca CD issue, but all I remember is a somewhat sluggish interpretation hampered further by rather woolly recorded sound. Have to confess not having listened to it in a while. Maybe I should give it another spin. But in general, the combination VPO/Kubelik seems not to have been a terribly good one. Of the four or so Ma Vlasts he recorded, the VPO/Decca version is by far the weakest. I downloaded somewhere some live CSO Brahms performances with Kubelik. Your post reminds me that I have yet to listen to them.  :o

Much to my chagrin, I still haven't heard Kubelik's later Brahms cycle, on Orfeo. [Edit: Because it's always so ludicrously overpriced.]

But for this one, and especially the first disc, I mostly agree with you. It's all rather woolly, even beyond the sound. However, the 3rd is good. It's a little shaky in execution, like the others, but it manages to hold together, and the reading is genuinely affecting and sensitive, in the Kubelik fashion.

That's why I'm annoyed at not having heard the later BRSO cycle, which may well have a similarly strong reading, but with better playing and sound.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: MishaK on April 01, 2011, 06:18:12 PM
However, the 3rd is good. It's a little shaky in execution, like the others,

Oh yes, that Viennese Schlamperei! They can be the world's greatest orchestra one day, and the next day they can have an ensemble cohesion like a provincial orchestra when they're not in the right mood! Speaking of VPO and Brahms cycles, I recently got a hold of the highly lauded Kertesz/VPO cycle and was massively disappointed. Not only is the execution sometimes on the extreme side of Viennese sloppiness - especially the notoriously rhythmically difficult 3rd - with some rather approximate brass intonation thrown in for free, but the interpretation is rather pedestrian with little attention to detail and often inaudible inner voices. What excitement there is seems to be more the result of sound engineering than the work of the musicians. There are moments when the violins literally seem to jump ten feet forward on the soundstage, rather than being the result of a genuine increase in intensity and volume. I really don't get the hype about that one.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Scarpia on April 01, 2011, 06:28:02 PM
Oh yes, that Viennese Schlamperei! They can be the world's greatest orchestra one day, and the next day they can have an ensemble cohesion like a provincial orchestra when they're not in the right mood! Speaking of VPO and Brahms cycles, I recently got a hold of the highly lauded Kertesz/VPO cycle and was massively disappointed. Not only is the execution sometimes on the extreme side of Viennese sloppiness - especially the notoriously rhythmically difficult 3rd - with some rather approximate brass intonation thrown in for free, but the interpretation is rather pedestrian with little attention to detail and often inaudible inner voices. What excitement there is seems to be more the result of sound engineering than the work of the musicians. There are moments when the violins literally seem to jump ten feet forward on the soundstage, rather than being the result of a genuine increase in intensity and volume. I really don't get the hype about that one.

Couldn't disagree more.  Of a dozen or so cycles on the shelf, Kertesz is my most preferred.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: MishaK on April 01, 2011, 06:41:19 PM
Couldn't disagree more.  Of a dozen or so cycles on the shelf, Kertesz is my most preferred.

Well, you'll have to explain to me what I'm supposed to listen for there. The outer movements of the 3rd positively make me cringe. I, too, have "a dozen or so cycles", but between Wand, Haitink, Furtwängler, Barenboim, Abbado, Mravinsky, Kleiber I don't really see myself revisiting Kertesz very much.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Renfield on April 01, 2011, 07:15:32 PM
Gentlemen, although this discussion arguably belongs to the thread in the recordings forum, I am most intrigued by your comments.

Rather, I am intrigued by the polarisation in evidence. Is the Kertesz cycle currently in print, in any form?


Edit: I found it. Japan; of course. I'll invest in it at the next financial opportunity.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Scarpia on April 01, 2011, 07:50:03 PM
Well, you'll have to explain to me what I'm supposed to listen for there. The outer movements of the 3rd positively make me cringe. I, too, have "a dozen or so cycles", but between Wand, Haitink, Furtwängler, Barenboim, Abbado, Mravinsky, Kleiber I don't really see myself revisiting Kertesz very much.

I have been a long time since I have listened to the cycle, but one thing that stands out in my mind is the Poco Allegretto from the 3rd symphony.  The way the bitter-sweet harmony unfolds and the intertwining of the different melodic lines struck me as the most beautiful I had heard.  I guess I should say that I do not prefer a "storming the heavens" style of Brahms performance, generally I prefer a lyrical, dolce performance style, which I hear in Kertesz.  Barbirolli's Brahms cycle with the WPO is another favorite of mine.

The Haydn Variations that the WPO recorded without a conductor as a tribute to Kertesz after he died.

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: snyprrr on May 16, 2011, 09:42:49 AM
Might as well pull Brahms into the Top5. I am totally set to explore the Piano Quartets.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: DavidW on May 16, 2011, 09:45:08 AM
Might as well pull Brahms into the Top5. I am totally set to explore the Piano Quartets.

But you don't like most of his music. ???  Are there any composers that you just love all of their output?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: snyprrr on May 16, 2011, 11:30:03 AM
But you don't like most of his music. ???  Are there any composers that you just love all of their output?

When it comes to the Romantic Era, I just don't want to overdo it. Too many Piano Trios, or wotnot, will probably give me a tummy ache, so, I'm only going for the 'representative' who speaks to my own self absorption! ;D I'm just a very picky eater (and yes,... single ::)... at the moment (Prayer Smiley)).

And no, I can't think of anyone off hand, but, it would probably end up being something left field like Bach/Zelenka or Finzi, haha!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: DavidW on May 16, 2011, 11:57:59 AM
Snips you're in capable of love or fidelity!  The same fate of Don Giovanni awaits you! ;D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: karlhenning on May 16, 2011, 01:26:12 PM
Don O'snypsssi, a cenar teco m'invitasti, e son venuto!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Todd on June 24, 2011, 10:21:42 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41JyOKH-Z1L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)   (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Ajhf0STDL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)   (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Px8C-7CCL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)


So much Brahms, so little time.  I’ve known about Levine’s symphony cycle on RCA for a while, but it never seemed as though it would be reissued in the States.  As soon as it was, I snapped it up, and at its current price, it’s something of a bargain.  Levine and the Chicago Symphony deliver generally swift, intense, powerful readings that act as something of a foil for broader approaches from the likes of, say, Giulini or Kubelik.  The First and Fourth benefit enormously from this approach, the Second not so much, and the Third, with an intense approach and an unusual focus on brass, yields one of the most compelling versions I’ve heard.  That the set comes with Levine’s early recording of Ein Deutsches Requiem is a bonus.  It’s quite fine, and it’s always a joy to hear Kathleen Battle sing.  The disc with the First Piano Concerto played by Emanuel Ax and paired with some lieder could probably have been omitted, or at least the Piano Concerto could have been.  Ax is a technically fine player, but he’s got very little to say, as it were, and there is something of a mismatch between approaches of soloist and conductor.  Sound for the set is generally good if rather obviously manipulated (spotlighting, etc), and the dynamic range isn’t up to modern recording standards, which was actually welcome for me as I listened to the set once while on a long drive and didn’t have to constantly adjust the volume.

The set of Brahms works played by Arthur Rubinstein and a variety of other artists is equally extraordinary.  I do enjoy Rubinstein in Chopin, especially the 30s recordings, but he’s never been on my radar much beyond that.  This set proved enlightening.  I’ve long had the Second Concerto (with Josef Krips) and additional works disc, and it’s never really been a favorite.  The First, though, where Mr Rubinstein is paired with Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony is a corker – it’s everything the Ax / Levine recording should have been.  The solo works are generally extremely well done, right up there with the best, though Rubinstein’s technique seems stretched by the Third Sonata from time to time.  The chamber works are all excellent, with the highlight of the set being the Piano Trios played with Henryk Szeryng and Pierre Fournier.  The music making throughout the set is “old-fashioned,” with nary a nod to any HIP ideas, but that’s fine with me as the very notion of HIP Brahms seems a bit odd.  Sound is generally good across the set, though the Second Concerto sounds rather poor and a number of the chamber works are a bit too closely miked.  While the erstwhile majors don’t release much in the way of anything these days, these bargain basement priced sets demonstrate how good things used to be, at least some of the time.

Christine Schäfer’s new recital of lieder shows how good things can be today, at least some of the time.  Paired with Graham Johnson, Ms Schäfer delivers a nicely varied, wonderfully performed disc.  It’s one of those discs that I listen to from start to finish.  Okay, I’m a big fan of Christine Schäfer, and I don’t even try to hide my bias, but this is one fine disc – in fine sound, too.  A real peach of a disc.

All this music makes me think Brahms is pretty good.  He may even be an above average composer.


Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 24, 2011, 10:40:22 AM
All this music makes me think Brahms is pretty good.  He may even be an above average composer.

Yeah, he ain't bad  ;D  ;)

Sarge
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: karlhenning on June 24, 2011, 10:41:08 AM
Pretty good for one of those dead German dudes.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: DavidW on June 24, 2011, 10:43:19 AM
That Rubinstein set sure seems tempting... but I have enough Brahms for now... :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: karlhenning on June 24, 2011, 10:49:13 AM
That Rubinstein set sure seems tempting... but I have enough Brahms for now... :)

Land sakes, this Brilliant Box is the gerrooviest!
 
Though, I am a pushover for Martha . . . that live performance of the Opus 56b is below the green lemon.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Hilltroll73 on June 24, 2011, 10:59:57 AM
The OP's comment about close-micing in the chamber music points up a common attribute of Rubinstein's recordings. He needed to be the loudest 'voice'. Heifetz had a similar sentiment.

 8)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Mirror Image on June 24, 2011, 08:41:04 PM
I don't listen to enough of Brahms to have a "Brahmsfest." :) I'm more partial to the Wagnerian/Brucknerian sound. Brahms is an incredible composer and rewards the listener with repeated listening, but I never quite warmed to his sound-world, although I do find a lot of enjoyment in the music whenever I listen to it.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Mandryka on June 24, 2011, 09:02:48 PM
The OP's comment about close-micing in the chamber music points up a common attribute of Rubinstein's recordings. He needed to be the loudest 'voice'. Heifetz had a similar sentiment.

 8)

I think that's less of a problem in the pre war recordings.
My favourite recordings of Brahms chamber music with Rubinstein are the trio with Feuermann and the Quartet with the Pro Arte. I also like the intermezzi  he recorded, especially the Bb-minor Op. 117 and the C#-minor . He also recorded a Brahms sonata I think -- I've never heard it.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: XB-70 Valkyrie on June 24, 2011, 10:25:22 PM
Brahms speaks more directly to me than just about any composer other than Bach and Bruckner.

I just finished listening to the excellent Szell Brahms symphony cycle recorded for Columbia in the mid-60s. (I have the original LPs) I really don't think I've heard more compelling Brahms conducting than this, but you have piqued my interest in the Guilini set.

IMO this is the single greatest Brahms recording ever made. The slow movement is from another universe.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51b1Fm1Us6L._SS400_.jpg)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Brahmsian on June 25, 2011, 04:52:21 AM
Brahms and Beethoven are my co-favorite composers.  It took quite awhile for Brahms to reach Beethoven a top of my #1 composer, but his music is so good, especially his chamber and piano works, that I could no longer deny him a place along Herr Ludwig.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Mandryka on June 25, 2011, 06:03:10 AM
Why move this here when it's about recordings?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Mandryka on June 25, 2011, 06:05:45 AM
Brahms speaks more directly to me than just about any composer other than Bach and Bruckner.

I just finished listening to the excellent Szell Brahms symphony cycle recorded for Columbia in the mid-60s. (I have the original LPs) I really don't think I've heard more compelling Brahms conducting than this, but you have piqued my interest in the Guilini set.



There is a Guilini record which I love, not from any of his surveys of all four (I don't know either of them), but on BBC Legends -- a Brahms 1. It's a very distinctive reading, uncompromisingly tragic. I too am interested in hearing some more of Guilini 's Brahms. Which ones are best? There are recordings of all four with VPO and with Philharmonia.



I'm exploring Brahms 1 on record a bit right now and I'd certainly be curious to hear people's favourites.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Vesteralen on August 11, 2011, 08:42:42 AM
When I started listening to "classical" music back in 1969, Brahms quickly became my first "favorite" composer because of the symphonies  (at different times #2, #3 and #4 have each taken the role of "favorite").  A few years later I replaced Brahms with Schumann.  Then, in the mid-1970's I came back to Brahms primarily because of the First Piano Concerto (to which I took a long time to warm up). 

In the 1980's, 90's and 2000's, different composers have taken their place as my "favorites", including Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Barber and Nielsen.

Now, however, since I have started working my way through the Brilliant Complete Brahms at the rate of one disc per week, I think Brahms may actually have reclaimed the top spot. 

Why?

It started with the Piano Trio #2 two weeks ago.  But, this week it's "Zigueunerlieder".  I can't believe how much I love these pieces.  Give me ensemble or choral singing any day over solo voices.  Love it!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: karlhenning on August 11, 2011, 08:51:18 AM
All that Brahms box is terrific.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Brahmsian on August 11, 2011, 08:59:21 AM
All that Brahms box is terrific.

*Obligatory pounding of the table*   8)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Hilltroll73 on August 12, 2011, 12:48:13 PM
*Obligatory pounding of the table*   8)

Done. (though I have no intention of buying the box). Brahms deserves a thump or two.

 :D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Renfield on August 13, 2011, 09:46:19 PM
There is a Guilini record which I love, not from any of his surveys of all four (I don't know either of them), but on BBC Legends -- a Brahms 1. It's a very distinctive reading, uncompromisingly tragic. I too am interested in hearing some more of Guilini 's Brahms. Which ones are best? There are recordings of all four with VPO and with Philharmonia.



I'm exploring Brahms 1 on record a bit right now and I'd certainly be curious to hear people's favourites.

This is a superlative Brahms 1st, no mistake about that; this was also my first Giulini Brahms recording.

However, now that I've heard all of his studio Brahms (the Philharmonia and Vienna cycles, plus the Los Angeles 1st and 2nd, and the Chicago 4th), amazing as the BBC Legends one is, I have to say the Los Angeles version trumps it.

Such perfect tempo, such weight of delivery, and such excellent playing is evinced in that one that, if not for the 'impossible' live London Karajan on Testament, the Giulini Los Angeles 1st would have been my unequivocal first choice.


Edit: Another M forever recommendation, those LA recordings: credit where it's due.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Mandryka on August 17, 2011, 09:23:41 AM
Thanks for replying Renfield. I know the one with the LA Phil on DG.

In fact, there are two  recordings with the LA Phil, a live and a studio. They are both  1981. The Philharmonia Brahms which I like so much is 1961. .


I much prefer the Philharmonia  Brahms 1 to the LA one, but really they are very different. Not surprisingly given the 20 years difference between them.

The LA is more expansive and the orchestra sounds more plush. I like the London one because it is relentlessly unsmiling, relentlessly bleak. I also like the astringent sound of the London orchestra which seems to suit CMG's vision of the music in 1961. 

The Philharmonia Brahms 1 is one of my favourites, together with recordings by Furtwangler, Stokowski, Kondrashin, Mengelberg, Max Fiedler and Van Beinem. I haven't heard the Karajan recording on Testament that you mentioned, but I'll try to get hold of a copy.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Renfield on August 17, 2011, 09:47:52 AM
Thanks for replying Renfield. I know the one with the LA Phil on DG.

In fact, there are two  recordings with the LA Phil, a live and a studio. They are both  1981.

Fascinating. I didn't know that, thank you.


I see your point about the BBC Legends one; I haven't revisited it for years, but I remember that bleakness. Much like Barbirolli's Hallé Bruckner 8th, also on BBC Legends, it's a fascinating reading, but not necessarily my regular cup of tea.

I've not heard Mengelberg on the 1st, nor Van Beinem and Fiedler in any Brahms, but judging from the others on your list, I can understand why you would prefer this level of grimness. I'm not sure if the Karajan I mentioned qualifies as downright grim, though it is monumentally driven and extremely heroic (in the literal sense of 'extremely') in character. Quite unique.


Edit: The reason I like the Los Angeles Giulini (from the box set - I'm assuming it's the studio version) so much was recently discussed in the Sibelius thread, apropos of Rozhdestvensky's approach to the symphonies: it unites strictly-proportioned underlying form with lush overlying musical texture, like a kind of aural Vermeer portrait of the symphony.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Mandryka on August 18, 2011, 10:15:19 PM
That was a mistake about Max Fiedler's Brahms 1 -- I only have him in 2 and 4 (and piano concerto 2)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Brahmsian on September 06, 2011, 04:52:01 AM
a) I wish the Brahms composer discussion thread had a more interesting title, like so many of the others.   :(

b) I wish my Brilliant Classics Brahms complete edition cube had come in a plastic or metal box, instead of a cardboard box.  I've gone through it so much, the cardboard hinges are already getting quite worn from continuous opening and closing.   :D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Geo Dude on September 06, 2011, 06:03:06 AM
Brahms, one of my all-time favorite composers! Whenever I hear someone dissing chamber music, I think: "That guy must have never listened to Brahms, has he/she?" It is good that Brahms was perfectionist: I can't mention single average/weak composition from him, at least when it is about structure, beauty and simple awesomeness.

Agreed about Brahms' chamber music!  Now that classical has cycled back into my listening list (primarily due to memories of Brahms) I've recently been working my way through the Phillips set that I received several years ago as a birthday gift before it was out of print. 

Despite the complaints the reviewers make, I've thoroughly enjoyed the set though I did find a few of the performances perfunctory.  The material was consistently top-notch, but the violin sonatas and string sextets in particular have made a very strong impact.  I've supplemented that set with Amadeus Quartet's complete quartets, quintets, and sextets set (which I was also fortunate enough to own previously) and I have the Suk/Katchen violin sonatas and Rostropovich/Serkin cello sonatas on the way.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Renfield on September 06, 2011, 07:19:32 AM
a) I wish the Brahms composer discussion thread had a more interesting title, like so many of the others.   :(

b) I wish my Brilliant Classics Brahms complete edition cube had come in a plastic or metal box, instead of a cardboard box.  I've gone through it so much, the cardboard hinges are already getting quite worn from continuous opening and closing.   :D

I'm sure a mod could oblige, and rename it Brahms' Brewhouse; but then Beethoven would feel lonely.

(Since his is also a '[Composer Name] [Dates]' thread.)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Geo Dude on September 11, 2011, 04:48:35 AM
Having just read the entire thread, I recommend it to anyone new coming in.  There is a wealth of information present.


On a different note, I mentioned Brahms in an e-mail to an uncle and he commented that while he feels that the Ein Deustsches Requiem, first symphony, and first piano concerto are works descended directly from god that he doesn't listen to much Brahms because he feels that he has an overall tendency as an orchestrator toward "If five is good, ten is twice as good!"  Needless to say, I adamantly insisted that he listen to Brahms chamber music and will be burning him some discs of chamber works in hopes of coaxing him into buying a box set, or at least checking out recordings of those.  Currently, I plan on sending him recordings of the violin sonatas, clarinet sonatas, horn trio, and string sextets.  Any recommendation on other essentials I need to send his way?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Brahmsian on September 11, 2011, 04:59:39 AM
Having just read the entire thread, I recommend it to anyone new coming in.  There is a wealth of information present.


On a different note, I mentioned Brahms in an e-mail to an uncle and he commented that while he feels that the Ein Deustsches Requiem, first symphony, and first piano concerto are works descended directly from god that he doesn't listen to much Brahms because he feels that he has an overall tendency as an orchestrator toward "If five is good, ten is twice as good!"  Needless to say, I adamantly insisted that he listen to Brahms chamber music and will be burning him some discs of chamber works in hopes of coaxing him into buying a box set, or at least checking out recordings of those.  Currently, I plan on sending him recordings of the violin sonatas, clarinet sonatas, horn trio, and string sextets.  Any recommendation on other essentials I need to send his way?

The piano quartets (particularly 1 and 3).  For me, Brahms is my co-favorite composer.

One of the things I've always admired in Brahms' music is his sense of restraint.  Although he certainly is a Romantic era composer, he never goes overboard.  He always seems to hold back a little bit, almost leaving you wanting a bit more.  Sure, he has his outbursting moments like the other Romantic composers, but I'm amazed that he is able to keep it under control, and not quite go overboard.  I think in this sense he is very different from middle/late Beethoven and his buddy, Schumann.  And it is one of the things I love about Brahms.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Opus106 on September 11, 2011, 05:08:30 AM
The piano trios. The Op. 8 at the least.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Geo Dude on September 11, 2011, 06:17:52 AM
The piano quartets (particularly 1 and 3).  For me, Brahms is my co-favorite composer.

One of the things I've always admired in Brahms' music is his sense of restraint.  Although he certainly is a Romantic era composer, he never goes overboard.  He always seems to hold back a little bit, almost leaving you wanting a bit more.  Sure, he has his outbursting moments like the other Romantic composers, but I'm amazed that he is able to keep it under control, and not quite go overboard.  I think in this sense he is very different from middle/late Beethoven and his buddy, Schumann.  And it is one of the things I love about Brahms.

Thanks for your thoughts.   I'll make sure to add a piano trio or two.  I do wonder if his feelings about Brahms tendency to think "five is good, ten is twice is good" is a result of growing up on the classic style of Brahms conducting.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: North Star on September 11, 2011, 11:55:15 AM
Thanks for your thoughts.   I'll make sure to add a piano trio or two.  I do wonder if his feelings about Brahms tendency to think "five is good, ten is twice is good" is a result of growing up on the classic style of Brahms conducting.

Indeed, maybe Mackerras's Brahms cycle would please him?
The piano trios are among my very favorite Brahms. Then there's the piano quintet and clarinet trio.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Renfield on September 11, 2011, 02:01:31 PM
Indeed, maybe Mackerras's Brahms cycle would please him?

Yes, that's a great recommendation for the texture-conscious! :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Geo Dude on September 11, 2011, 05:16:50 PM
Indeed, maybe Mackerras's Brahms cycle would please him?
The piano trios are among my very favorite Brahms. Then there's the piano quintet and clarinet trio.

I just ordered the Mackerras set today.  If I like it, I'll make sure to send it to him.  It might do the trick.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: DavidRoss on September 11, 2011, 05:28:49 PM
Brahms's Bachelor Pad?
Brahms's Beach House?
Brahms's Bungalow?

No...wait:  Brahms's Bordello!
 ;D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: eyeresist on September 11, 2011, 06:28:09 PM

Beer and Bread with Brahms.

The three Bs!
 
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: eyeresist on September 11, 2011, 07:55:35 PM
Brahms Biergarten
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: kishnevi on September 11, 2011, 08:32:11 PM
Saw a commercial for (essentially) arts education in public schools which featured a family of four being treated to a piano recital by a (comically fake bearded) Johannes, who offers as a cereal guaranteed to get their day off right a box of "Raisin Brahms".
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Brahmsian on September 12, 2011, 04:10:25 AM
Brahms' brouhaha

Yes, or 'Brahms' Brewhaha'  ;)  It should have some reference to the pub he frequented, or reference to a hedgehog?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Renfield on September 12, 2011, 04:30:34 AM
I feel that my sublimely apt suggestion for Brahms' Brewhouse has been unduly neglected. :'(


(I am also joking, in case it wasn't obvious enough.)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Opus106 on September 12, 2011, 05:11:59 AM
The Hedgehog.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: karlhenning on September 12, 2011, 05:18:44 AM
Brahms's Burrow
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Brahmsian on September 12, 2011, 05:23:42 AM
Brahms' Bearded Ballade
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: bwv 1080 on September 12, 2011, 05:38:14 AM
gotta make it a compound word

Der Brahmsbunker

Der Brahmsüberfestung

Der Brahmsbordell

etc
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: eyeresist on September 12, 2011, 05:59:34 PM
Betrunken auf Brahms...

Saw a commercial for (essentially) arts education in public schools which featured a family of four being treated to a piano recital by a (comically fake bearded) Johannes, who offers as a cereal guaranteed to get their day off right a box of "Raisin Brahms".

Are you sure you didn't dream this?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Opus106 on September 12, 2011, 09:55:29 PM
Are you sure you didn't dream this?

It's very unlikely that both he and I had the exact dream at different points in time. If I remember correctly, Brian has posted a video of the ad before.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Geo Dude on September 15, 2011, 05:09:07 PM
I recently worked my way through Katchen's complete Brahms set.  The more I listen, the more I like it, though the large shifts in volume and the rather thorny sonatas take some getting used to.

In any case, I've listened to three different recordings of the sonata #3 tonight; Katchen's, Jon Nakamatsu's (http://www.amazon.com/Brahms-Piano-Sonata-No-3-Fantaisies/dp/B0049BX02Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1316138146&sr=8-1), and Emanuel Ax's (http://www.amazon.com/Brahms-Piano-Sonata-Intermezzi-Op-117/dp/B00000270T/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1316137836&sr=8-2).  I felt that Katchen's was the winner; Nakamatsu's interpretation tended toward fast tempos and showed clear technical excellence but lacked the passion of Katchen, the second movement in particular was very strongly contrasting, and his tone wasn't quite as beautiful.  A solid performance, and one that I would recommend for those who feel that Brahms is ponderous or turgid, but not the first thing I would reach for.  The Ax was a pretty strong contender with more passion than Nakamatsu (and slightly slower tempos) and a beautiful tone, but lacked the profundity of Katchen.  I recommend all three depending on which way one's tastes lean, but damn is that Katchen sonata great.

I'll be exploring the mid to late period shorter solo piano works soon (Lupu, Nakamatsu, Ax, more Katchen) and based on the experience with the Katchen set thus far I greatly look forward to it.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Bogey on October 23, 2011, 03:50:15 PM
My first go with Lenny Brahms.  No.2 on DG vinyl:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Y2d6FqDnIs4/TdyIVe79mOI/AAAAAAAABmg/j_erev7w1N8/s1600/Front%252825%2529.jpg
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Geo Dude on October 23, 2011, 07:01:41 PM
I'm glad to see this thread has been revived.  Let us know what you think.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 23, 2011, 09:55:17 PM
I recently worked my way through Katchen's complete Brahms set.  The more I listen, the more I like it, though the large shifts in volume and the rather thorny sonatas take some getting used to.

There's a really nice recording of the Brahms first PC with Katchen accompanied by Monteux and the London Symphony (Decca). Worth an audition if you ever get the chance.


Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Geo Dude on October 24, 2011, 07:38:46 PM
There's a really nice recording of the Brahms first PC with Katchen accompanied by Monteux and the London Symphony (Decca). Worth an audition if you ever get the chance.

Thanks, I see that he recorded both and a set is available that's OOP but still used at a reasonable price.  I may have to snag it on my next order.



On a different note, I've been working through Mackerras' and Wand's recordings of the symphonies, trying to get a feel for them (we spent years apart) and I listened to the Wand fourth tonight.  It is jaw-dropping!  I've never heard a fourth that is so....musical.  If anyone hasn't picked up Wand's set, I suggest digging through Amazon to find some of the recordings used for cheap.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Bogey on October 25, 2011, 06:04:25 PM
I'm glad to see this thread has been revived.  Let us know what you think.

Classic Lenny....nice strong drive with over the top moments that he makes work.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Geo Dude on November 04, 2011, 06:27:09 AM
Is anyone familiar with Brahms' orchestral serenades, Op. 11 and 16?  Have any thoughts on them?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: mc ukrneal on November 04, 2011, 06:30:10 AM
Is anyone familiar with Brahms' orchestral serenades, Op. 11 and 16?  Have any thoughts on them?
They are excellent. If you like Brahms, no need to hesitate. I have Kertesz, but there are some other good ones too.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Geo Dude on November 04, 2011, 10:12:33 AM
They are excellent. If you like Brahms, no need to hesitate. I have Kertesz, but there are some other good ones too.

I gave my first listen to the Mackerras recording yesterday.  I'm hoping to open up a discussion on these works.  Glad to see that you like them, too!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Josquin des Prez on November 04, 2011, 10:53:05 AM
I have Kertesz, but there are some other good ones too.

But not as good.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: madaboutmahler on November 06, 2011, 10:19:43 AM
Is anyone familiar with Brahms' orchestral serenades, Op. 11 and 16?  Have any thoughts on them?

Still yet to listen to these serenades in full... :( Although what I have heard so far is so incredibly delightful!

Has anyone listened to the new Zinman set of the symphonies yet? If so, any thoughts?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: rappy on December 30, 2011, 06:37:03 AM
In any case, I've listened to three different recordings of the sonata #3 tonight; Katchen's, Jon Nakamatsu's (http://www.amazon.com/Brahms-Piano-Sonata-No-3-Fantaisies/dp/B0049BX02Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1316138146&sr=8-1), and Emanuel Ax's (http://www.amazon.com/Brahms-Piano-Sonata-Intermezzi-Op-117/dp/B00000270T/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1316137836&sr=8-2).  I felt that Katchen's was the winner; Nakamatsu's interpretation tended toward fast tempos and showed clear technical excellence but lacked the passion of Katchen, the second movement in particular was very strongly contrasting, and his tone wasn't quite as beautiful.  A solid performance, and one that I would recommend for those who feel that Brahms is ponderous or turgid, but not the first thing I would reach for.  The Ax was a pretty strong contender with more passion than Nakamatsu (and slightly slower tempos) and a beautiful tone, but lacked the profundity of Katchen.  I recommend all three depending on which way one's tastes lean, but damn is that Katchen sonata great.

I'll be exploring the mid to late period shorter solo piano works soon (Lupu, Nakamatsu, Ax, more Katchen) and based on the experience with the Katchen set thus far I greatly look forward to it.

Passion and profundity are terms I strongly connect with Katchen.

I compared some recordings of Op. 118 1 and 6 a while ago (Richter, Lang Lang, Katchen, Gieseking, Vogt, Perahia, Kempff) and the two Katchen recordings were the only ones of whom me and my friend were in agreement that they are the best (we listened and judged before looking up in which order they had been played).

Listen to the first sonata with Katchen. It's such an experience, he even manages to persuade you that this must be the greatest sonata ever written.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: mszczuj on December 30, 2011, 08:06:06 AM
(Serenades)
They are excellent. If you like Brahms, no need to hesitate.

And if you really, really don't like him, they are probably the best way to begin to change your mind.

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: madaboutmahler on December 30, 2011, 09:08:58 AM
Has anyone listened to the new Zinman set of the symphonies yet? If so, any thoughts?

Repeat of question. :D Has anyone heard the new Zinman set of the symphonies yet? And if so, would you recommend it?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ibanezmonster on December 30, 2011, 07:31:59 PM
It's very unlikely that both he and I had the exact dream at different points in time. If I remember correctly, Brian has posted a video of the ad before.
http://www.youtube.com/v/kKgBdrsqvjs
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Florestan on January 03, 2012, 07:02:39 AM
Is anyone familiar with Brahms' orchestral serenades, Op. 11 and 16?  Have any thoughts on them?

I agree with the praises sung to them. They are stunning. Early, yet quintessential Brahms. Op. 11 might very well be my favorite orchestral Brahms ever, period.  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Geo Dude on January 03, 2012, 04:25:57 PM
I agree with the praises sung to them. They are stunning. Early, yet quintessential Brahms. Op. 11 might very well be my favorite orchestral Brahms ever, period.  :)

I've grown to like them and even have a wind nonet reconstruction.  I have to admit, I was a bit surprised the first time I heard them.  I did not expect them to be so, well, Brahmsian.  I'm glad to know these works have a fair number of fans.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Drasko on January 20, 2012, 12:34:21 PM
http://www.youtube.com/v/0a3REsRnotY
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Ataraxia on July 28, 2012, 04:25:04 AM
From the Brahms/Joachim Manifesto:

"That Liszt, what a jerk!"
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on September 24, 2012, 03:08:42 PM
Speaking of Brahms' spuriously unpublished A major Piano Trio......has anyone heard it?  Any thoughts or comments on it?

*I have yet to hear this piece*
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Lisztianwagner on September 25, 2012, 04:28:51 AM
From the Brahms/Joachim Manifesto:

"That Liszt, what a jerk!"

Did he say so? :o If I hadn't been a great admirer of Brahms' works and musical skills......

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Que on September 26, 2012, 08:37:55 PM
Speaking of Brahms' spuriously unpublished A major Piano Trio......has anyone heard it?  Any thoughts or comments on it?

*I have yet to hear this piece*

Yes, and it is definitely by Brahms. You can also tell it's a less mature work, but Brahms was being rather silly in destroying works from his youth.

I guess he wanted only to be remembered as his later, bearded and grumpy self. 8)

Q
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: The new erato on September 26, 2012, 10:45:32 PM

I guess he wanted only to be remembered as his later, bearded and grumpy self. 8)

Q
Don't we all?
Title: Nice article on Brahms
Post by: Chaszz on October 06, 2012, 08:32:11 PM
http://www.gramophone.co.uk/editorial/aimez-vous-brahms (http://www.gramophone.co.uk/editorial/aimez-vous-brahms)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Chaszz on October 08, 2012, 08:40:29 PM
Having just read the entire thread, I recommend it to anyone new coming in.  There is a wealth of information present.


On a different note, I mentioned Brahms in an e-mail to an uncle and he commented that while he feels that the Ein Deustsches Requiem, first symphony, and first piano concerto are works descended directly from god that he doesn't listen to much Brahms because he feels that he has an overall tendency as an orchestrator toward "If five is good, ten is twice as good!"  Needless to say, I adamantly insisted that he listen to Brahms chamber music and will be burning him some discs of chamber works in hopes of coaxing him into buying a box set, or at least checking out recordings of those.  Currently, I plan on sending him recordings of the violin sonatas, clarinet sonatas, horn trio, and string sextets.  Any recommendation on other essentials I need to send his way?
The Piano Quintet.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 28, 2012, 08:12:01 AM
German Requiem - although one of my favorite choral works, I've not listened to a lot of different recordings; own the two below and today played them back to back; the Gardiner has been long in my collection; the Guttenberg, a newer acquisition (Fanfare review Reprinted HERE (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=189172) - I really enjoyed the latter!

So, not sure that we've had much discussion of favorite offerings of this work (unless there's a thread that I'm missing?), but any comments appreciated - :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-MQ46MVh/0/O/BrahmsRequiemGardiner.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-7hrM62f/0/O/BrahmsRequiemGutt.jpg)

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on November 27, 2012, 06:44:41 PM
I felt the Brahms' composer thread needed a 'nudge'.  :D

Big surprise:  I've been on a huge Brahms' listening binge the last week!!!  8) ;D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Est.1965 on March 13, 2013, 09:56:51 AM
Giulini had two Brahms symphony sets, one with DG and the other with EMI.
Anyone any idea which one offers the best sound / orchetral playing?  There is something about almost all the Brahms I have which is dis-satisfying for me, and I do not know what it is.  I have Rattle and Solti (and Dorati, which is actually my favourite, but gets too high on the trebles.)  I even think Barenboim is too heavy handed...
So what of Giulini?  Satisfying?  Which set?
The DG set is available on the 'Newton Classics' label.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: San Antone on March 13, 2013, 10:08:46 AM
Giulini had two Brahms symphony sets, one with DG and the other with EMI.
Anyone any idea which one offers the best sound / orchetral playing?  There is something about almost all the Brahms I have which is dis-satisfying for me, and I do not know what it is.  I have Rattle and Solti (and Dorati, which is actually my favourite, but gets too high on the trebles.)  I even think Barenboim is too heavy handed...
So what of Giulini?  Satisfying?  Which set?
The DG set is available on the 'Newton Classics' label.

Giulini's Brahms is not how I generally prefer the symphonies to be played.  He takes a "broad" pace, i.e. slow.  If that is to your taste, then his recordings with the Vienna Philharmonic (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=565499) are good.  I prefer Brahms done a bit quicker and with more spring in the step, e.g. Andrew Manze (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Drilldown?name_id1=20201&name_role1=3&bcorder=3&name_role=1&name_id=1441) or John Gardiner (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Drilldown?name_id1=1441&name_role1=1&name_id2=56066&name_role2=3&bcorder=31&comp_id=3493).
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on March 13, 2013, 12:41:09 PM
Giulini had two Brahms symphony sets, one with DG and the other with EMI.
Anyone any idea which one offers the best sound / orchetral playing?  There is something about almost all the Brahms I have which is dis-satisfying for me, and I do not know what it is.  I have Rattle and Solti (and Dorati, which is actually my favourite, but gets too high on the trebles.)  I even think Barenboim is too heavy handed...
So what of Giulini?  Satisfying?  Which set?
The DG set is available on the 'Newton Classics' label.

You could try the recently late Sawallisch/London Philharmonic, for the symphonies.  Through EMI.  The set also includes all of the concertos, with outstanding performances (especially Kovacevic in the Piano Concerti).
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 17, 2013, 02:38:19 PM
Guys - did I really need another Brahms Symphony cycle?  ;) ;D

Well, picked up the one below from BRO for $12 - arrived while I was on vacation - will be part of my upcoming week's listening - Dave :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51y9qa3Gw8L.jpg)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on March 17, 2013, 02:59:44 PM
Guys - did I really need another Brahms Symphony cycle?  ;) ;D

Well, picked up the one below from BRO for $12 - arrived while I was on vacation - will be part of my upcoming week's listening - Dave :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51y9qa3Gw8L.jpg)

Hi Dave, which Brahms symphony cycles do you have?  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 17, 2013, 03:51:24 PM
Hi Dave, which Brahms symphony cycles do you have?  :)

Hi Ray - well, Klemperer from 1958-62, Dohnanyi w/ Clevelanders ('87-90), and Mackerras w/ Scottish CO (1997) - now since he wrote only 4 symphonies, I don't feel too bad about buying MORE sets!  ;) ;D   Dave
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Octave on April 15, 2013, 01:54:14 AM
I wonder if anyone could suggest excellent recordings of some of Brahms' vocal works.  I received some counsel a few months ago regarding his lieder, and I've sampled some of the CPO series and Hyperion series of lieder.  I own Jessye Norman's 2cd of songs with Barenboim, and also a Gura/Berner disc with a little Brahms and some Schumannen. 

Sorta-separate question, more specific: I am looking for excellent recordings of the Schicksalslied and Vier Gesange, Op. 17.  Thanks as always for any help!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Mandryka on April 15, 2013, 04:02:43 AM
I have a spotify playlist of Brahms songs which I like, which has



Julius Patzak  Regenlied, Nachtigallen  Schwingen

Leo Slezak Feldeinsamkeit.

Julia Culp, Muss es eine Trennung geben.

Karin Branzell,  Wanderer.

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. Immer leiser wird mein Schlummer.

Ernestine Schumann-Heink  - Sapphische Ode. be sure to hear her little speach about he relationship with Brahms.

Emmi Leisner --  Vom Strande.

Lulu Mysz-Gmeiner, Schwesterlein.

Irmgard Seefried  Feinsliebchen

Alexander Kipnis,  Verrat.

Hina Spani  Alte Liebe, Sandmaennchen

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf - Liebestreu

Heinrich Rehkemper -- Nicht mehr zu dir zu gehen 

Karl Erb -- Lerchengesang

Lotte Lehmann -- Wir wandelten 

 Ria Ginster -- Meine Liebe ist Grun, Botschaft

Kirsten Flagstad -- Meine Liebe ist Grun

Christa Ludwig -- Der Schmied

Elisabeth Schumann -- Der Tod, ist die kuhle Nacht 

Irmgard Seefried -- Standchen

Askel Schiotz -- Standchen

Gustav Walter -- Feldeinsamkeit. He sang for Brahms, who I believe liked his style.

Jessye Norman, Daniel Barenboim, Wolfram Christ -- Zwei Gesange

Janet Baker, Andre Previn, Cecil Aronowitz  -- Zwei Gesange



There are some whole CDs which may interest you -- The Thomas Allen recital disk with Parsons (really for Parsons), Fassbaender's Brahms CD, the Janet BAker CD on BBC Legends, Fischer Diekau's  Brahms recital CD with Klust, and FiDi's Brahms with Hermann Reutter
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: jlaurson on April 15, 2013, 06:01:31 AM
I wonder if anyone could suggest excellent recordings of some of Brahms' vocal works.  I received some counsel a few months ago regarding his lieder, and I've sampled some of the CPO series and Hyperion series of lieder.  I own Jessye Norman's 2cd of songs with Barenboim, and also a Gura/Berner disc with a little Brahms and some Schumannen. 

Sorta-separate question, more specific: I am looking for excellent recordings of the Schicksalslied and Vier Gesange, Op. 17.  Thanks as always for any help!

oh, you have "Schoene Wiege (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/01/schne-wiege-meiner-leiden.html)"... well, that was going to be my primary recommendation. Just stay away from the Dieskau/Schwarzkopf Volkslieder, which are beyond the pale ghastly.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on April 15, 2013, 04:23:46 PM
Sorta-separate question, more specific: I am looking for excellent recordings of the Schicksalslied and Vier Gesange, Op. 17.  Thanks as always for any help!

There's a nice recording of Schicksalsied from Blomstedt, which I have in its original release but has been reissued here:





Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Geo Dude on April 17, 2013, 03:27:34 AM
Good to see the Brahms thread alive and well.  Unfortunately it's going to cost me some money because it lead me to Manze's Brahms set and indirectly--through Amazon's related purchases field--to Minkowski's Schubert symphonies.  Oh well.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 17, 2013, 03:30:45 AM
There's a nice recording of Schicksalsied from Blomstedt, which I have in its original release but has been reissued here:


BTW (and speaking as one who has sung at least two of them), the Brahms Motets are exquisite.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Octave on April 17, 2013, 02:01:37 PM
Thanks Mandryka and DD for the tips!  I will check out some of these.  Any further advice on Schicksalslied recordings in particular would be appreciated, though I am inclined to try the Blomstedt recommended above; never heard his Brahms.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on April 17, 2013, 05:28:34 PM
BTW (and speaking as one who has sung at least two of them), the Brahms Motets are exquisite.

Thanks for the tip, Karl. Haven't heard these yet. Got 'em wish-listed.



Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Octave on April 21, 2013, 09:20:48 PM
Does any one recording of Brahms' organ works clearly stand superior to the others?  I did some keyword searching found very little discussion of the available performances.  The works always seem to fit on one single disc; I've been listening to little bits of Robert Parkins (Naxos) and Kevin Bowyer (Nimbus), shorter) disc on MD&G (Rudolf Innig) and perhaps a few others just off the cuff.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Mandryka on April 24, 2013, 07:42:07 AM
Does any one recording of Brahms' organ works clearly stand superior to the others?  I did some keyword searching found very little discussion of the available performances.  The works always seem to fit on one single disc; I've been listening to little bits of Robert Parkins (Naxos) and Kevin Bowyer (Nimbus), shorter) disc on MD&G (Rudolf Innig) and perhaps a few others just off the cuff.

One recording of Op 122 which I thought was really astonishing was by Jacques van Oortmerssen. There's also a selection played by Lena Jacobson on a compilation record of music played on old Swedish organs. In the past I've enjoyed Virgil Fox's performance, but now I think Oortmerssen is more interesting.

There's a thread on this somewhere, I remember it wasn't very satisfactory, not many peole seem to be interested
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: San Antone on April 24, 2013, 07:57:10 AM
Does any one recording of Brahms' organ works clearly stand superior to the others?  I did some keyword searching found very little discussion of the available performances.  The works always seem to fit on one single disc; I've been listening to little bits of Robert Parkins (Naxos) and Kevin Bowyer (Nimbus), shorter) disc on MD&G (Rudolf Innig) and perhaps a few others just off the cuff.

I am not certain if they figure very importantly in Brahms' oeuvre.  Most are without opus numbers (probably indicating his intention to not include them in his catalog) and the chorale preludes, op. 122, were published posthumously.

In any event, they are probably worth hearing at least once, and I have heard the CPO recording by Anne Horsch.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Mandryka on April 24, 2013, 08:07:39 AM
I am not certain if they figure very importantly in Brahms' oeuvre.  Most are without opus numbers (probably indicating his intention to not include them in his catalog) and the chorale preludes, op. 122, were published posthumously.

In any event, they are probably worth hearing at least once, and I have heard the CPO recording by Anne Horsch.

I've never heard the Woo organ pieces, in fact I don't think I've heard any of Brahms's WoO. I have it at the back of my mnd to hear the Missa Canonica sometime. Is it any good?

Re Op 122, this is pukkah Brahms isn't it?  I mean, he intended publication didn't he? For me they are a summit of 19th century organ music, which is an area I know next to nothing about  ;)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: San Antone on April 24, 2013, 08:25:36 AM
I've never heard the Woo organ pieces, in fact I don't think I've heard any of Brahms's WoO. I have it at the back of my mnd to hear the Missa Canonica sometime. Is it any good?

Re Op 122, this is pukkah Brahms isn't it?  I mean, he intended publication didn't he? For me they are a summit of 19th century organ music, which is an area I know next to nothing about  ;)

They are masterpieces of contrapuntal writing, but from what I have read, my sense is that Brahms wrote them for his own enjoyment, and did not intend them for public consumption beyond when he played the organ at his local church.  He seemed to treat them as exercises, granted of a very high order, and what he did (I guess to clear his head) between writing his other works.  (Let me append this by saying that the chorale preludes were his last works to be written, in the last year of his life.)

As I said they are well worth hearing.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Mandryka on April 24, 2013, 08:49:12 AM
That reminds me of the Paganini Variations, which I think he saw as just studies leading to the second piano concerto. I think he  only published them reluctantly after Joachim and the Schumanns turned on the pressure.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Geo Dude on May 02, 2013, 01:21:30 PM
Any suggestions on a PI or HIP-influenced recording of the two string quintets?  I've tried the Verdi Quartett recordings which pair the sextets with the quintets (well, the first one) but the abuse of vibrato leaves me feeling snowed under.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Mandryka on May 02, 2013, 07:49:04 PM
Any suggestions on a PI or HIP-influenced recording of the two string quintets?  I've tried the Verdi Quartett recordings which pair the sextets with the quintets (well, the first one) but the abuse of vibrato leaves me feeling snowed under.

Hagen quartet+ Caussè, there's not much vibrato there. My oen favourite is the Amati quartet + Rybin.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Octave on May 02, 2013, 08:10:38 PM
Late thanks SA and Mandryka for the Brahms/organ discussion.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 03, 2013, 01:09:50 AM
The Op.122 are great stuff.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Geo Dude on May 06, 2013, 10:34:49 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51%2B%2BXSJ3tLL._SY300_.jpg)

Any thoughts on this recording, anyone?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: kyjo on August 20, 2013, 07:40:24 AM
I'll resurrect this thread on account of members disagreeing about Brahms in the recent poll.....

I can't really say Brahms is one of my favorite composers. I'm apathetic to a lot of his music, finding it rather boring though I admire its craftsmanship. Most of the chamber and piano works, as well as Ein Deutsches Requiem.....zzzzzzzz. That said, there are works which I enjoy, including most of the orchestral works. I really like some individual movements in Brahms' works, mainly the catchy finale of the VC, the first movement of the Double Concerto (with its soaring secondary theme), the energetic scherzos of the Piano Quintet and Symphony no. 4, and the touchingly melancholy third movement of Symphony no. 3. There's just something in a lot of Brahms' music I don't quite connect with. :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on August 20, 2013, 07:53:44 AM
Try connecting with these chamber works...

Piano Quartet no. 3, op. 60
String Quintet in G major, op. 111
Horn Trio, op. 40

I really believe if you enjoy Brahms symphonies then you can find much of the same beauty and energy in the chamber works. Give them a try.  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: kyjo on August 20, 2013, 08:04:39 AM
Try connecting with these chamber works...

Piano Quartet no. 3, op. 60
String Quintet in G major, op. 111
Horn Trio, op. 40

I really believe if you enjoy Brahms symphonies then you can find much of the same beauty and energy in the chamber works. Give them a try.  :)

Thanks, Greg. :) I'll admit I've never given Brahms' chamber works a fair chance. I have a certain liking for the Piano Quintet and the two String Sextets so far. Needless to say, I really dig Atterberg's orchestration of the String Sextet no. 2 (available on BIS). 8)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on August 20, 2013, 08:08:17 AM
Thanks, Greg. :) I'll admit I've never given Brahms' chamber works a fair chance. I have a certain liking for the Piano Quintet and the two String Sextets so far. Needless to say, I really dig Atterberg's orchestration of the String Sextet no. 2 (available on BIS). 8)

You're welcome, kyjo! And I'll need to checkout that Atterberg orchestration too.

A fair chance is all one could ask for, and if you're not satisfied you could start a thread about how Brahms' chamber music sucks.  ;D  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: kyjo on August 20, 2013, 08:12:54 AM
A fair chance is all one could ask for, and if you're not satisfied you could start a thread about how Brahms' chamber music sucks.  ;D  :)

Even if I did think Brahms' chamber music sucks, I have enough wisdom to keep me from starting such a inflammatory thread! :laugh:
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: mc ukrneal on August 20, 2013, 08:40:04 AM
Thanks, Greg. :) I'll admit I've never given Brahms' chamber works a fair chance. I have a certain liking for the Piano Quintet and the two String Sextets so far. Needless to say, I really dig Atterberg's orchestration of the String Sextet no. 2 (available on BIS). 8)
I would try the first piano trio for chamber works. The first time I heard it, I just had to stop everything and listen to the end. It is very moving music.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 20, 2013, 08:48:55 AM
I'm a sucker for viola quintets, and Brahms's are no exception.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ibanezmonster on August 20, 2013, 09:04:37 AM
I would try the first piano trio for chamber works. The first time I heard it, I just had to stop everything and listen to the end. It is very moving music.
Oh, yeah!  8)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: kyjo on August 20, 2013, 09:09:02 AM
I would try the first piano trio for chamber works. The first time I heard it, I just had to stop everything and listen to the end. It is very moving music.

Hold on a sec......it's been a while since I've listened to the piano trios, but I do recall the First being a strong work......I must revisit it! Thanks, mc ukrneal!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on August 20, 2013, 09:43:36 AM
Brahms' late clarinet chamber works are so gorgeous!

The Clarinet Trio, Clarinet Quintet, and the two clarinet sonatas (or substitute with the viola) are all exquisite, IMHO.

So are the much maligned string quartets.

Piano Quartet Op. 25 and Op. 60 are as good as it gets.  Two of my faves.

And late Brahms piano pieces.

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on August 20, 2013, 12:04:52 PM
I would try the first piano trio for chamber works. The first time I heard it, I just had to stop everything and listen to the end. It is very moving music.

I'd say Neal is on to something here, been a few since I've heard the first piano trio, played it this afternoon, so delightful and tragic. If my math is correct he originally composed the piece at age 21. Then revised it 35 years later. Seems I only own the Beaux Arts Trio performance, but it's a top quality recording, both in sound and playing...

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on August 20, 2013, 12:27:54 PM
Try Florestan Trio and Kalichstein/Laredo/Robinson if you can

muchas gracias, Annie.  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Klaze on August 20, 2013, 12:30:33 PM
The Violin Sonatas and Cello Sonatas are not to be missed either.

Did we mention all chamber works yet? ;)

Seriously though, if I could recommend one disc with chamber works, it would be this one with the Piano Quintet and Quartet Op.60:



If this bores you, there may be no hope!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: kyjo on August 20, 2013, 12:42:03 PM
I'd say Neal is on to something here, been a few since I've heard the first piano trio, played it this afternoon, so delightful and tragic. If my math is correct he originally composed the piece at age 21. Then revised it 35 years later. Seems I only own the Beaux Arts Trio performance, but it's a top quality recording, both in sound and playing...



I checked this recording out from my local library once, but I don't own it. The Beaux Arts Trio are often my go-to group for recordings of romantic chamber music. Their Schumann and Dvorak recordings are phenomenal and really won me over to a lot of romantic chamber music I had previously not thought much of. :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: kyjo on August 20, 2013, 12:44:39 PM
Thanks for all your help, guys! :) I really appreciate it. 8) Is anyone familiar with this set?

(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0001/078/MI0001078595.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)

It's gotten some rave reviews.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: North Star on August 20, 2013, 12:47:05 PM
This set is amazing, though not cheap these days

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: DavidW on August 20, 2013, 12:48:54 PM
Yes Kyjo it is awesome (Amadeus set), slightly sucky sound quality but performances are great buy with confidence.

I think the Hyperion set is the best set in terms of both performances and sound quality.  As two-fers the Beaux Arts Trio discs are fantastic (but only cover part of his chamber music).

Ah I've seen North Star just posted the Hyperion box.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Opus106 on August 20, 2013, 09:41:01 PM
This set is amazing, though not cheap these days

[Hyperion-Brahms-Chamber Music]

One should wait for Abeille Musique's 'Soldes' sale to get it at its cheapest (~ 30 Euros sans VAT).

And kyjo, you should definitely listen to the F minor cello sonata. Oodles of pathos in that one.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: The new erato on August 21, 2013, 02:36:38 AM
Yes, I agree with the Florestan rec, but I prefer the Golub, Kaplan, Carr recordings to KLR

This is Vol. 1 of two,

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51P-TpbLO0L._SY300_.jpg)
Starker, Suk and Katchen for me, thank you!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: dbrcarson on September 20, 2013, 05:51:34 AM
Brahms is the only composer for whose music I feel such an intense feeling of nostalgia. Not even Bach or Beethoven make me feel this way. I think it has to do with how conscious he was of his artistic style and objectives, i.e. to write music in the Austro-Germanic tradition of composition (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, and down the line), but doing so in a way that would still set himself apart from those earlier masters. To me, he embodies my idea of selfless artistry in a classical composer. The last word one could use to describe Wagner and Liszt is "selfless." Though Wagner professed to bring together the arts in some sublime unity (which could be perceived as selflessness), he worshipped himself and his image.

Though I group together Brahms and Beethoven as two composers who wrote music with noble values in mind (composing for the muse but rarely if ever self-indulgent), Brahms's story and his music speaks more to me. I think in his music there is more of a feeling of restraint and moderation than in Beethoven's. Part of that must be the nature of their respective musical-historical contexts. In other words, even though Beethoven's harmony and his vocabulary is less adventurous when compared objectively with those of Brahms, for its time it was more radical than Brahms's was for his. So in Brahms we get a feeling that he was always holding back. Allegro non troppo, fast but "not too much."

In essence here is why Brahms, the man and his music, captivates me: Somehow Brahms succeeded in the Herculean task of composing music discernibly steeped in tradition, with a relatively accessible harmonic vocabulary, while at the same time his music has a complexity and uniqueness that merits a lifetime of listening and that sets him apart from those who came before, as well as from his contemporaries. And in addition to this purely technical, musical assertion, I also claim that Brahms's music has an emotional depth that, in the words of Jan Swafford, always "stays on the right side" of the edge between sentiment and sentimentality.

What is this mysterious wonder-formula that Brahms found? Will there ever be another composer who will tap into something so timeless? Please share your thoughts and answers to these questions!!!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Brewski on September 20, 2013, 06:50:08 AM
Hi dbrcarson and welcome to GMG. As one of many Brahms fans here, I'm sure you'll get some replies to your nice thoughts on his work. Meanwhile, feel free to post something about yourself in the "Introductions" section of the board, if you like.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: NorthNYMark on September 20, 2013, 06:50:21 PM
Brahms is the only composer for whose music I feel such an intense feeling of nostalgia. Not even Bach or Beethoven make me feel this way. I think it has to do with how conscious he was of his artistic style and objectives, i.e. to write music in the Austro-Germanic tradition of composition (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, and down the line), but doing so in a way that would still set himself apart from those earlier masters. To me, he embodies my idea of selfless artistry in a classical composer. The last word one could use to describe Wagner and Liszt is "selfless." Though Wagner professed to bring together the arts in some sublime unity (which could be perceived as selflessness), he worshipped himself and his image.

Though I group together Brahms and Beethoven as two composers who wrote music with noble values in mind (composing for the muse but rarely if ever self-indulgent), Brahms's story and his music speaks more to me. I think in his music there is more of a feeling of restraint and moderation than in Beethoven's. Part of that must be the nature of their respective musical-historical contexts. In other words, even though Beethoven's harmony and his vocabulary is less adventurous when compared objectively with those of Brahms, for its time it was more radical than Brahms's was for his. So in Brahms we get a feeling that he was always holding back. Allegro non troppo, fast but "not too much."

In essence here is why Brahms, the man and his music, captivates me: Somehow Brahms succeeded in the Herculean task of composing music discernibly steeped in tradition, with a relatively accessible harmonic vocabulary, while at the same time his music has a complexity and uniqueness that merits a lifetime of listening and that sets him apart from those who came before, as well as from his contemporaries. And in addition to this purely technical, musical assertion, I also claim that Brahms's music has an emotional depth that, in the words of Jan Swafford, always "stays on the right side" of the edge between sentiment and sentimentality.

What is this mysterious wonder-formula that Brahms found? Will there ever be another composer who will tap into something so timeless? Please share your thoughts and answers to these questions!!!

Great post (and welcome to the forum).  I'm a bit too new to classical music to respond with anything particularly illuminating to your questions and speculations, but given how much I keep coming back to Brahms while exploring other composers, I think you might be on to something!  I think I do respond to his combination Romanticist emotionalism and classical discipline and restraint, and/or perhaps to a balance between simplicity and complexity that seems, if not completely unique to him, at least a particularly strong characteristic of his style.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Mandryka on September 20, 2013, 09:55:08 PM
Brahms is the only composer for whose music I feel such an intense feeling of nostalgia. Not even Bach or Beethoven make me feel this way. I think it has to do with how conscious he was of his artistic style and objectives, i.e. to write music in the Austro-Germanic tradition of composition (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, and down the line), but doing so in a way that would still set himself apart from those earlier masters. To me, he embodies my idea of selfless artistry in a classical composer. The last word one could use to describe Wagner and Liszt is "selfless." Though Wagner professed to bring together the arts in some sublime unity (which could be perceived as selflessness), he worshipped himself and his image.

Though I group together Brahms and Beethoven as two composers who wrote music with noble values in mind (composing for the muse but rarely if ever self-indulgent), Brahms's story and his music speaks more to me. I think in his music there is more of a feeling of restraint and moderation than in Beethoven's. Part of that must be the nature of their respective musical-historical contexts. In other words, even though Beethoven's harmony and his vocabulary is less adventurous when compared objectively with those of Brahms, for its time it was more radical than Brahms's was for his. So in Brahms we get a feeling that he was always holding back. Allegro non troppo, fast but "not too much."

In essence here is why Brahms, the man and his music, captivates me: Somehow Brahms succeeded in the Herculean task of composing music discernibly steeped in tradition, with a relatively accessible harmonic vocabulary, while at the same time his music has a complexity and uniqueness that merits a lifetime of listening and that sets him apart from those who came before, as well as from his contemporaries. And in addition to this purely technical, musical assertion, I also claim that Brahms's music has an emotional depth that, in the words of Jan Swafford, always "stays on the right side" of the edge between sentiment and sentimentality.

What is this mysterious wonder-formula that Brahms found? Will there ever be another composer who will tap into something so timeless? Please share your thoughts and answers to these questions!!!

This nostalgia, it may be just something that performers plant on the music, rather than something essential. None of my favourite Brahms performances seem particularly nostalgic - the Janacek Quartet in op 51/1, Yudina in the late piano music, that Kempff performance of intermezzi live from Salzburg on Orfeo, Gerd Zacher in op 122, Bruno Leonardo Gelber playing the Handel Variations. None of these things seem nostalgic.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: xochitl on September 21, 2013, 12:03:58 AM
for me brahms is like a black hole of sadness

and thats why i keep coming back. whatever abstruse technical things get in the way, there is always the feeling that it could not possibly be as expressive if it was simpler. it has to be this doubled-on-itself to extract the full meaning of whatever elusive emotion he's trying to express.  or at least thats what i think.

cheers
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: dbrcarson on September 21, 2013, 05:40:53 AM
whatever elusive emotion he's trying to express...

I wonder what that is. I've always sort of thought it was a kind of nostalgia for a musical era that's coming to an end (and Brahms's death really does seem like the end of an era, with Dvorak hanging over for awhile). But it's true Mandryka, we performers, interpreters and listeners may read this emotion into his music when it his music really was, as Hanslick and their circle believed, "absolute music," devoid of any extraneous meaning. I guess that's why this emotion is so elusive, because he was never explicit. It's all clothed in counterpoint, and strict structure, and thematic/motivic development.

But through all of that technical stuff somehow he expresses something, which is why his music was somehow (miraculously) very popular in a time where the radicalism of Wagner and Liszt was in vogue.

Thanks for the warm welcome everybody! I feel very lucky to have found a forum for discussion like this  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Parsifal on September 21, 2013, 06:21:08 AM
In my view, it is not nostalgia that distinguishes Brahms.  It is hard to put it quite into words, but the closest maybe poignancy.  In Tchaikovsky, for instance, you are hearing horror or bliss, happiness or misery, glorious victory or abject defeat.  It is all primary colors.  In Brahms, I hear subtle blends of emotions.  A tranquil melody, with a harmony that adds a note of disquiet, joy with a tinge of sadness, pain, but with a sub-current of serenity.  Other composers so it, but none do it quite like Brahms.

He was also traditionalist and an innovator at the same time.  The introduction of a passacaglia as the finale of a symphony, for instance.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on September 21, 2013, 06:36:25 AM
In my view, it is not nostalgia that distinguishes Brahms.  It is hard to put it quite into words, but the closest maybe poignancy.  In Tchaikovsky, for instance, you are hearing horror or bliss, happiness or misery, glorious victory or abject defeat.  It is all primary colors.  In Brahms, I hear subtle blends of emotions.  A tranquil melody, with a harmony that adds a note of disquiet, joy with a tinge of sadness, pain, but with a sub-current of serenity.  Other composers so it, but none do it quite like Brahms.

He was also traditionalist and an innovator at the same time.  The introduction of a passacaglia as the finale of a symphony, for instance.

Agree with you, Scarpia.  For me, what I love about Brahms is his careful restraint in overt Romanticism.  He rarely completely lets loose.  One major exception (and there are a few others) is his Piano Concerto No. 1.  He doesn't hold anything back on that fantastic piece!  ;D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Parsifal on September 21, 2013, 06:49:04 AM
Agree with you, Scarpia.  For me, what I love about Brahms is his careful restraint in overt Romanticism.  He rarely completely lets loose.  One major exception (and there are a few others) is his Piano Concerto No. 1.  He doesn't hold anything back on that fantastic piece!  ;D

I see what you mean, I would not use the word "restraint" to describe Brahms.  I find the expressive intensity of Brahms to be as strong as any composer, but blended.  Like tasting a strongly seasoned curry, as opposed to biting a jalapeno pepper.   Another metaphor, listening to Mahler I hear the music throwing a tantrum, in Brahms, feeling deeply.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: dbrcarson on September 21, 2013, 07:19:16 AM
In my view, it is not nostalgia that distinguishes Brahms.  It is hard to put it quite into words, but the closest maybe poignancy.  In Tchaikovsky, for instance, you are hearing horror or bliss, happiness or misery, glorious victory or abject defeat.  It is all primary colors.  In Brahms, I hear subtle blends of emotions.  A tranquil melody, with a harmony that adds a note of disquiet, joy with a tinge of sadness, pain, but with a sub-current of serenity.  Other composers so it, but none do it quite like Brahms.

He was also traditionalist and an innovator at the same time.  The introduction of a passacaglia as the finale of a symphony, for instance.

That's a very good way to describe it. Brahms was more subtle than the other late romantics. I feel like that's also a result of his incorporation of tradition. Composers in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century never fully "let loose" in their emotionalism. Even Beethoven in his 9th still kept his emotions constrained within proper symphonic form. And Mendelssohn and Schumann were both tradtionalists as well when it came to their symphonies. The difference, however, seems to be that with these older composers, it was the norm to write music with structural and harmonic integrity steeped in tradition. Whereas with Brahms, he was in the minority with these things in mind. He was largely trying to postpone the inevitable end of musical tradition, while most of his contemporaries embraced the "New German School."
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: NorthNYMark on September 21, 2013, 08:46:50 AM
In my view, it is not nostalgia that distinguishes Brahms.  It is hard to put it quite into words, but the closest maybe poignancy.  In Tchaikovsky, for instance, you are hearing horror or bliss, happiness or misery, glorious victory or abject defeat.  It is all primary colors.  In Brahms, I hear subtle blends of emotions.  A tranquil melody, with a harmony that adds a note of disquiet, joy with a tinge of sadness, pain, but with a sub-current of serenity.  Other composers so it, but none do it quite like Brahms.

He was also traditionalist and an innovator at the same time.  The introduction of a passacaglia as the finale of a symphony, for instance.

Great points! I think what you are describing has a lot to do with what I find so appealing about Brahms, even in relation to other well-known composers of his era.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: NorthNYMark on September 21, 2013, 08:55:20 AM
Agree with you, Scarpia.  For me, what I love about Brahms is his careful restraint in overt Romanticism.  He rarely completely lets loose.  One major exception (and there are a few others) is his Piano Concerto No. 1.  He doesn't hold anything back on that fantastic piece!  ;D

That is (thus far) my favorite work of his.  However, I'm not sure that his characteristic restraint doesn't play a role in it as well.  For example, although the opening theme fits your description of nothing being held back, I feel like the way the secondary theme (the one introduced by the solo horn) is developed in the middle of the first movement involves quite a bit of pulling back, as if teasing us with the return of the main theme's grandiosity (and even sections where the secondary theme seems to be reaching for that kind of sweeping intensity), but keeping the tension up by exploring it carefully and often quietly.  Of course, since the main theme does eventually return in an explosive manner, I suppose one could still say that nothing is held back--yet, I believe the effectiveness of that return has been prepared for us in a brilliantly controlled manner.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: dbrcarson on September 25, 2013, 02:04:37 PM
Everybody's okay!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Artem on October 26, 2013, 03:22:50 PM
This is probably a silly question, but does anybody know if it is preferable to buy the 4th Symphony conducted by Kleiber on the "originals" series or previously released cd version? I'm talking about there two here:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/517E8--WaOL.Image._.jpg)

or

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51y80GsiPHL.Image._.jpg)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 26, 2013, 04:49:34 PM
This is probably a silly question, but does anybody know if it is preferable to buy the 4th Symphony conducted by Kleiber on the "originals" series or previously released cd version? I'm talking about there two here:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/517E8--WaOL.Image._.jpg)

or

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51y80GsiPHL.Image._.jpg)

I don't know first-hand but everything I've read gives a huge thumb's up to the newer "Originals" remastering. Apparently the first CD issue isn't a success - too shrill.


Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Artem on October 26, 2013, 05:00:15 PM
Thank you. I found the reviews on amazon to be a bit contradictory regarding the remastering.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: DavidW on October 27, 2013, 06:55:34 AM
Thank you. I found the reviews on amazon to be a bit contradictory regarding the remastering.

That suggests that there is no audible difference, if there is the same quantity of contradictory opinion.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: mc ukrneal on October 28, 2013, 04:40:44 AM
This is probably a silly question, but does anybody know if it is preferable to buy the 4th Symphony conducted by Kleiber on the "originals" series or previously released cd version? I'm talking about there two here:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/517E8--WaOL.Image._.jpg)

or

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51y80GsiPHL.Image._.jpg)
There is also this one...

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ibanezmonster on October 28, 2013, 07:15:25 PM
Brahms is the only composer for whose music I feel such an intense feeling of nostalgia.
He is certainly the best composer when it comes to nostalgia and probably even melancholy in general. Mahler can be nostalgic, but no one really comes close to Brahms.

This aspect of his musical language can mean different things to different people, but to me it was always a desire to go off into another world that never existed. Also, much of the Paganini Variations are extremely nostalgic to me and always make me think back to when I was a kid and my neighborhood back then.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 29, 2013, 04:54:39 AM
Not to say that there are not nostalgic passages in Mahler (for there are), but as I interpret the matter, nostalgia is an affair of the interior, and Mahler generally is quite frankly extroverted.
 
Even at his most declamatory, almost, I feel that Brahms is essentially conversing with himself.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ibanezmonster on October 29, 2013, 05:20:53 AM
I'm not sure what people mean when they say music is "extroverted" or "introverted," though...
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 29, 2013, 05:27:44 AM
Hey, that's a good discussion to have.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ibanezmonster on October 29, 2013, 09:42:56 AM
I'm guessing that loud and emotionally extreme would be considered "extrovert" and the opposite of that would be "introvert."

As for "nostalgic" Mahler, I'd say much of Das Klagende Lied and the fourth movement of the third symphony might be in that realm... but now that I think about it, probably the biggest influence of Brahms was Schumann. Kinderszenen, for example, can be somewhat nostalgic, so I'd credit Schumann for being the biggest external factor that lead to Brahms' nostalgic musical language...

In fact, it might even be reasonable to say that Brahms was an updated version of Schumann's music...
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: edward on October 29, 2013, 09:52:20 AM
Agree very much with the introversion in Brahms, particularly after, I guess, about opus 40. (I think the 2nd and 3rd symphonies are great examples of introversion in the symphonic form.)

Off-topic: I think one of the interesting aspects in Mahler's last works (Das Lied von der Erde and the 9th and 10th symphonies) is that an increasingly important structural and emotional element is the tension between public and private expression within a single work. (A particularly obvious case is the contrast between the odd and even-numbered movements in Das Lied von der Erde, but it's perhaps more thoroughly explored in the instrumental symphonies.)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: DavidW on October 29, 2013, 01:24:19 PM
It suggests rather that different versions appeal to different tastes.

I don't think so.  One makes the claim that remastering "always deletes atmosphere" because the idiot confuses noise reduction with remastering.  It doesn't sound like the person hears a difference, he was just interested in making a blank assertion.  The other reviewer says that the remastered version is noticeably better, but lacks in any supporting evidence.  Both of these reviews suggest a lack of perception of what differences there are between the two recordings.  Their opinions are formed by confirmation bias.  They hear what they expect to hear.  It doesn't matter what their tastes are, it is not clear that there even is a difference in sound quality.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ibanezmonster on October 29, 2013, 07:12:39 PM
You know what is most difficult about Brahms?
Imitating him.


I find it almost too easy to imitate some of the major composers, but Brahms is another story. I know of things about his musical language that are "Brahmsian-" lots of syncopation, classical forms (especially theme and variations), certain chord progressions, etc. but for example, the first four bars of the 4th symphony:

Em- Am- Adim- Em

Even before it goes into the next bars which are even more unmistakeably his, this chord progression is very generic and if you just imagine the melody played by the violins and have the other strings (violas, for example) play this chord progression in eight notes with nothing else going on, you have what sounds like the opening of a Mozart symphony!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 30, 2013, 04:47:30 AM
Aye, easier to imitate Mendelssohn (oh, I kid, I kid . . . .)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on October 30, 2013, 05:04:05 AM
Aye, easier to imitate Mendelssohn (oh, I kid, I kid . . . .)

 8)  I'm enjoying my mini-Mendelssohn marathon, currently.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ibanezmonster on October 30, 2013, 04:47:26 PM
Aye, easier to imitate Mendelssohn (oh, I kid, I kid . . . .)
I wonder how easy or hard Mendelssohn is to imitate... needless to say that I don't listen to him often when I forget that he even existed.

My top 2 favorites (Mahler and Prokofiev) are what I have in mind when I say easy to imitate, although Prokofiev is just super easy (maybe it's just my natural tendency to write like him), while Mahler takes a bit more work, but isn't too hard once he's been well-studied.

Anyone ever study his scores and picks up on the unique things that Brahms does? Probably one of the most interesting Brahms-ism is how he achieves a sort of graceful smoothness by using at least one tied note across bars for many bars, instead of how most other composers my "take a breath" in-between bars. Although I discovered this years ago, I still feel it is a Brahms thing.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ibanezmonster on October 31, 2013, 07:58:49 PM
http://www.youtube.com/v/ZSf2veLfC-w
The good stuff... Intermezzo no.2 at 1:50.

This is nostalgia. It's like remembering something good, but knowing that it can never happen again.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on November 02, 2013, 04:09:26 AM
Good Saturday Morning!  :)

Listening to some Brahms solo piano music:

Ballades, Op. 10
Rhapsodies, Op. 79
Klavierstucke, Op. 76
Fantasien, Op. 116
Intermezzi, Op. 117
Klavierstucke, Op. 118
Klavierstucke, Op. 119


Håkon Austbø, piano

Brilliant Classics

A marvelous way to start the a Saturday morning!  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Florestan on November 02, 2013, 09:38:20 AM
He is certainly the best composer when it comes to nostalgia and probably even melancholy in general. Mahler can be nostalgic, but no one really comes close to Brahms.

Not even Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov?...

Baroque music can also be intensely melancholic.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 02, 2013, 06:51:49 PM
Not even Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov?...

Baroque music can also be intensely melancholic.
Well, for melancholy, I guess you could say he would be my favorite composer that writes melancholic music (I wouldn't consider Mahler much of a "melancholic" composer, but something else instead). Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov definitely write what I'd consider melancholy music, though.

For "nostalgic"-sounding, I wouldn't consider those two to be so. Pretty much only Brahms write nostalgic-sounding music with any sort of consistency. I think what I posted above is a perfect example.

Baroque melancholy? Hmm... never really picked up that vibe much from any of it. Maybe sad or austere, but not really melancholy.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 02, 2013, 07:58:45 PM
Baroque melancholy? Hmm... never really picked up that vibe much from any of it. Maybe sad or austere, but not really melancholy.

Bach in his cantatas out-melancholy's everyone in the baroque era. They're a good place to start, anyway.


 
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 02, 2013, 08:07:15 PM
Bach in his cantatas out-melancholy's everyone in the baroque era. They're a good place to start, anyway.
Any specific one? I've only gotten around to a few but have them all on a hard drive, though they aren't known to be the best recordings.  :P
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Gordo on November 02, 2013, 08:27:59 PM
I have a serious problem to accept melancholy as a main feature of Baroque music, specially if we are talking of sacred Baroque music.

I understand melancholy as a feeling of sadness that you don't know from where it comes. It's a sort of cosmic sadness. But Baroque composers always exactly know from where man's sadness comes from. Man is sad and afflicted because is a sinner. There is a cause for his pain.

That said, in music I identify the Elizabethan period as the Age of Melancholy: John Dowland and his contemporaries are, IMO, a superb examples of this feeling.


Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 02, 2013, 10:31:08 PM
Any specific one? I've only gotten around to a few but have them all on a hard drive, though they aren't known to be the best recordings.  :P

Try BWV 198, Trauerode. It's always struck me as melancholy...though not a spiral into destruction. But daring and purposeful (and ragingly beautiful). I have Herreweghe. I found a Youtube of Herreweghe:



 
http://www.youtube.com/v/HOEbPrjuKXA



It can also be just parts of a cantata, like my favorite cantata of all, BWV 8. Check out the opening movement:



http://www.youtube.com/v/Hfkq-S7Vis8

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Mandryka on November 03, 2013, 12:35:01 AM
I have a serious problem to accept melancholy as a main feature of Baroque music, specially if we are talking of sacred Baroque music.

I understand melancholy as a feeling of sadness that you don't know from where it comes. It's a sort of cosmic sadness. But Baroque composers always exactly know from where man's sadness comes from. Man is sad and afflicted because is a sinner. There is a cause for his pain.

That said, in music I identify the Elizabethan period as the Age of Melancholy: John Dowland and his contemporaries are, IMO, a superb examples of this feeling.

What about Froberger? He gets melancholy because the king's died, stuff like that, or just thinking about the fact that one day he's gonna die himself, or that he skirted with death after a nasty boat trip. Sin doesn't seem to enter into the picture for him.

I would also say that some Francois Couperin's music is melancholic too, the first duo for viole and continuo, for example. I don't know if that music has any sort of relation to ideas about sin.

By the way, I think that Dowland's lachrimae is a sort of study of melancholy -- and in the preface he is extremely precise about the possible origins of the feeling, not at all idiopathic, to use a medical word. So I'm not sure I agree that for Renaissance thinkers melancholy was necessarily a "feeling of sadness that you don't know from where it comes. . . a sort of cosmic sadness"
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Mandryka on November 03, 2013, 01:20:15 AM
Well, for melancholy, I guess you could say he would be my favorite composer that writes melancholic music (I wouldn't consider Mahler much of a "melancholic" composer, but something else instead). Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov definitely write what I'd consider melancholy music, though.

For "nostalgic"-sounding, I wouldn't consider those two to be so. Pretty much only Brahms write nostalgic-sounding music with any sort of consistency. I think what I posted above is a perfect example.

Baroque melancholy? Hmm... never really picked up that vibe much from any of it. Maybe sad or austere, but not really melancholy.

No, I don't think so. What you posted is melancholic I think, but it's something which the Perrahia has overlaid on the music.
Here's Backhaus.

http://www.youtube.com/v/JG66pQ9g4MY

 I don't think nostalgia or melancholy was quite so dominant in his interpretation, not in Yudina neither

http://www.youtube.com/v/s0bI0E9JSBY

The tradition of a dominating autumnal nostalgic melancholy in late Brahms is  well established, the old bloke crying into his beer,  But there are other equally valid ways of interpreting what Brahms was up to in the music.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: amw on November 03, 2013, 02:12:21 AM
There's no real reason to play that particular intermezzo as a "nostalgic" or "melancholic" piece apart from tradition. A major is traditionally a very bright and optimistic key, and look at the other pieces Brahms wrote in it—the Serenade Op. 16, the Piano Quartet Op. 26, the Violin Sonata Op. 100, etc—mostly pieces that are happy and untroubled, at least one of which was written during one of his short-lived relationships with a woman not named Clara Schumann. Definitely playing Op. 118/2 as Largo molto sostenuto rather than the Andante Brahms specifies can imbue it with a certain melancholy, but note the other part of Brahms's tempo marking: teneramente (tenderly). I always think of A major as the key of Brahms in love.

Certainly there's melancholy, nostalgia, etc—E minor/major is commonly associated with that, e.g. in the first movements of the Cello Sonata Op. 38 and the Fourth Symphony, and the Intermezzo Op. 119/2, where the return of only the first few bars of the central episode at the end does give more of a sense of irrevocable loss. Another excellent "melancholy" piece is the Intermezzo Op. 117/3 which one could describe as a lullaby for a dead child. But in the larger-scale works he'll often start out with melancholy and nostalgia and eventually work his way round to heroic defiance (e.g. the symphony and cello sonata) or peaceful resignation (the finale of the Violin Sonata Op. 78, the "Regenlied" that ends with the sun coming out from behind the clouds, as it were). Brahms's music is made of stronger stuff than people sometimes seem to realise. :P
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: The new erato on November 03, 2013, 02:39:10 AM
Well, the gloomiest piece I know of is in C major, Schubert's string quintet. Schubert seems to have mastered the art of being depressed in joyful keys like nobody else.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: amw on November 03, 2013, 02:49:25 AM
Well, the gloomiest piece I know of is in C major, Schubert's string quintet. Schubert seems to have mastered the art of being depressed in joyful keys like nobody else.

Indeed. He also has quite a good deal of happy, carefree music in F minor, and the C-sharp minor Moment Musical is the only piece I can think of where the part in the minor is significantly more joyful than the part in the major. But Schubert is a special case >.> (And there is hardly any "nostalgia" in Schubert for that matter, except perhaps in bits of the intensely tragic D959 and D960 piano sonatas, in A major and B-flat major respectively.)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Mandryka on November 03, 2013, 05:00:47 AM
Indeed. He also has quite a good deal of happy, carefree music in F minor, and the C-sharp minor Moment Musical is the only piece I can think of where the part in the minor is significantly more joyful than the part in the major. But Schubert is a special case >.> (And there is hardly any "nostalgia" in Schubert for that matter, except perhaps in bits of the intensely tragic D959 and D960 piano sonatas, in A major and B-flat major respectively.)

When the theme you met at the start  returns at the end there's nostalgia, I seem to remember (no pun intended) that happens in the second piano trio.

I think the whole issue about how time, memory, nostalgia works in Schubert is  interesting.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: The new erato on November 03, 2013, 05:06:09 AM

I think the whole issue about how time, memory, nostalgia works in Schubert is  interesting.
Yes, in many ways he is one of the most original of composers.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Mandryka on November 03, 2013, 05:07:54 AM
Try BWV 198, Trauerode. It's always struck me as melancholy...though not a spiral into destruction. But daring and purposeful (and ragingly beautiful). I have Herreweghe. I found a Youtube of Herreweghe:



 
http://www.youtube.com/v/HOEbPrjuKXA



It can also be just parts of a cantata, like my favorite cantata of all, BWV 8. Check out the opening movement:



http://www.youtube.com/v/Hfkq-S7Vis8

The sad one I like is the very early cantata Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir, BWV 131
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Gordo on November 03, 2013, 07:29:40 AM
What about Froberger? He gets melancholy because the king's died, stuff like that, or just thinking about the fact that one day he's gonna die himself, or that he skirted with death after a nasty boat trip. Sin doesn't seem to enter into the picture for him.

I would also say that some Francois Couperin's music is melancholic too, the first duo for viole and continuo, for example. I don't know if that music has any sort of relation to ideas about sin.

By the way, I think that Dowland's lachrimae is a sort of study of melancholy -- and in the preface he is extremely precise about the possible origins of the feeling, not at all idiopathic, to use a medical word. So I'm not sure I agree that for Renaissance thinkers melancholy was necessarily a "feeling of sadness that you don't know from where it comes. . . a sort of cosmic sadness"

As so many others maybe this is only a terminological discussion. But an interesting one.

I guess I would need some time to justify this assertion, but I think that a world with a strong sense of the divinity is not easily melancholic (and I was talking principally about Baroque sacred music). Its natural "negative" feelings are remorse and guilt and then pain and tears.

But pain and tears could have many other external and internal causes. And melancholy is more natural in a secularized world.

Reflecting on melancholy -as Froberger- is not necessarily to be a melancholic person, if I say: There is no reason to the sadness because all of this has a sense. 

BTW, as I write I'm listening to this excellent disk of Ewald Demeyere:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81mdObBzsjL._SL1500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on November 03, 2013, 07:32:18 AM
Many here at GMG know that Brahms has been one of my favourites for quite some time.

I have to honestly say though, melancholic and nostalgic are not words, terms or visions that come to mind for me.  ???

Perhaps, in the Adagio to the Piano Concerto No. 1, written in the memory of his lost friend, Robert Schumann.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Gordo on November 03, 2013, 08:58:19 AM
Many here at GMG know that Brahms has been one of my favourites for quite some time.

I have to honestly say though, melancholic and nostalgic are not words, terms or visions that come to mind for me.  ???

Perhaps, in the Adagio to the Piano Concerto No. 1, written in the memory of his lost friend, Robert Schumann.

... I think the first movement of the cello sonata No. 1 is quite close to those terms.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 03, 2013, 03:00:14 PM
No, I don't think so. What you posted is melancholic I think, but it's something which the Perrahia has overlaid on the music.
Here's Backhaus.

 I don't think nostalgia or melancholy was quite so dominant in his interpretation, not in Yudina neither


The tradition of a dominating autumnal nostalgic melancholy in late Brahms is  well established, the old bloke crying into his beer,  But there are other equally valid ways of interpreting what Brahms was up to in the music.
I can still hear some melancholy in both of those videos, but it is much, much less compared to the other performances I've heard.

Yudina's version makes it actually sound somewhat of a determined and heroic piece. But, I think, the common impression I get for that specific piece after hearing the very different interpretations is that it sounds like some sort of ending or farewell, however it's played. It's just one aspect of his harmonic writing that gives me this impression.

Another aspect of Brahms' harmonic writing that I really like is that he seems to be the first composer, other than Beethoven (and Liszt?), to be able to write really mysterious music. The Paganini Variations, for example (pretty much tied with a piano work of my own as favorite piano work). He turned into a wizard while writing that.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 03, 2013, 03:02:11 PM
Perhaps, in the Adagio to the Piano Concerto No. 1, written in the memory of his lost friend, Robert Schumann.
I would get that feeling if that movement didn't totally teleport me to its own unique world...
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 03, 2013, 03:05:35 PM
Well, the gloomiest piece I know of is in C major, Schubert's string quintet. Schubert seems to have mastered the art of being depressed in joyful keys like nobody else.
Dude... you are totally forgetting about Mahler here. The 9th symphony is in D & Db major and the 10th is in F# major.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on November 03, 2013, 03:05:41 PM
I would get that feeling if that movement didn't totally teleport me to its own unique world...

Well, it does that to me too!  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 03, 2013, 03:08:32 PM
Well, it does that to me too!  :)
The first time I heard it was in MIDI format and I couldn't believe the opening melody being almost entirely quarter notes; it sounded so odd, yet after a few listens its simplicity started to make sense. I still feel it's a one-of-a-kind thing.

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 03, 2013, 03:11:10 PM
Try BWV 198, Trauerode. It's always struck me as melancholy...though not a spiral into destruction. But daring and purposeful (and ragingly beautiful). I have Herreweghe. I found a Youtube of Herreweghe:

It can also be just parts of a cantata, like my favorite cantata of all, BWV 8. Check out the opening movement:
Hmm, the impression I got after listening to the first 5 or so minutes of each wasn't melancholy, but something close to it, although I can't think of a word to describe it.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on November 03, 2013, 03:22:18 PM
The first time I heard it was in MIDI format and I couldn't believe the opening melody being almost entirely quarter notes; it sounded so odd, yet after a few listens its simplicity started to make sense. I still feel it's a one-of-a-kind thing.

It is a very special piece for me, indeed.  (re: Adagio of PC# 1).  When I attended a live performance of it, some 4 or 5 years ago, I wept when the Adagio was played.  I was just so moved by it.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 03, 2013, 07:27:13 PM
Hmm, the impression I got after listening to the first 5 or so minutes of each wasn't melancholy, but something close to it, although I can't think of a word to describe it.

Indescribable. Yep, that's Bach! ;D


Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: mc ukrneal on November 03, 2013, 07:44:44 PM
Indescribable. Yep, that's Bach! ;D

An apt description of PDQ! :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 03, 2013, 08:14:27 PM
An apt description of PDQ! :)

 8)


Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: kishnevi on November 03, 2013, 08:54:49 PM
As so many others maybe this is only a terminological discussion. But an interesting one.

I guess I would need some time to justify this assertion, but I think that a world with a strong sense of the divinity is not easily melancholic (and I was talking principally about Baroque sacred music). Its natural "negative" feelings are remorse and guilt and then pain and tears.

But pain and tears could have many other external and internal causes. And melancholy is more natural in a secularized world.

Reflecting on melancholy -as Froberger- is not necessarily to be a melancholic person, if I say: There is no reason to the sadness because all of this has a sense. 


It should be noted that "melancholy" in the period before (more or less) 1700 had a broader meaning:  while it primarily referred to depression, sorrow and other related mental states, it could also refer to mental imbalance in general--thus, Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy discusses a number of mental states we moderns don't associate with sadness or depression.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: The new erato on November 03, 2013, 10:59:09 PM
Dude... you are totally forgetting about Mahler here. The 9th symphony is in D & Db major and the 10th is in F# major.
Well, not really. I'm not a musical theorist, but my understanding is that all majors and minors are not created equal (in which case I guess all composer wouldn't be bothered with all the various versions). I guess that has to do with relationships between notes, temperament (scales aren't perfect) and instrumental textures. C major is usually considered particularly simple and joyful.

Also, in big and complex works, all a key telles you is where the music (usually) starts and (slightly less frequently) ends. In between large parts of the music is in related, and sometimes  not quite so related, keys. I wouldn't be particularly surprised if that were the case with the Mahler works you mention, whereas in the Schubert large parts of the gloomiest stuff actually are in C major (or in closely related keys). 
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 04, 2013, 06:59:07 AM
In between large parts of the music is in related, and sometimes  not quite so related, keys. I wouldn't be particularly surprised if that were the case with the Mahler works you mention, whereas in the Schubert large parts of the gloomiest stuff actually are in C major (or in closely related keys).
He does use minor key sections, but the major keys sound even more crushing because of the intervals he uses. I'd say probably the easiest part to discern this is the very end of the 9th, the part with strings only. It is very clearly in Db major throughout, but of course with some chromatics... I've never looked at the Schubert score, though, so I couldn't compare it.

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: kyjo on November 06, 2013, 12:20:53 PM
I must say I'm most impressed with the op. 111 String Quintet (which I listened to from the DG set)! I especially loved the first movement, which has a life-affirming, "heroic" air which I don't normally associate with the composer. I usually get bored by Brahms' slow movements, but the haunting melancholy of this one really kept my attention. The final two movements didn't grab me quite as much, but that's probably just because I was getting tired by the time I got to them. :) I think the reason I really liked this work is because of its interesting use of harmony (especially in the first movement).
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: kyjo on November 06, 2013, 12:25:09 PM
What do you guys think about the Scherzo from the Piano Quintet? I must say that this movement has probably grabbed me more than anything else by Brahms. The threatening, uneasy, and even violent atmosphere Brahms creates in this movement is quite captivating. I've been humming it for weeks now!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on November 06, 2013, 12:37:16 PM
I must say I'm most impressed with the op. 111 String Quintet (which I listened to from the DG set)! I especially loved the first movement, which has a life-affirming, "heroic" air which I don't normally associate with the composer. I usually get bored by Brahms' slow movements, but the haunting melancholy of this one really kept my attention. The final two movements didn't grab me quite as much, but that's probably just because I was getting tired by the time I got to them. :) I think the reason I really liked this work is because of its interesting use of harmony (especially in the first movement).

Op. 111 is great, and yes the 'haunting' adagio is a beauty.

For a real emotionally grinding finale listen to the piano quartet No.3 op. 60.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: kyjo on November 06, 2013, 12:46:44 PM
Op. 111 is great, and yes the 'haunting' adagio is a beauty.

For a real emotionally grinding finale listen to the piano quartet No.3 op. 60.

Thanks-I'll check it out! :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on November 06, 2013, 12:55:09 PM
What do you guys think about the Scherzo from the Piano Quintet? I must say that this movement has probably grabbed me more than anything else by Brahms. The threatening, uneasy, and even violent atmosphere Brahms creates in this movement is quite captivating. I've been humming it for weeks now!

It is a dandy, Kyle!  :)

Perhaps my favourite Brahms Scherzo movement, is in his 3rd Piano Quartet in C minor, the 2nd movement.  It is fabulous, as is that entire Piano Quartet.


Edit:  Greg beat me to the punch.  Yes, see Piano Quartet 3, Op. 60  ;D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: kyjo on November 06, 2013, 01:05:13 PM
It is a dandy, Kyle!  :)

Perhaps my favourite Brahms Scherzo movement, is in his 3rd Piano Quartet in C minor, the 2nd movement.  It is fabulous, as is that entire Piano Quartet.


Edit:  Greg beat me to the punch.  Yes, see Piano Quartet 3, Op. 60  ;D

Sounds fantastic, Ray! :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on November 20, 2013, 04:31:44 PM
Sounds fantastic, Ray! :)

Kyle, have you had a chance to check out Brahms' Op. 60 Piano Quartet yet?  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: kyjo on November 20, 2013, 04:50:31 PM
Kyle, have you had a chance to check out Brahms' Op. 60 Piano Quartet yet?  :)

Afraid not, but I'll be sure to report back when I do! :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Florestan on November 21, 2013, 11:46:15 AM
As so many others maybe this is only a terminological discussion. But an interesting one.

Agreed. Here's my terminology: nostalgia stems from longing for things past; melancholy stems from the acute feeling of the very passing of time. Fugit irreparabile tempus.

Quote
I guess I would need some time to justify this assertion, but I think that a world with a strong sense of the divinity is not easily melancholic (and I was talking principally about Baroque sacred music). Its natural "negative" feelings are remorse and guilt and then pain and tears.

Agreed again, but for me it's the Baroque instrumental and orchestral music that's melancholic, and I'm specifically talking about slow movements. Maybe it's just me, but pretty much any Baroque slow movement is melancholic, or more correctly I should say it makes me melancholic. 
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: madaboutmahler on December 26, 2013, 10:14:24 AM
Hello Brahmsians! Just to advertise a bit, am running a blind comparison for the 2nd symphony here on GMG, please just sign up on the thread if you would like to take part! We'll be starting off with the exposition of the 1st movement, the beginning should be a good place to start! ;)

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,22639.0.html
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on January 02, 2014, 03:11:25 PM
I figured the first Brahms listen of the year should be, well, Opus 1!

Brahms

Piano Sonata No. 1 in C major, Op. 1
Scherzo in E flat minor, Op. 4


Kamerhan Turan, piano

Brilliant Classics Cube
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 03, 2014, 05:57:28 AM
Paul Cienniwa (http://www.paulcienniwa.com/) (the fellow who called for Plotting, but who did not necessarily imagine that I would write a passacaglia in there) blogs about Brahms and the passacaglie which he loved (http://m.heraldnews.com/heraldnews/db_/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=Hvms00vD&full=true#display).
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on January 03, 2014, 06:58:01 AM
More Brahms this morning, on a 'warmer' day.

Piano Sonata No. 2 in F sharp minor, Op. 2
Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor, Op. 5


Alan Weiss, piano

Brilliant Classics Cube
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on January 08, 2014, 07:11:05 AM
Good morning, friends.  8)

Have any users here compiled a list of recorded movement timings for J.Brahms' Symphony no.1, Op.68? I'm interested in more performances that are generally quicker or more brisk in their tempi.

Thank you in advance.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 09, 2014, 08:31:17 AM
Good morning, friends.  8)

Have any users here compiled a list of recorded movement timings for J.Brahms' Symphony no.1, Op.68? I'm interested in more performances that are generally quicker or more brisk in their tempi.

Thank you in advance.

Here's what I have. Comparing them is not easy because some conductors don't take the first movement exposition repeat.

Brahms Symphony No. 1 with exposition repeat

Eschenbach/Houston              18:58  11:14    5:08  18:19
Bernstein/Vienna                    17:31  10:54   5:36  17:54
Maazel/Cleveland                    17:20  10:05   4:52  16:19
Solti/Chicago                         16:47    9:49   4:40  17:31
Fischer/Budapest Fest            16:18    8:39   4:34  16:36
Mackerras/Scottish Chamber   15:29    8:51   4:16  16:31
Gielen/Baden-Baden               15:19    8:23   4:40  16:26

Brahms Symphony No. 1 with no exposition repeat

Celibidache/Munich Phil           14:57   10:58   5:44  19:47
Barenboim/Chicago                14:35    9:48   5:05  17:40
Furtwängler/Vienna                14:29   10:29  5:05  16:55
Sanderling/Staats Dresden     14:24    9:54   5:04  17:17
Klemperer/Philharmonia          14:05    9:23   4:40  15:54
Dohnányi/Cleveland               13:59    9:20   4:31  16:42
Wand/NDR                           13:11    8:48   4:51  16:37
Szell/Cleveland                      13:07    9:24   4:41  16:19
Paita/National Phil                  13:00    8:43   4:23  16:27


Sarge
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Brian on January 09, 2014, 08:36:12 AM
Gielen Baden-Baden              15:19    8:23   4:40  16:26

Ye gods. Morbid curiosity compels me to find this on Naxos Music Library this morning.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 09, 2014, 08:44:05 AM
Ye gods. Morbid curiosity compels me to find this on Naxos Music Library this morning.

Mackerras is actually faster in the beginning, arriving at the timpani stroke, that announces the repeat, ten seconds before Gielen  8)


Sarge
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Brian on January 09, 2014, 09:31:36 AM
Mackerras is actually faster in the beginning, arriving at the timpani stroke, that announces the repeat, ten seconds before Gielen  8)


Sarge
About the Gielen disc, what IS that picture next to him on the cover?!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 09, 2014, 09:43:55 AM
About the Gielen disc, what IS that picture next to him on the cover?!

I think it's half of his upper body in a suit with his arms crossed. The lack of contrast and detail make him look like he only has one arm.

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/nov2013/img478_crop.jpg)


Sarge


Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Brian on January 09, 2014, 09:46:27 AM
I think it's half of his upper body in a suit with his arms crossed. The lack of contrast and detail make him look like he only has one arm.

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/nov2013/img478_crop.jpg)


Sarge

Ahhhh. Thanks for the blown-up image. When I saw the 100x100 tiny image file I thought it was a woman in religious garb; when I got the 500x500 I couldn't make head or tail of it. Should have been looking at the sides, not the heads or tails!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 09, 2014, 09:54:06 AM
When I saw the 100x100 tiny image file I thought it was a woman in religious garb....

I downsized it in Photoshop just now. Yeah, you're right: it looks like someone in a burqa  ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 09, 2014, 10:15:18 AM
Here's what I have. Comparing them is not easy because some conductors don't take the first movement exposition repeat.

Brahms Symphony No. 1 with exposition repeat

Eschenbach/Houston            18:58  11:14    5:08  18:19
Bernstein/Vienna                   17:31  10:54   5:36  17:54
Maazel/Cleveland                  17:20  10:05   4:52  16:19
Solti/Chicago                         16:47    9:49   4:40  17:31
Fischer/Budaspest Fest         16:18    8:39   4:34  16:36
Mackerras/Scottish Ch           15:29    8:51   4:16  16:31
Gielen/Baden-Baden              15:19    8:23   4:40  16:26

Brahms Symphony No. 1 with no exposition repeat

Celibidache/Munich Phil           14:57  10:58   5:44  19:47
Barenboim/Chicago                 14:35    9:48   5:05  17:40
Furtwängler/Vienna                14:29   10:29   5:05  16:55
Sanderling/Staats Dresden     14:24    9:54   5:04  17:17
Klemperer/Philharmonia          14:05    9:23   4:40  15:54
Dohnányi/Cleveland                13:59    9:20   4:31  16:42
Wand/NDR                              13:11    8:48   4:51  16:37
Szell/Cleveland                       13:07    9:24   4:41  16:19
Paita/National Phil                  13:00    8:43   4:23  16:27

I admire and appreciate your diligence here, Sarge!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 09, 2014, 10:19:29 AM
I admire and appreciate your diligence here, Sarge!

Thank you, Karl. What a nice way to say OCD  :D

Sarge
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on January 09, 2014, 10:59:44 AM
Here's what I have. Comparing them is not easy because some conductors don't take the first movement exposition repeat.

Brahms Symphony No. 1 with exposition repeat

Eschenbach/Houston            18:58  11:14    5:08  18:19
Bernstein/Vienna                   17:31  10:54   5:36  17:54
Maazel/Cleveland                  17:20  10:05   4:52  16:19
Solti/Chicago                         16:47    9:49   4:40  17:31
Fischer/Budapest Fest           16:18    8:39   4:34  16:36
Mackerras/Scottish Chamber 15:29    8:51   4:16  16:31
Gielen/Baden-Baden              15:19    8:23   4:40  16:26

Brahms Symphony No. 1 with no exposition repeat

Celibidache/Munich Phil           14:57  10:58   5:44  19:47
Barenboim/Chicago                 14:35    9:48   5:05  17:40
Furtwängler/Vienna                14:29   10:29   5:05  16:55
Sanderling/Staats Dresden     14:24    9:54   5:04  17:17
Klemperer/Philharmonia          14:05    9:23   4:40  15:54
Dohnányi/Cleveland                13:59    9:20   4:31  16:42
Wand/NDR                              13:11    8:48   4:51  16:37
Szell/Cleveland                       13:07    9:24   4:41  16:19
Paita/National Phil                  13:00    8:43   4:23  16:27


Sarge

You da' man, Sarge!
And I forgot about mentioning the exposition repeat, thank you for that.

Sarge, do you have a favorite from this list?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 09, 2014, 11:08:29 AM
If only Szell had taken the repeat . . . .
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on January 09, 2014, 11:15:47 AM
If only Szell had taken the repeat . . . .

Are you a fan of the repeat, Karl? Are you a fan of the repeat?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 09, 2014, 11:19:26 AM
Hah! I am a fan of more Brahms, always, and if we need to repeat the exposition to get it . . . .
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on January 09, 2014, 11:22:34 AM
Hah! I am a fan of more Brahms, always, and if we need to repeat the exposition to get it . . . .

I hear ya! I sometimes create my own repeat and replay the entire 3rd symphony all over again.  ;)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 09, 2014, 01:25:30 PM
Sarge, do you have a favorite from this list?

Paita, I'm afraid...afraid because it's been long out of print and used copies aren't cheap. It's swift (check out the timings), incredibly intense and the timpanist had a field day  8)  The brass are spectacular although the winds aren't as good. Paita conducts it like a HIP Beethoven Tenth. Gielen is a close second.

If only Szell had taken the repeat . . . .

Yeah, I miss the repeat.

Sarge
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on January 09, 2014, 04:28:42 PM
Now listening to some of my favourites of good 'ole JB!  8)

Brahms

String Sextet in B flat major, Op. 18
String Sextet in G major, Op. 36


Alberni Quartet

Roger Best, viola II
Moray Welsh, cello II

Brilliant Classics Cube
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: jlaurson on January 11, 2014, 02:29:56 PM
Brahms & Bach


Best Recordings of 2013

(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0L4bEI_z8xE/UrhB6JCcPhI/AAAAAAAAHZE/v9cR9pw-cAU/s1600/Best_Recordings_of_2013_laurson_600.jpg)

Best Recordings of 2013 (#1 - 10)


http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2014/01/best-recordings-of-2013-1-10.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2014/01/best-recordings-of-2013-1-10.html)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on January 13, 2014, 06:14:14 PM
Time to finally wrap up the Gardiner/Brahms cycle with No.4 and No.1. Sampled these on Spotify and must say that I find these to be beyond marvelous. The tone from the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique is smooth and attractive, and the smaller sized string section allows for incredible detail from the woodwinds. The only other recordings I own that are similar in style to Gardiner is from Mackerras on Telarc, which I have always praised. But I feel that Gardiner and the Romantique will become the go-to set for Brahms performed in this style, or possibly in any style, these are that good. In fact, I'm so enamored with these performances, that their 4th might be the one to finally make me fall in love with this uneven piece (I've always had a love/hate relationship with the 4th, more love though of course). Gardiner and Co. perform it with an almost classical touch, especially the second movement Andante Moderato which is paced properly and not treated as an Adagio (Solti!!). And a third mvt. Allegro giocoso that feels less fanfare-ish or triumphant.
Some very nice fillers feature choral pieces from Brahms, Schubert and Bach on the four discs.

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: dbrcarson on January 14, 2014, 10:37:50 AM
But through all of that technical stuff somehow he expresses something, which is why his music was somehow (miraculously) very popular in a time where the radicalism of Wagner and Liszt was in vogue.

That's one of the core reasons I love Brahms so much. He stays "on the ride side of the line between sentiment and sentimentality."
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on January 19, 2014, 08:14:51 AM
Some morning Brahms:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 83
4 Klavierstucke, Op. 119


Karin Lechner, piano

Eduardo Marturet, conducting
Berliner Symphoniker

Serenade No. 1 in D major, Op. 11

Frans Bruggen, conducting
Radio Kamerorkest

Brilliant Classics Cube
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on March 24, 2014, 11:42:22 PM
I just had my first listen to the second string sextet (op.36), and after about 10 seconds I had to check that I had in fact selected the correct disc and track. And then I had to stop and restart because I'd completely lost focus.

What an extraordinary sound that chromatic bass is. And there are similarly surprising passages elsewhere - sounds that I honestly never expected to hear from Brahms. Especially not somewhat early Brahms!  It sounds like music from a later generation of composer.

The liner notes for my disc (Hyperion, Raphael Ensemble) quote Sir Donald Tovey saying it is 'the most ethereal of Brahms's larger works'. On a first listen that certainly seems accurate. There's some quite eerie music in there!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Octave on March 24, 2014, 11:44:31 PM
[...]second string sextet (op.36)[...]There's some quite eerie music in there!

Word up
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on March 25, 2014, 03:54:29 AM
Was seriously just listening to the Nash Ensemble recording of the two sextets yesterday, great works, Orfeo. I might have to checkout the Raphael Ensemble disc.

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: North Star on March 25, 2014, 04:43:39 AM
The Raphael recording is wonderful, Greg. Time to listen to it, I think..
(http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/jpegs/150dpi/034571162768.png)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on March 25, 2014, 04:57:08 AM
I posted this in the New Release thread too, but Takács is releasing the Quintets with Lawrence Power, samples sound incredible, as with all of the Takács Hyperion releases...

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on March 25, 2014, 06:01:45 AM
I posted this in the New Release thread too, but Takács is releasing the Quintets with Lawrence Power, samples sound incredible, as with all of the Takács Hyperion releases...

...and their previous two Brahms discs are spectacular. I love how closely recorded the musicians are, you can hear every minute detail from their instruments, and the lower registers from the cello and viola are strongly present. Hoping for Takacs to continue and record the piano quartet no. 3, Op. 60, even though it would remove one of their violinists.

 

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: North Star on March 25, 2014, 06:15:02 AM
...and their previous two Brahms discs are spectacular. I love how closely recorded the musicians are, you can hear every minute detail from their instruments, and the lower registers from the cello and viola are strongly present. Hoping for Takacs to continue and record the piano quartet no. 3, Op. 60, even though it would remove one of their violinists.

But Hamelin & Leopold String Trio have already recorded rather fine versions of them on Hyperion - wouldn't it be better to have them record other repertoire, perhaps a new Bartók set, Schubert D887, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Janáček, or 2nd/1st Viennese School composers..

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on March 25, 2014, 06:24:22 AM
But Hamelin & Leopold String Trio have already recorded rather fine versions of them on Hyperion - wouldn't it be better to have them record other repertoire, perhaps a new Bartók set, Schubert D887, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Janáček, or 2nd/1st Viennese School composers..



+1 for the Prokofiev, these would sound great with the Hyperion/Takács combo.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on March 25, 2014, 07:23:33 AM
I'm listening to the sextet again, and I pulled up a copy of the score online to understand what the blazes I'm hearing at the beginning. AHA! Open string on the top note of the 'wobble', so that it keeps reverberating while the bottom note is played. Very clever. And very memorable.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on May 13, 2014, 06:15:00 AM
Perhaps the best 1-2 punch you can have on one disc of Brahms' entire output.  8)

Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 25
Piano Quartet in C minor, Op. 60

Listening to the performance by:

Han, piano
Faust, violin
Giuranna, viola
Meunier, cello
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Florestan on May 13, 2014, 06:31:45 AM
Perhaps the best 1-2 punch you can have on one disc of Brahms' entire output.  8)

Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 25
Piano Quartet in C minor, Op. 60

Listening to the performance by:

Han, piano
Faust, violin
Giuranna, viola
Meunier, cello

+ 1
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on July 17, 2014, 12:48:25 PM
Now listening to some Brahms!  :)

Clarinet Sonata in F minor, Op. 120/1
Clarinet Sonata in E flat major, Op. 120/2


Karl Leister, clarinet
Ferenc Bognar, piano

Viola Sonata in F minor, Op. 120/1
Viola Sonata in E flat major, Op. 120/2


Nobuko Imai, viola
Harris Goldsmith, piano

From the Brilliant Classics Brahms Cube
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 18, 2014, 04:09:24 AM
Those Sonatas are among the select few non-Henning works I keep in my playing repertory!  They are THE BEST!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on July 18, 2014, 06:26:48 AM
Those Sonatas are among the select few non-Henning works I keep in my playing repertory!  They are THE BEST!

Indeed, Karl.  I know you likely prefer the original clarinet version, but I think both versions (clarinet or viola) work quite well.  I do not have a preference of one over the other.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on July 18, 2014, 07:43:26 AM
One of the most hilarious Brahms anecdotes even on a par with long live mozart-one is that when Liszt played some of his own pieces to Brahms, Brahms reportedly fell asleep. Not sure if already mentioned on this topic.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 18, 2014, 08:00:03 AM
One of the most hilarious Brahms anecdotes even on a par with long live mozart-one is that when Liszt played some of his own pieces to Brahms, Brahms reportedly fell asleep.

One thing is certain:  It was not one of the bang-bang crowd-pleasers which it is customary to deride Liszt for  ;)   8)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Scion7 on July 18, 2014, 04:24:20 PM
One of the most hilarious Brahms anecdotes even on a par with long live mozart-one is that when Liszt played some of his own pieces to Brahms, Brahms reportedly fell asleep.

Yes, he did, but remember it was in the evening after Brahms and Joachim had been walking for miles to get there - I think weariness was more of the cause here than dis-interest. The contempt of Brahms (but not returned by Liszt) came somewhat later - mostly due to Brahms being the cranky man with emotional problems that he was (although absolutely brilliant and a much better composer than Liszt.)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on July 18, 2014, 09:57:01 PM
I seem to recall that Liszt (often kind and generous to young colleagues) was quite impressed with whatever pieces Brahms played for him. Although already in the early pieces it seems that Brahms was more conservative than Liszt one could imagine Brahms going in a quite different direction, much closer to Liszt than to Schumann. Take for instance the e flat minor Scherzo or also parts of the early piano sonatas.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: amw on July 18, 2014, 10:08:22 PM
The early version of the B major trio is the most "avant-garde" music Brahms ever attempted (thus why he revised it, due to Clara's disinterest)—his subsequent opus, the Variations on a Theme by Schumann (Op. 9), repudiates it and establishes the style Brahms would maintain more or less unchanged until his death. In between the two came Schumann's suicide attempt and confinement to a mental asylum, which seems to have turned Brahms off "progressive" music for life.

Schumann himself started out as a young avant-gardist (Papillons is about a century ahead of its time in many respects...) before being converted by Mendelssohn; his Fantasie in C was dedicated to Liszt after all. (Liszt reciprocated by dedicating the Sonata in B minor to Schumann a few years later.)

Brahms also admired Wagner, even retaining the manuscript of Tannhäuser in his personal library. At one point Wagner wrote to him to ask for it back. I don't remember what he said. >.> Wagner, in turn, praised Brahms's Variations on a Theme by Handel when the latter played them at one of their several meetings.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on July 19, 2014, 12:41:28 AM
I think the early scherzo and the f sharp and f minor piano sonatas are in some ways even more "avantgarde" than the trio. (And the latter also has very Schumannian aspects like the signature Beethoven quotation.) Even the d minor piano concerto, despite the final rondo that owes a lot to Beethoven and Bach could be mentioned as a very daring piece. But at the same time Brahms wrote the modest and classicist serenades.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on July 27, 2014, 05:10:54 AM
Some beautiful Sunday morning Brahms choral and orchestra music:

Triumphlied, Op. 55

Bo Skovhus, baritone

Ave Maria, Op. 12
Schicksalslied, Op. 54
Nanie, Op. 82


Gerd Albrecht
Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

Begrabnisgesand, Op. 13

Michel Plasson
Dresdner Philharmonie Choir & Orchestra/Ernst-Senff-Chor Berlin

Brilliant Brahms Cube
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on July 27, 2014, 05:24:32 AM
I hope my current orders get here fairly soon, because there's a Brahms disc in each and between them I will have completed my collection of all 24 of Brahms' chamber works. And there will definitely be a Brahms chamber music festival in the offing.

24 is such an auspicious number.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on July 27, 2014, 05:32:12 AM
I hope my current orders get here fairly soon, because there's a Brahms disc in each and between them I will have completed my collection of all 24 of Brahms' chamber works. And there will definitely be a Brahms chamber music festival in the offing.

24 is such an auspicious number.

Most excellent!!  I should do a Brahms' complete chamber music festival one of these days!  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 27, 2014, 05:47:20 AM
Speaking of Brahms chamber, SQ No. 3 in B flat major, Op. 67 accompanied me at work yesterday. The third mvt. Agitato is so seductivly frisky, and the finale Poco allegretto con variazioni is like a relaxing sit on a front porch with a nice glass of wine watching kids play and birds dancing in the sky.
All this from a very well performed and recorded disc from Takacs.


Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 27, 2014, 06:07:41 AM
Talking about Brahms had me itching for some piano music, this Lupu disc will do just fine...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/8105OJ5BgIL._SS350_.png)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on July 27, 2014, 06:25:06 AM
Speaking of Brahms chamber, SQ No. 3 in B flat major, Op. 67 accompanied me at work yesterday. The third mvt. Agitato is so seductivly frisky, and the finale Poco allegretto con variazioni is like a relaxing sit on a front porch with a nice glass of wine watching kids play and birds dancing in the sky.
All this from a very well performed and recorded disc from Takacs.




+1 Frog Dude!  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on July 27, 2014, 06:29:44 AM
Some more beautiful Sunday morning Brahms choral and orchestra music:

Gesang der Parzen, Op. 89

Rhapsody for Contralto, Male Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 53

Anna Larson, contralto

Rinaldo, Cantata for Tenor Solo, Male Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 50

Stig Andersen, tenor

Gerd Albrecht
Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

Brilliant Brahms Cube
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 27, 2014, 06:30:35 AM
+1 Frog Dude!  :)

Good morning, Ray!  8)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on July 27, 2014, 06:32:53 AM
Good morning, Ray!  8)

Mornin', Greg!  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on July 28, 2014, 01:59:25 AM
After trying to plan how I might do the 'festival', and finding it too hard to balance, and then realising I already own the first 8 in chronological order, I decided I didn't have to wait for my orders to arrive to get started.  ;D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on July 28, 2014, 04:29:16 AM
Right, well, Piano Trio No.1. Thanks to the Beaux Arts boys.

Hmm. I haven't listened to this one in about 4.5 years, before listening to it a couple of times tonight. There's actually a lot of my existing Brahms collection that hasn't seen the light of day anytime recently.

It's the revised version, but even with the revisions Brahms made 35 years later the young Brahms gets a bit wild sometimes, doesn't he? The first movement in particular seems to pack a lot of ideas in, and it only just holds together. Not a lot of the classic Brahmsian reserve. The coda is beautiful, though, and suddenly sounds more like what I expect from him.

I don't know any of the piano works from around the same period, so I don't know how this compares.

The third movement probably sounds a bit more like later Brahms, but even still it has an... openness and naivety to it. This is a young man's music, not very guarded yet.

I like the finale a lot, to me it's probably the single most convincing movement. It's certainly interesting to have a work that started in a major key ending in a minor one!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 28, 2014, 04:52:29 AM
Right, well, Piano Trio No.1.

That was the first piece of chamber music I fell in love with. I heard it during a concert at Ohio U when I was 18. Still love it  8)


Sarge
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on July 28, 2014, 05:05:50 AM
Brahms cut almost a third from the length of the first movement of op.8, the scherzo virtually stayed the same and the last two movements were changed considerably. I never really warmed to the original version, but this might be due to having been imprinted on the revised version for many years.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on July 28, 2014, 08:53:28 AM
Talking about Brahms had me itching for some piano music, this Lupu disc will do just fine...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/8105OJ5BgIL._SS350_.png)

Beautiful disc (the music, not the cover 0:)).



Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on August 01, 2014, 03:56:12 AM
Today's been all about the String Sextet No.1, as played by the Raphael Ensemble.

I bought this work earlier this year. I'm in love with the waltzing first movement. There's a soaring cello tune in particular, maybe two-thirds of the way through the exposition, that is just heavenly. It's a damn shame the Raphaels don't do the exposition repeat.

The second movement theme and variations is also pretty fine - it's so BIG sounding in the first half, which makes sense. If you're going to have a sextet, you don't want it to sound more or less like a quartet. I love the little harmonic twist in the theme, and the variation where the cellos sound like rushing wind.

The trio of the scherzo and trio is a delightful surprise. The finale I like, but it does seem (at least as played here) a little too genteel and grazioso much of the time to make as much of an impression as the rest. The CD notes tell me that Joachim criticised it a bit. Still, it does take off at the end!

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on August 01, 2014, 04:20:35 AM
Today's been all about the String Sextet No.1

This has always been an extra special Brahms work, for me.  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on August 01, 2014, 04:43:26 AM
The first string sextet's second movement is so moving it actually makes a Vulcan cry.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on August 01, 2014, 04:46:25 AM
I think the 1st sextet contains much that could be considered a Schubert homage. The slow variations in the minor mode seem obviously a reference to the "Death and Maiden" quartet and the finale may be the most Schubertian movement Brahms ever wrote. (It shares the weakness of some Schubert finali in being to leisurely melodic and slightly repetitive, not really a convincing end of a "serious" work.)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on August 01, 2014, 04:55:24 AM
I think the 1st sextet contains much that could be considered a Schubert homage. The slow variations in the minor mode seem obviously a reference to the "Death and Maiden" quartet and the finale may be the most Schubertian movement Brahms ever wrote. (It shares the weakness of some Schubert finali in being to leisurely melodic and slightly repetitive, not really a convincing end of a "serious" work.)

Agreed, much of the work is rather Schubertian. One description of the work I found was rather obsessed with its Viennese qualities (including the waltzing nature of the first movement), while failing to mention it was actually written a couple of years before Brahms had moved to Vienna.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on August 11, 2014, 06:12:43 AM
My little chamber music festival has landed on Piano Quartet No.1 in G minor, as played by Domus.

I love this! Of the Brahms chamber works I already know, this is the one that sticks most readily in my mind. Mostly because of that fantastically zippy finale, but I enjoy the whole thing. The first movement coda has this climactic moment of tension that Domus bring out wonderfully. The intermezzo is full of tension thanks to its constantly pulsing bass line.

After that, the third movement feels like a great lyrical expansion, although in truth it's not that relaxed and has a bit of drama, as well as grandeur. And then, that wild Hungarian Rondo finale. So good! I love the way Brahms organises the sections, so that it's not a boringly repetitive rondo. My favourite moment, when the original tempo returns after the slower part of the movement, he kicks straight into the most manic of all the themes, an upward rocket.

I need to get my hands on more Hungarian-style Brahms!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on August 11, 2014, 07:19:01 AM
To my recollection Domus is comparably restrained in this piece. Try to find Gilels/Amadeus or Rubinstein/Guarneri for more passionate versions.
The A major piano quartet also has a very nice "Hungarian" finale.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on August 12, 2014, 10:43:37 AM
It was an all Brahms piano music morning!  :)

Variations on an Original Theme in D major, Op. 21/1
Variations on a Hungarian Song in D major, Op. 21/2
Variations on a Theme of Robert Schumann in F Sharp minor, Op. 9
Variations on a Theme of Paganini in A minor (Book I and II), Op. 35
Variations on a Theme by Handel in B flat major, Op. 24


Wolfram  Schmitt-Leonardy, piano

Ballades, Op. 10
Rhapsodies, Op. 79
Klavierstücke, Op. 76
Fantasien, Op. 116
Intermezzi, Op. 117
Klavierstücke, Op. 118
Klavierstücke, Op. 119


Håkon Austbø, piano

Brahms Brilliant Cube
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Wanderer on August 18, 2014, 10:10:26 AM
.



Trying to find space in the back row of one of the CD cabinets to banish Grimaud's lacklustre recent set of the Brahms concerti, I inexplicably unearthed the Ax set which definitely does not belong in exile. Took it for a spin after quite some time and it's even better than I remember. Not exactly a brimstone affair, but a sound example of how a slowish take of these works doesn't need to be turgid, lethargic, or boring.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: bwv 1080 on August 18, 2014, 10:24:39 AM
.



Trying to find space in the back row of one of the CD cabinets to banish Grimaud's lacklustre recent set of the Brahms concerti, I inexplicably unearthed the Ax set which definitely does not belong in exile. Took it for a spin after quite some time and it's even better than I remember. Not exactly a brimstone affair, but a sound example of how a slowish take of these works doesn't need to be turgid, lethargic, or boring.

Are those the 1990 Sony recordings of the solo piano pieces op 79,117 & 119?  That was a very good recording
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on August 27, 2014, 05:31:08 AM
Next stop on my chamber music tour has, of course, been the Piano Quartet No.2. Domus again.

I sometimes think, intellectually, that I don't like this quite as much as no.1, but when I actually listen to it that isn't the case. It has such an expansive lyrical grandeur to it. My recording clocks in at 49 minutes - that's a pretty damned expansive chamber work!

The first movement sounds somewhat Schubertian to me. The second movement, though, is something denser, more akin to Schumann I'd say, and with those strange rumblings in the bass that presage the more dramatic music that bursts in. Actually, that's a bit like one of Schubert's piano sonatas...

In keeping with the overall style of the piece, the 'scherzo' is not that sharp, a lot of the time it's swinging and waltz-like. It does have some passages with greater tension, though.

And then the opening of the finale has some great rhythmic snappiness to it - as Jo498 said, another 'Hungarian' finale. Nowhere near the bite of the finale of the 1st quartet, but still highly enjoyable. In fact, the whole work makes an excellent counterpart to the 1st quartet, with the 2 works both being of high quality but with nicely contrasting personalities.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on September 10, 2014, 01:59:21 AM
Still gamely keeping the thread alive with my chamber music tour... the Piano Quintet!

My recording is Werner Haas on piano with members of the Berlin Philharmonic Octet taking the string parts.

Somewhere along the line I've developed the impression that people think this is one of the greatest of Brahms' chamber works. I like it, but personally it doesn't bowl me over. Someone will be along shortly to tell me I've got the wrong performance...

...and maybe they're right. The first movement, for me, despite wandering off into terribly exotic keys, doesn't have quite the level of drama that I get out of the corresponding movement of the 1st piano quartet - and it feels like that's what it is aiming for. Or maybe it isn't. Maybe it's trying to be a tad more lyrical and it's just that the mood doesn't interest me quite as much.

The second movement is very subtle indeed. The outer sections seem to be all about small harmonic shifts. The third movement is, by contrast, big and bold and overtly dramatic.

I think the finale is my favourite movement, though, yet another finale with something of a Hungarian flavour. It's got just the right degree of light and shade to keep me happy.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: amw on September 10, 2014, 02:15:49 AM
Strangely, the only recording of the Piano Quintet I actually own is the Naxos issue with the Kodály Quartet and some pianist, which I'm sure is also not the "right" one. I've heard lots more though, so know the work pretty well, and agree that it's uneven. The finale is probably the strongest movement, the first probably the weakest. I am fond of its earlier version as the Sonata for two pianos Op. 34b, and I'd quite like to hear Robin Holloway's transcription for full orchestra, which has not been performed.

The A major piano quartet is probably my favourite of Brahms's chamber works with piano (though the A major violin sonata and E minor cello sonata come close). In Domus's hands it's almost Dvořák with a bit of Brahms tart-sweetness added. I could picture a more energetic performance, possibly from Florestan Trio + Caussé or Weithaas/Zimmermann/Queyras/Staier (note: I do not know if these combinations have actually recorded anything) but I'm not sure I want one, heh.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 10, 2014, 03:09:47 AM
Strangely, the only recording of the Piano Quintet I actually own is the Naxos issue with the Kodály Quartet and some pianist[...]

Jenő Jandó;  I've that one, too, and I had forgotten!

I also have the Nash Ensemble from the Big Brahms Box.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on September 10, 2014, 03:12:53 AM
The A major piano quartet is probably my favourite of Brahms's chamber works with piano (though the A major violin sonata and E minor cello sonata come close). In Domus's hands it's almost Dvořák with a bit of Brahms tart-sweetness added. I could picture a more energetic performance, possibly from Florestan Trio + Caussé or Weithaas/Zimmermann/Queyras/Staier (note: I do not know if these combinations have actually recorded anything) but I'm not sure I want one, heh.

Domus and Florestan are mostly the same people. The superb Susan Tomes being at the heart of both.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: amw on September 10, 2014, 03:17:33 AM
Huh. I actually did not know that. I have their Beethoven trios which are definitely on the swift/energetic side of things, as opposed to this relaxed Brahms. (Perhaps Anthony Marwood makes the difference, but I don't think so.)

...And some of them also play in the Raphael Ensemble with their rather excellent Brahms, Mendelssohn & Schubert. I think my estimation of the Domus/Florestan crew has just gone up a fair bit.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on September 14, 2014, 01:17:23 AM
There is an energetic live account of op.26 with Lars Vogt & friends (Tetzlaff, Rohde, Schiff) from his "Spannungen" festival (all three are in big box with recordings from that Festival).
It's a long time I listened to the "Domus", but I remember I found them overall too "cool" in all three pieces and basically kept the set because I have no other recording of the Mahler fragment.
Then there is a broad and powerful (with not so great sound) live recording with Richter/Borodin, and of course, Rubinstein/Guarneri, although I find the latter a little too relaxed.



I love the piano quintet. It was probably among the first dozen of chamber compositions that really grabbed me as a teenager. I would not want to decide between the g minor quartet and the quintet, but I cannot find fault with the first movement of the quintet. IMO the second is maybe a little to "slight", almost serenade-like compared with the rest of the piece (here I clearly prefer the slow (3rd) mvmt. of op.25), but I suspect that this was done on purpose, similarly to the comparably light slow movements of works like Beethoven's 5th.
The scherzo is so cool with two themes of the main section and the trio all based on transformations of the same material and still sounding good...
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on September 16, 2014, 07:33:05 PM
There is an energetic live account of op.26 with Lars Vogt & friends (Tetzlaff, Rohde, Schiff) from his "Spannungen" festival (all three are in big box with recordings from that Festival).




That Vogt and friends looks very interesting. I have a different disc from that festival with the Op.25 and Op.60. Definite goodness (but OOP >:().





Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on September 16, 2014, 08:02:32 PM
Brahms of course is the master of many things musical but until now I'd never really thought about one aspect of his style which is part-and-parcel for some composers but doesn't seem to be an overarching theme in his own music: color.

Not that Brahms had any deficiency in that area but seldom does color bubble itself to the surface to the point where it can actually carry a piece. Not so with the "Haydn" Variations. Of course Brahms's trademark architecture is everywhere in evidence here but the piece almost sounds as if it sprang to life after a close encounter with Strauss's Schatten or some Ravel orchestral work or other. Cool surprise.



(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0000/964/MI0000964719.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on September 16, 2014, 10:20:06 PM
All three piano quartets (and the trio op.8 ) are also in the big Heimbach festival box which is worthwhile for those interested in chamber music.



I seem to recall a remark by someone who was generally not very fond of Brahms and his orchestration, but singled out the "Haydn variations" for praise. Personally I never understood what was supposed to be wrong with Brahms orchestration. It seems obvious that he preferred "darker" an subdued colors, so sure, it does not sound like Wagner or Tchaikovsky, but it sounds fine to me. Apart from a few pieces (like the Paganini Var.) his piano music also does not sound as flashy as e.g. Liszt (although some of it is apparently also fiendishly difficult to play).
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on September 16, 2014, 11:22:23 PM
I have never understood either why some people (even critics) see Brahms's orchestration as muddy and uninteresting. I actually regard him as one of the greatest orchestrators ever (opinion which is not necessarily shared by that many, even by those who like it).
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 17, 2014, 02:35:20 AM
I have never understood either why some people (even critics) see Brahms's orchestration as muddy and uninteresting. I actually regard him as one of the greatest orchestrators ever (opinion which is not necessarily shared by that many, even by those who like it).

He was indeed a great orchestrator, and his characteristic use of the orchestra is quite a distinct thumbprint.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 17, 2014, 04:36:11 AM
Man, but that Op.34 pf quintet is a corker!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Florestan on September 17, 2014, 07:46:59 AM
Personally I never understood what was supposed to be wrong with Brahms orchestration.

Brahms, Chopin, Schumann, Rachmaninoff... there's a long list of supposedly bad orchestrators.  ;D

But as long as the accusations come mostly from people who are not able to decently orchestrate "Twinkle, twinkle, little star" I shall ignor them altogether.  ;D ;D ;D

Quote
It seems obvious that he preferred "darker" an subdued colors, so sure, it does not sound like Wagner or Tchaikovsky,
Wagner and Tchaikovsky are galaxies apart, but besides that, why should Brahms sound like anybody else?

Quote
but it sounds fine to me.
You'll never walk alone.

Quote
Apart from a few pieces (like the Paganini Var.) his piano music also does not sound as flashy as e.g. Liszt (although some of it is apparently also fiendishly difficult to play).
There is flashy Liszt, and there is intraverted and philosophical Liszt --- Brahms couldn't orchestrate, Liszt couldn't write for the piano...  ;D

I think both criticisms are directed not so much at this or that composer, but at Romanticism itself; and they are both as misguided as it gets. Paraphrasing Schnabel, one could say that "Romanticism is the most inaccessible of historical periods", and this despite its being the closest to us.  ;D ;D ;D

(I might even start a thread about it...)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Scion7 on September 17, 2014, 09:45:37 AM
That whole orchestration guff stems from the 19th century "Brahms (Schumann, Schubert, Mendlessohn) vs. Wagner (Liszt, Berlioz)" argument - senseless, but the competition may have spurred both parties' camps to work harder?  Anyway, Brahms' reputation has continued to grow critically and his music to become more popular ever since his death - so much for the "bad orchestrator" claims.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 22, 2014, 10:16:44 AM
Recently, I've been adding & culling out my collection of Brahm's string chamber works, but today put on some orchestral music, specifically the Symphonies w/ Otto Klemperer; I own the 3-CD set below left, but just noticed a 40th anniversary box related to his death (1973) - just wondering if anyone might know whether these 'new' recordings have been re-mastered vs. the earlier release - thanks.  Dave :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/414EHY2GCHL.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81%2B1VmK0qTL._SL1500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on September 26, 2014, 02:14:02 AM
The Brahms chamber expedition has brought me back to the Second String Sextet, op.36, which was busy bowling me over back in March when I first bought it.



It's still having the same effect. The first movement is amazing. The OPENING of the first movement is amazing. It has this extraordinary veiled quality.

The second movement 'scherzo' isn't initially all that scherzoid (?) and feels like it's going to just patter glumly along, but I love how in the middle it explodes into the major and gets far more vigorous. And the slow movement is just sublime... it has that special restrained yearning quality that Brahms can generate, and then it finally lets loose a bit, and after that seems a little happier but is still reaching out and unfolding.

And then the finale swings by in 9/8 time. Lots of shifts in tone, sometimes scurrying and sometimes bold, but always a fitting conclusion to this work.

You know, it's still early days with this piece, and even with my Brahms exploration as there's quite a few works to come in this listening project that I don't know well or don't know at all, but I think this is well on the way to becoming a personal favourite.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Artem on September 27, 2014, 03:13:38 PM
I'm listening to the same cd as I read Jan Swafford biography of Brahms and I'm finding the 1st String Sextet very enjoyable, especially the first two movements.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Artem on September 30, 2014, 07:08:41 PM
I'm looking for a recomendation for a collection of Brahms' earlier songs, which were composed before the German Requiem.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on October 06, 2014, 02:27:57 AM
My chamber quest has reached the Cello Sonata No.1 in E minor, op.38.

For which I have Paul Tortelier and his daughter, Maria de la Pau. I have listened to this before, but so long ago (4 years) and so infrequently (I think that was basically the period when I bought the EMI Recordings box that includes this performance) that it might as well be a brand new purchase.

It's striking how dark and somber much of the first movement is, which makes Brahms' decision to get rid of the 'slow' movement rather understandable. The cello spends a lot of time deep down in its register. There are some flashes of stronger passion though!

Then you have what seems to be a consciously quaint minuet as a bit of relief, with a lusher trio. Followed by the semi-fugal finale... Wow! This is where the music really seems to have a lot of passion. A very satisfying ending.

I definitely think I'm going to enjoy getting to know this better. Like most of these chamber works, frankly.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on October 06, 2014, 04:29:02 AM
My chamber quest has reached the Cello Sonata No.1 in E minor, op.38.


Another masterpiece (and prefer this one to the 2nd Cello Sonata).  I seem to prefer the "1st" in several of Brahms' chamber dual works (Cello Sonata, String Quintet, String Sextet, Clarinet/Viola Sonata).
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on October 06, 2014, 06:34:10 AM
I also love the e minor sonata and prefer it to the second one and I can understand that Brahms left out an adagio (I think he had originally planned or even sketched one) after the long and not too fast first movement, but I am not so fond of the Menuetto. The first movement also seems to be a nod to both Beethoven's great A major sonata and Schubert's "Arpeggione" Sonata, the finale almost quotes one or two fugues from Bach's Art of Fugue.
So it's another perfect fusion of Brahm's respect for past masters, personal style and highly emotional romanticism.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on October 06, 2014, 08:19:07 AM
Another fan of e minor sonata here o/. I also prefer it to the second one. Even though it is in minor key, the work doesn't sound (to me that is) that sad or tragic, merely thoughtful, psychological.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ZauberdrachenNr.7 on October 06, 2014, 08:55:05 AM
Brahms, Chopin, Schumann, Rachmaninoff... there's a long list of supposedly bad orchestrators.  ;D


This is a most interesting point to me (in that list I hear only Chopin as a poor orchestrator) - it used to be said among musicians that they have "a favorite composer and Brahms," a nice compliment to the man.  I've never met a musician who outright dislikes him.  Yet from each and every classical fan who dislikes Brahms I hear the same thing :  "it's the texture," or "there's something about his texture I don't like" or "he's too thick," are common complaints.  Always makes me wonder if they would find the same 'density' in his chamber work, or not.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Florestan on October 06, 2014, 11:45:57 AM
This is a most interesting point to me (in that list I hear only Chopin as a poor orchestrator)

Please show me where, how, and why, you would improve his orchestration.  ;D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ZauberdrachenNr.7 on October 07, 2014, 05:33:36 AM
Please show me where, how, and why, you would improve his orchestration.  ;D

First, by having some... >:D  Seriously, I have tried over the course of three decades to appreciate his two piano concertos.  Sadly, I lack the ability or insight to do so.  The pianism is unmistakable Chopin, of course, full of sparkling gems, charming moments, memorable melodies.  I'm more than willing to abandon 'classicism' - I do so on a daily basis! - and accept the subservience of orchestra to piano, though confessedly here I'd be happier if Chopin had been a better parent and taught the King of Instruments to "play nicely with others."  I just don't hear his orchestral writing - stingy and uninventive as it seems to me, as serving an harmonic function (though I know some do). I  suspect it's evidence of Chopin's weakness in this area.  The two concertos are products of his youth.  I'm not alone; Balakirev, Tausig and Chihara (there's also a strings-only re-orchestration of the first by Rajski) thought badly enough of Chopin's orchestration to attempt their own versions.  Dunno if they fared any better as I haven't heard them.  I would start my own re-orchestration today but the market seems to be already saturated! :laugh:  To be sure, there are some interesting moments - in the slow movement in the Fm - for example, where he shows us what he can do.  His tuttis are esp. annoying - they sound like they were written for the piano.  The piano is the many-colored prism through which Chopin sees the world; no shame in specialization and particularly not when the piano is your orchestra as seems to me in Chopin's case.  I would like to hear Ax's recording on the Erard, which someone (Fanfare?) said was the recording to hear if you didn't care for the concertos.  I've always felt Chopin is outta his element in the Big Form, though I like to keep an open mind - not much point in a closed one which by definition may not be a mind at all - if anyone can teach me the error of my ways...
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Mandryka on October 07, 2014, 08:14:55 AM
I'm looking for a recomendation for a collection of Brahms' earlier songs, which were composed before the German Requiem.

For op 33 I like Schreier very much, and Fischer Dieskau 1950s recording on Audite. Generally all those FiDi recordings on Audite are worth exploring, but you'll find the early songs are scattered around. There is, for example, a lovely "Wie bist du, meine Königen", op 32, from the 1970s on one of them.

Thomas Allen is also worth digging in to - I remember a nice op 43 on a CD with Parsons.

Another one that comes to mind is Schwarzkopff singing Liebestreu. Oh, and Julia Culp singing Muss es eine trennung geben.

One good thing - though it may be contemporaneous with the Requiem - is Heinrich Rehkemper's recording of Botschaft.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Artem on October 08, 2014, 05:36:10 PM
Thank you very much for the suggestions. I'm off to Amazon!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: kishnevi on October 08, 2014, 05:44:18 PM
The Brahms chamber expedition has brought me back to the Second String Sextet, op.36, which was busy bowling me over back in March when I first bought it.



It's still having the same effect. The first movement is amazing. The OPENING of the first movement is amazing. It has this extraordinary veiled quality.

The second movement 'scherzo' isn't initially all that scherzoid (?) and feels like it's going to just patter glumly along, but I love how in the middle it explodes into the major and gets far more vigorous. And the slow movement is just sublime... it has that special restrained yearning quality that Brahms can generate, and then it finally lets loose a bit, and after that seems a little happier but is still reaching out and unfolding.

And then the finale swings by in 9/8 time. Lots of shifts in tone, sometimes scurrying and sometimes bold, but always a fitting conclusion to this work.

You know, it's still early days with this piece, and even with my Brahms exploration as there's quite a few works to come in this listening project that I don't know well or don't know at all, but I think this is well on the way to becoming a personal favourite.
Catching up on this thread....I had the same general reaction to the sextets, although the recording I first heard them on was this one
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51exuN8LdTL.jpg)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: amw on October 14, 2014, 09:28:20 PM
I've been staying away from older recordings of the Brahms violin sonatas—many of the violinists from the Golden Age of Analog seem to use lots and lots of grating vibrato, or have incredibly screechy and metallic high notes thanks to tape degradation, or whatever.

However I am now listening to this and, in spite of heaps of vibrato and other things that normally annoy me, all I can say is wow. Such violin. Much tender. Very expression. Amaze.

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/32084883/brahms-grumiaux.jpg)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on October 14, 2014, 11:10:46 PM
It's been years that I heard it, but I remember Grumiaux/Sebok as comparably "cool". Despite your dislike of older recordings, I'd recommend Szeryng/Rubinstein (around 1960, stereo) and Oistrakh/Richter (late 60s or 70s, live, only 2+3) for more passionate readings.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: amw on October 15, 2014, 01:47:57 AM
Hmm. My tastes in Brahms seem to veer towards introspection and restraint, rather than outright passion per se: L'Archibudelli, Jochum, Domus, Pollini &c. I find a special fragility and sweetness, a conscious refusal to over-Romanticise, in Grumiaux that I didn't find with the other two you mention. Possibly I've just been starved for good violin playing though, having been raised on Isaac Stern's recording.

Chung also seems quite good, but hers is significantly newer, I think, and a bit more overtly demonstrative.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on October 15, 2014, 01:59:20 AM
O.k., I understand your preferences. Another standard rec that is not as overtly romantic is Suk/Katchen. I should re-listen to Grumiaux, but personally I was rather fascinated by the more passionate Oistrakh/Richter after I got to know the pieces with the recordings by Grumiaux and Suk. At least for the last sonata I think the passionate approach is spot on.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Wanderer on October 15, 2014, 02:49:16 AM
I've been staying away from older recordings of the Brahms violin sonatas—many of the violinists from the Golden Age of Analog seem to use lots and lots of grating vibrato, or have incredibly screechy and metallic high notes thanks to tape degradation, or whatever.

However I am now listening to this and, in spite of heaps of vibrato and other things that normally annoy me, all I can say is wow. Such violin. Much tender. Very expression. Amaze.

Favourites in these works include Zukerman/Barenboim, Dumay/Pires, R.Capuçon/Angelich and Kremer/Afanassiev. The recent (and already positively reviewed) Kavakos/Wang sounds quite good (on Spotify) and is on my wishlist.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Mandryka on October 15, 2014, 07:31:57 AM
One old one which particularly impressed me is Szymon Goldberg with Artur Balsam.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on October 15, 2014, 07:43:12 AM
Kremer/Afanassiev is perversely slow. I do not remember any more about it than this feature...
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 15, 2014, 07:44:55 AM
Kremer/Afanassiev is perversely slow. I do not remember any more about it than this feature...

Hm, I do not remember having any quarrel with that . . . .
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Artem on October 15, 2014, 07:02:21 PM
However I am now listening to this and, in spite of heaps of vibrato and other things that normally annoy me, all I can say is wow. Such violin. Much tender. Very expression. Amaze.

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/32084883/brahms-grumiaux.jpg)
;D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on November 29, 2014, 07:12:16 AM
It's been a while, but finally back on my Brahms chamber exploration with a work I already know a bit, the Horn Trio, op.40.

The version I have is Sebok, Grumiaux and Orval. Seems oddly appropriate as people have been talking about the Sebok/Grumiaux pairing in the violin sonatas!



Such a wonderfully balanced work, between the more melancholy music with the sort of autumnal quality that the horn gives (and which is very Brahmsian) and the faster, hunting-call based music. Another outright winner for me, with no weak spots. This Brahms bloke sure is good!  ;)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: lescamil on November 29, 2014, 08:07:38 AM
However I am now listening to this and, in spite of heaps of vibrato and other things that normally annoy me, all I can say is wow. Such violin. Much tender. Very expression. Amaze.

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/32084883/brahms-grumiaux.jpg)

I love you so much for this right now.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Artem on November 29, 2014, 07:54:14 PM
That CD has become one of my favorite Brahms' CDs in my small collection. The run from Ave Maria to Begrabnisgesang to Alto Rhapsody is amazing. But I didn't find Schicksalslied all that special, although I read that it is suppose to be one of Brahms' stand out works.


Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: J on November 30, 2014, 10:21:01 AM
How does this compare with the older Abbado & Blomstedt issues of these works?  Has anyone heard all three?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 21, 2014, 09:14:39 AM
In the last half dozen or so pages of this Brahms general thread, there seems to be scant discussion of his Symphonies - I just left the post below in the 'listening thread' but expect little response, so decided to put a duplicate here.

Currently, I own the 3 sets below (added the 3rd pic) and like them all for different reasons - the Dohnanyi set includes the Violin Concerto and the Klemperer the German Requiem - the most controversial seems to be Mackerras (at least looking over the Amazonian comments).

SO, maybe a 'fresh look' at some of the favorite 'Brahms Symphony' sets on the forum - I'm sure we have some newer members wanting to explore these works - thanks.  Dave :)

Quote
Brahms, Johannes - Symphonies et al - own 3 sets of these works (the other is w/ Klemperer which includes the German Requiem) - listening to the ones below @ the moment - really like Dohnanyi & the Cleveland Orchestra; now, the Mackerras has received a lot of 'mixed' reviews on Amazon, likely related to his chosen ways of performing these works?  Dave :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-SqtLrfm/0/O/Brahms_Symph_Dohnanyi.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/612QQW5CsoL.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-MhbLKDH/0/O/Brahms_KlempererNew.jpg)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on December 21, 2014, 11:12:43 AM
I've started to listen more to Brahms's lieds, genre I haven't been that interested in before. I really like op.48.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Artem on December 21, 2014, 11:49:06 AM
In the last half dozen or so pages of this Brahms general thread, there seems to be scant discussion of his Symphonies - I just left the post below in the 'listening thread' but expect little response, so decided to put a duplicate here.
SO, maybe a 'fresh look' at some of the favorite 'Brahms Symphony' sets on the forum - I'm sure we have some newer members wanting to explore these works - thanks.  Dave :)
I have Harnoncourt set, but haven't had the time to explore it yet other listening to the First Symphony just ones.

My introduction to the 3rd and 4th symphonies was with the following CD and I immediately fell in love with the 3rd:


Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: amw on December 21, 2014, 08:18:43 PM
This is an interesting recording I came across recently, containing the Violin Concerto and Symphony No. 4.

(http://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/21/38/3149028053821_600.jpg)

Features include HIP elements (articulation/vibrato/etc—possibly some instruments as well?), a chamber sized band and some interesting rethinking of things. Also tempi that are reasonably historically accurate.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Drasko on December 26, 2014, 03:42:19 AM
While we are on topic of recent recordings of symphonies has anyone heard Thielemann's Dresden cycle?



Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: trung224 on December 27, 2014, 06:29:13 AM
While we are on topic of recent recordings of symphonies has anyone heard Thielemann's Dresden cycle?



   I have this one. About playing, it is typical Staatkapelle Dresden, precise excecution with refined, dark sound.  A fairly slow tempo cycle, just like the old Sanderling's with the same orchestra, but Thielemann puts his stamp by occasionaly fluctuating tempo (but well judicious). The standout for me is the Third, it ranks with James Levine's account with VPO as my favorite digital performance and the Violin Concerto with violinist Bastiashvili, but otherwise is great too. Actually, I prefer it to the more progressive cycle by Chailly and LGO on Decca.
 
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 27, 2014, 09:20:47 AM
   I have this one. About playing, it is typical Staatkapelle Dresden, precise excecution with refined, dark sound.  A fairly slow tempo cycle, just like the old Sanderling's with the same orchestra, but Thielemann puts his stamp by occasionaly fluctuating tempo (but well judicious). The standout for me is the Third, it ranks with James Levine's account with VPO as my favorite digital performance and the Violin Concerto with violinist Bastiashvili, but otherwise is great too. Actually, I prefer it to the more progressive cycle by Chailly and LGO on Decca.

Just curious about the Thielemann set - looked @ the description and was particularly interested in the DVD - all apparently recorded live and just a few years ago - how is the sound on these recordings & the video on the DVD?  Also, how 'evident' is the audience, i.e. have the applause, coughs, cell phones going off, etc. been eliminated? Thanks - Dave :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: trung224 on December 27, 2014, 09:56:13 AM
 I don't have the DVD one, but booklet shows they are the same performances for both CD and DVD. About the sound, they are very good, detailed, natural. Everything else like applause, coughs,.. has been eliminated. I think just like many live recordings from DG, they are indeed frankenstein-like from live and rehearsal performances.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Drasko on December 27, 2014, 11:23:51 AM
   I have this one. About playing, it is typical Staatkapelle Dresden, precise excecution with refined, dark sound.  A fairly slow tempo cycle, just like the old Sanderling's with the same orchestra, but Thielemann puts his stamp by occasionaly fluctuating tempo (but well judicious). The standout for me is the Third, it ranks with James Levine's account with VPO as my favorite digital performance and the Violin Concerto with violinist Bastiashvili, but otherwise is great too. Actually, I prefer it to the more progressive cycle by Chailly and LGO on Decca.

Thanks, I think I'll give it a go. Rich orchestral sound and tempo pulling is something one comes to expect from Thielemann, but until former doesn't get muddy and latter maintains the pulse it's all fine. I think I'm in the mood for some romantic opulence.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: edward on December 31, 2014, 12:32:45 PM
I've been revisiting a lot of Brahms over the holidays, and am constantly amazed at what good quality control he had: I don't think I've heard a single turkey even though I've been listening mostly to the lesser-known works. And of course, every now and then there's something that absolutely blows me away, like the last of the Thirteen Canons for Female Chorus, op 113 (go on, how many of you know this piece?).

https://www.youtube.com/v/bFb1O4B82w4
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on December 31, 2014, 05:21:14 PM
I've been revisiting a lot of Brahms over the holidays, and am constantly amazed at what good quality control he had: I don't think I've heard a single turkey even though I've been listening mostly to the lesser-known works. And of course, every now and then there's something that absolutely blows me away, like the last of the Thirteen Canons for Female Chorus, op 113 (go on, how many of you know this piece?).

Beautiful!


Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on December 31, 2014, 05:46:12 PM
I've been revisiting a lot of Brahms over the holidays, and am constantly amazed at what good quality control he had: I don't think I've heard a single turkey even though I've been listening mostly to the lesser-known works. And of course, every now and then there's something that absolutely blows me away, like the last of the Thirteen Canons for Female Chorus, op 113 (go on, how many of you know this piece?).

That's a stunner (and no, I had never heard it or even heard of it).

This reminds me that Brahms seemed to be striving to recapture the devotional spirit of Bach or the Renaissance masters, but with a secular outlook. It's worth recalling that he was one of the few musicians of his time to delve into early music seriously.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on February 04, 2015, 03:45:22 AM
It's like you all stop talking about Brahms while I'm away...

Back on the chamber music trail, and today I introduced myself to the first string quartet (op.51/1).



I was honestly surprised by how animated and intense this music is (well, the first and last movements in particular). I guess there's a tendency to think of Brahms as a bit mellow, and certainly inward looking, but this is quite literally pulsating stuff.

I think the 3rd movement is the other big surprise, with its shift from 4/8 to a thoroughly rustic 3/4.

Of course, I've no idea how this recording compares to others, but I was pretty darn happy listening to this.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on February 04, 2015, 06:40:05 AM
Brahms's chamber music works are really a one big mystery. How can he keep that quality work after work after work? Pretty much every published chamber music composition of his could IMO be argued to be a masterpiece. In fact in general his compositions are remarkably high-quality, even outside of chamber music. The musical culinarist in me applauds Brahms's self-criticism. My thirst for more compositions despises him for it.  >:D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: North Star on February 04, 2015, 08:05:42 AM
Brahms's chamber music works are really a one big mystery. How can he keep that quality work after work after work?
By burning 85% of his compositions.  ::)
Quote
Pretty much every published chamber music composition of his could IMO be argued to be a masterpiece. In fact in general his compositions are remarkably high-quality, even outside of chamber music. The musical culinarist in me applauds Brahms's self-criticism. My thirst for more compositions despises him for it.  >:D
He must have burnt some very good pieces too, as some of his published works, like one of the Op. 76 piano pieces, were music he was about to burn but was persuaded not to by others. There must have been lots of string quartets and symphonies burning in the fireplace.  :'(
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on February 04, 2015, 09:11:45 AM
There must have been lots of string quartets and symphonies burning in the fireplace.  :'(

I recall quote where he said that he composed and destroyed at least 20 string quartets before op. 51 and 67. He could have been exaggerating but then again it's Brahms we're talking about.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on February 04, 2015, 09:37:44 AM
Brahms was extremely scrupulous, but I wonder whether the rumors might be exaggerated. He supposedly destroyed a dozen or more string quartets but most of these would have been early works, many probably composed when he was around 20, not shortly before or between op.51 and 67. He published the original version of the B major trio which IMO is rough around the edges (e.g. the first movement is too long and meandering), so maybe he was more particular about string quartets. Or he might have been right not to publish them...

Then there are pieces with complicated histories that were originally planned as something else. Apparently what later became the piano quintet had been written out as a string quintet (which was destroyed).

But there were also some cases where friends like Clara Schumann or Joseph Joachim had seen a movement and liked it and Brahms burned it anyway (IIRC there was at least one trio movement completed for what would have been a sister piece to op.87 with this fate).
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ZauberdrachenNr.7 on February 04, 2015, 10:18:32 AM
Brahms's chamber music works are really a one big mystery. How can he keep that quality work after work after work? Pretty much every published chamber music composition of his could IMO be argued to be a masterpiece. In fact in general his compositions are remarkably high-quality, even outside of chamber music. The musical culinarist in me applauds Brahms's self-criticism. My thirst for more compositions despises him for it.  >:D

I sympathize completely.  Though Brahms is my favorite composer and has been for many years, the damage he did extends far beyond listeners and fans; musicologists would very much like to compare the progression of his writing and in most cases, cannot.  As the destruction includes much of his correspondence, one is tempted to think that perhaps he's hiding something but after pondering this for well over a decade have concluded that in many ways he was a private person as well as an extremely fastidious one. 
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on February 04, 2015, 01:38:20 PM
I tend to think he just didn't like the idea of people going over his earlier versions and reacting to them, including the risk that they'd prefer another version.

There are pop musicians who are the same now, who get rather upset about leaks when they're still working on an album and it's not the finished product.

I for one am perfectly happy with Brahms' attitude, because the material he did leave behind, for listening, is superb. And there's absolutely no obligation on a composer to leave behind material for future generations of musicologists to pick over like a pile of entrails.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ZauberdrachenNr.7 on February 04, 2015, 08:11:08 PM
I tend to think he just didn't like the idea of people going over his earlier versions and reacting to them, including the risk that they'd prefer another version.

There are pop musicians who are the same now, who get rather upset about leaks when they're still working on an album and it's not the finished product.

I for one am perfectly happy with Brahms' attitude, because the material he did leave behind, for listening, is superb. And there's absolutely no obligation on a composer to leave behind material for future generations of musicologists to pick over like a pile of entrails.

Yours is a salutary view, orfeo, one I envy.  For myself, it seems to me that when you love someone, it's a natural thing to want to know more about them and it's clear that Johannes wanted to make certain we know as little about him - personally and 'compositionally' - as possible.  The latter seems esp. reprehensible as he himself loved orig. scores, collected them and mined them for instruction and inspiration.  His desire to be as opaque as possible was in my view excessive and likely indicative of psycho/social troubles of some persuasion.  Few other composers have touched me or moved me so consistently as he.  And yet no other composer I care about at any rate took such great pains to not share themselves with future listeners and admirers.         
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on February 05, 2015, 12:33:28 AM
Chopin wanted his unpublished works destroyed at his death.

He was ignored. The musicologists can thank his friends and family for that, but Brahms is far from the only composer who didn't want things lying around.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ZauberdrachenNr.7 on February 05, 2015, 04:59:40 PM
Well, I'll tell you I'm not having any of it! I demand more respect from those tune twiddling twerps.  Where would composers be without us, their dear listeners?  Why, I should.... :laugh:
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on February 08, 2015, 01:18:51 AM
Wow. I am absolutely loving the 2nd string quartet. So different from the 1st, even though they're both in minor keys. Op.51/1 was all tension and propulsion in the outer movements, but Op.51/2 is so lyrical!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Purusha on February 08, 2015, 12:36:05 PM
Brahms was extremely scrupulous, but I wonder whether the rumors might be exaggerated. He supposedly destroyed a dozen or more string quartets but most of these would have been early works, many probably composed when he was around 20, not shortly before or between op.51 and 67. He published the original version of the B major trio which IMO is rough around the edges (e.g. the first movement is too long and meandering), so maybe he was more particular about string quartets. Or he might have been right not to publish them...

Then there are pieces with complicated histories that were originally planned as something else. Apparently what later became the piano quintet had been written out as a string quintet (which was destroyed).

But there were also some cases where friends like Clara Schumann or Joseph Joachim had seen a movement and liked it and Brahms burned it anyway (IIRC there was at least one trio movement completed for what would have been a sister piece to op.87 with this fate).

This is probably true in the main but his unpublished piano trio is of very high quality (though not as great as any of his published trios), which makes one wonder:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fi0Tx0qM7QY

BTW, this popped while i was looking for the A major trio on youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOGigsmyZUI

What is this? Certainly not by Brahms.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on February 08, 2015, 01:01:50 PM
I thought the authorship of the A major trio was still highly doubtful, does anyone know what the state of research is here?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Mountain Goat on February 08, 2015, 03:27:54 PM
BTW, this popped while i was looking for the A major trio on youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOGigsmyZUI

What is this? Certainly not by Brahms.

That's the Schumann F major trio, which Brilliant Classics somehow managed to confuse with the posthumous A major trio. It's in their complete Brahms box and mislabelled as the A major.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Purusha on February 08, 2015, 03:47:00 PM
I thought the authorship of the A major trio was still highly doubtful, does anyone know what the state of research is here?

How can it not be by Brahms? I'm started to get annoyed by all those claims of doubtful authorship for music who's authorship is basically unequivocal (unless you happen to be tone death).
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on February 08, 2015, 11:43:06 PM
I do not know the piece well enough (have it as a filler somewhere) but how CAN it be by Brahms if he took great care to burn everything he did not see fit for publication?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on February 09, 2015, 01:02:59 AM
How can it not be by Brahms? I'm started to get annoyed by all those claims of doubtful authorship for music who's authorship is basically unequivocal (unless you happen to be tone death).

Tone deaf.

I don't think it's that simple to say that authorship of music is unequivocal, because there are numerous cases of authorship that was considered known until someone came along many years later and showed that the composer was someone else. There are also cases of claimed 'discoverers' of works who were actually the composers of their discoveries. It's simply not true that the personality of a composer, especially in the earlier part of their career is SO distinctive that a mistake is impossible.

You basically have a choice between something being inferior Brahms or something being by a Brahms imitator/contemporary. This is hardly unique. There are doubtful pieces for nearly every 18th or 19th century composer I can think of. The trio is a relatively large piece to be in that category, but last I heard it was still the case that scholars were uncertain whether it's actually an early Brahms work or a work by someone else.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on February 09, 2015, 01:50:41 AM
One of the most famous "inauthentic" pieces are the string quartets op.3 formerly attributed to Haydn. Apparently Haydn himself claimed them as his own when he was old, but in the 60s it became established that they were composed by Hoffstetter (a musical monk from Amorbach). The evidence is apparently philologically as sound as these things can be.
I do not know about the Brahms. My impression is that the case is dubious enough that the A major piece is recorded far less frequently than the published trios.

What's puzzling in the Brahms case is that apparently there is no good alternative candidate for authorship of the trio.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Purusha on February 09, 2015, 04:13:14 AM
Tone deaf.

Yes, thank you. Bloody autocorrect.

I don't think it's that simple to say that authorship of music is unequivocal, because there are numerous cases of authorship that was considered known until someone came along many years later and showed that the composer was someone else.

Depends on the composition in question. Case in point:

One of the most famous "inauthentic" pieces are the string quartets op.3 formerly attributed to Haydn. Apparently Haydn himself claimed them as his own when he was old, but in the 60s it became established that they were composed by Hoffstetter (a musical monk from Amorbach). The evidence is apparently philologically as sound as these things can be.

This does not say much though because Haydn's early quartets have nothing distinctive about them. They could all easily been written by anyone at that time. It would be a very different situation if we were talking about, say, the opus 76, or the London symphonies. 

There are also cases of claimed 'discoverers' of works who were actually the composers of their discoveries. It's simply not true that the personality of a composer, especially in the earlier part of their career is SO distinctive that a mistake is impossible.

Like i said, it depends. What is actually not true is the idea one cannot establish authorship simply by examining the work in question, which i think is the underlying suggestion here. It is the idea that knowledge is the purview of science alone, that physical "evidence" is all that matters, and that one could actually seriously entertain the possibility of things which seem to fly against all sense and reason.

You basically have a choice between something being inferior Brahms or something being by a Brahms imitator/contemporary. This is hardly unique. There are doubtful pieces for nearly every 18th or 19th century composer I can think of. The trio is a relatively large piece to be in that category, but last I heard it was still the case that scholars were uncertain whether it's actually an early Brahms work or a work by someone else.

Well, to me the piece is quite clearly by Brahms. Absence of evidence in this case does not mean i can just dismiss what my hears tell me.

And the same goes for the cello suites of Bach for instance, which some are now trying to claim were not his. To even entertain such a thing is absurd as far as i'm concerned. The music itself in this case IS evidence, as concrete as any scrap of parchment or whatever it is researchers rely upon to make those type of claims.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on February 09, 2015, 04:27:45 AM
Sorry, I just don't think ears are very objective. What your ears tell you is influenced by many things.

There's nothing wrong with taking the view that Brahms wrote the piece, but being so dismissive about the opposite view isn't helpful. Unlike some other views, there is nothing fringe about those scholars who doubt Brahms' authorship. It's not something made up by one scholar to get a bit of attention. It's a view that has successfully hung around for as long as the piece has been known.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Purusha on February 09, 2015, 05:41:07 AM
Sorry, I just don't think ears are very objective.

Well, let's just say i disagree with that.

There's nothing wrong with taking the view that Brahms wrote the piece, but being so dismissive about the opposite view isn't helpful. Unlike some other views, there is nothing fringe about those scholars who doubt Brahms' authorship. It's not something made up by one scholar to get a bit of attention. It's a view that has successfully hung around for as long as the piece has been known.

But where does this doubt stem from. Lack of evidence alone?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on February 09, 2015, 12:50:08 PM
I assume it mostly stems from the piece sounding distinctly like second-rate Brahms.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: amw on February 09, 2015, 02:27:54 PM
The manuscript's been dated to the early 1850s, and some of the ideas bear a strong resemblance to things Brahms would later do in the Serenades and the A major piano quartet (and the D major symphony, I suppose). That's the only real evidence suggesting the piece is by Brahms; no good alternative candidates have been put forth, and he was not yet well known enough to imitate. On my entirely subjective judgment as a composer and pianist, it sounds like Brahms to me, and it sounds like he was right to bin it as it's nothing special.

I kind of want to hear the E-flat major trio he started to compose in tandem with the C major one Op. 87, but later abandoned and destroyed. That would be a bit more interesting since it's a piece he initially thought highly enough of to show to Joachim. We know he folded some of its ideas into the C major trio when he decided to scrap it, so it would provide very clear insights into his composing process. And would also be a much better piece than the A major trio, being written in the 1870s/1880s when Brahms was at the height of his powers. But oh well.

(Another notable example of a reused composition: Brahms's planned 5th symphony eventually became the String Quintet Op. 111)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on February 10, 2015, 04:51:55 AM
Wow. I am absolutely loving the 2nd string quartet. So different from the 1st, even though they're both in minor keys. Op.51/1 was all tension and propulsion in the outer movements, but Op.51/2 is so lyrical!

A minor quartet was one of the first chamber music works I heard from Brahms. A capital work, but my favorite quartet from him is still no. 3.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 10, 2015, 05:49:56 AM
The manuscript's been dated to the early 1850s, and some of the ideas bear a strong resemblance to things Brahms would later do in the Serenades and the A major piano quartet (and the D major symphony, I suppose). That's the only real evidence suggesting the piece is by Brahms; no good alternative candidates have been put forth, and he was not yet well known enough to imitate. On my entirely subjective judgment as a composer and pianist, it sounds like Brahms to me, and it sounds like he was right to bin it as it's nothing special.

Another purely hypothetical angle (as I do not know the example), or rather, neutral consideration.

Granted both that there is some musical element similar to what Brahms would use later, and that Brahms at the date of the MS. was too young or little-known to be imitated.  Perhaps it is musical material which we, because of Brahms's later work, associate closely with him;  but at the time, it may have been "in the air," more like a common bit of sonic currency.
 
An example based on music we know (and the example may or may not be serviceable in the present instance).  There is a passage in Berlioz's Roméo et Juliette with a melodic gesture which we all (at this point) associate irrevocably with Wagner's Tristan und Isolde.  Now, suppose we didn't know who the composer was of the Roméo et Juliette example, and we find it as an anonymous musical scrap.  Might we be inclined to consider it an early Wagner squib?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on February 10, 2015, 06:08:27 AM
A capital work, but my favorite quartet from him is still no. 3.

I'll have to let you know once I hear no. 3! At my current rate of progress through the chamber works, that'll probably be in only a week or less.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on February 10, 2015, 06:32:45 AM
A minor quartet was one of the first chamber music works I heard from Brahms. A capital work, but my favorite quartet from him is still no. 3.
My favorite is probably the a minor but I like all three (although some movements less than others). It sometimes seems to me as if the c minor was a hommage to Beethoven, the a minor to Schubert and the B flat major to Mozart and Haydn...
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on February 10, 2015, 09:02:24 AM
It sometimes seems to me as if the c minor was a hommage to Beethoven, the a minor to Schubert and the B flat major to Mozart and Haydn...

Agreed about c minor and B flat major but A minor brings Bach in my mind more than Schubert. Yes, I know, he didn't compose string quartets, the genre didn't even exist back then but it for some reason reminds me of Bach (while still sounding pure Brahms). It has been some months since I last listened to A minor quartet, maybe if I relisten it I may notice the Schubert homage as well. Of course, homage isn't same thing as "sounds exactly the same". And Brahms's quartets all have that distinct Brahms feeling in musical language.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on February 10, 2015, 09:32:21 AM
The mood of the A minor, especially the first movement seems rather close to Schubert's great A minor "Rosamunde" quartet. Of course, Bach is often lurking around the corner in many Brahms pieces with all their little canons and other kinds of polyphonic devices. And all this is not meant to deny Brahms originality. I completely agree that they all feel predominantly Brahmsian.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on February 11, 2015, 05:34:38 AM
Next cab on the chamber music rank is the super-morose Piano Quartet No.3, op.60.

Okay, so the whole thing doesn't answer that description, but gee the 1st movement really is gun-to-the-head stuff. And the 2nd isn't a reduction in intensity. Whereas the Andante is just an endless stream of beautiful melody.

I find it interesting that the 3rd piano quartet actually started life about the same time as the 1st and 2nd, it just took a far longer time for Brahms to arrive at a complete composition he was satisfied with.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: San Antone on February 11, 2015, 05:58:20 AM
Next cab on the chamber music rank is the super-morose Piano Quartet No.3, op.60.

Okay, so the whole thing doesn't answer that description, but gee the 1st movement really is gun-to-the-head stuff. And the 2nd isn't a reduction in intensity. Whereas the Andante is just an endless stream of beautiful melody.

I find it interesting that the 3rd piano quartet actually started life about the same time as the 1st and 2nd, it just took a far longer time for Brahms to arrive at a complete composition he was satisfied with.

Speaking of, this recording (http://www.renaudcapucon.com/discographie/brahms-piano-quartets#.VNtfjvnF8rU) of the three quartets is very fine, IMO.

(http://www.renaudcapucon.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/CAPUCON-ANGELICH-Brahms-Quatuors.jpg)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on February 12, 2015, 03:53:49 AM
Wow. I am absolutely loving the 2nd string quartet. So different from the 1st, even though they're both in minor keys. Op.51/1 was all tension and propulsion in the outer movements, but Op.51/2 is so lyrical!

I think op. 51/1 and 51/2 are quite similar pair to Brahms's piano quartets op. 25 and 26. Dramatic and full of tension vs calm and lyrical.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on February 12, 2015, 04:05:29 AM
Yes, most definitely. I had exactly the same reaction.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel 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.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel 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.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel 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.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Wanderer 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).
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on March 04, 2015, 05:31:26 AM
What, no reaction? Sigh.

The Violin Sonatas are exquisite indeed.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: North Star 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.

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: amw 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.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen 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.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Artem 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:

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: TheGSMoeller 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.


Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Artem on March 15, 2015, 05:21:43 PM
Sounds like a good idea. Thanks.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel 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.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 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.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel 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!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on May 03, 2015, 01:26:07 PM
I just noticed the striking similarity between the opening theme of Mahler's symphony no. 3 and the famous string melody from finale of Brahms's first. Intentional on Mahler's part? What was Mahler's opinion of Brahms, anyway (considering how big Wagner fanatic he was AND during the time period that he lived, I am foreseeing the answer).
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on May 10, 2015, 05:36:14 AM
Having another go at the Cello Sonata No.2 (op.99) tonight.

It seems a rather grand affair. The first movement in particular seems to be aiming to sound big. I'd thought maybe it was just my recording (Tortelier/de la Pau), but some commentary I've read gives the same impression.

There are some really surprising textures too, eg the beginning of the second movement.

It'll be interesting to see how this compares to op.100 (which I've never heard) and op.101 (which my records indicate I haven't listened to in full since 2009!).
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on May 13, 2015, 07:57:30 AM
I'm a sucker for viola quintets, and Brahms's are no exception.

From the quintets Brahms wrote I like the string ones much more than piano and clarinet ones.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 13, 2015, 08:01:51 AM
I'd say I prefer the viola quintets to the clarinet quintet, yes;  though I may like the clarinet quintet a bit better than you.  Maybe!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on May 13, 2015, 08:26:31 AM
I prefer the piano and the clarinet quintet but all four quintets are great. This probably belongs rather to the other chamber music voting thread. My least favorite chamber pieces of Brahms are the 2nd cello sonata and the C major piano trio. The horn trio is a piece I do not really know well enough, I am afraid.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on May 13, 2015, 08:30:00 AM
I prefer the piano and the clarinet quintet but all four quintets are great. This probably belongs rather to the other chamber music voting thread. My least favorite chamber pieces of Brahms are the 2nd cello sonata and the C major piano trio. The horn trio is a piece I do not really know well enough, I am afraid.

2nd cello sonata isn't one of my favorites either. On the contrast, the first one is one of my favorite chamber music works of all time.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: NorthNYMark on May 13, 2015, 09:26:00 AM
2nd cello sonata isn't one of my favorites either. On the contrast, the first one is one of my favorite chamber music works of all time.

I agree--not so much about the 2nd sonata, which I still enjoy quite a bit, but mainly about the 1st.  It is a recent discovery for me, but one which completely knocked me out, and is well on its way to becoming one of my favorite chamber works as well.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 13, 2015, 09:40:41 AM
I agree--not so much about the 2nd sonata, which I still enjoy quite a bit, but mainly about the 1st.  It is a recent discovery for me, but one which completely knocked me out, and is well on its way to becoming one of my favorite chamber works as well.

Oh, Brahms's œuvre is quite the rabbit-hole . . . .
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: NorthNYMark on May 13, 2015, 09:45:25 AM
Oh, Brahms's œuvre is quite the rabbit-hole . . . .

Indeed.  I've had my eye on that Hyperion set of complete chamber works for quite some time, and may pull the trigger shortly. 
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Marc on May 13, 2015, 10:17:33 AM
Every time I hear the first bars of the Cello Sonata in E-minor op. 38 I know it's gonna be another long evening of sweet melancholy.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on May 13, 2015, 01:56:17 PM
Oh, Brahms's œuvre is quite the rabbit-hole . . . .

I am basically creating my rabbit-hole diary in this thread.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Artem on May 14, 2015, 04:35:40 PM
So, I bought this one and listened to it today for the first time. It definitely sounds different with more balance between orchestra and choir and vocals don't overpower the strings they way they do on Klemperer recording. But, to me it lacks highlights of the 1st and 2nd movements of the Klemperer's version, which are my favorite parts of the German Requiem. Will listen to it a few more times to let it sink in.

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 21, 2015, 08:15:20 AM
Leave it to Luke's mention of a favorite piece for me to find out . . . but is the Op.30 somehow absent (!!) from the Brilliant Complete Works box?  I'm having trouble finding it . . . .
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on May 21, 2015, 01:10:57 PM
Geistliches Lied is on disc 5 in the Brilliant Brahms a cappella Choral (at least according to the back of the box). I do not know about the big Brahms box but I think the Choral box is a subset, so it should be there as well.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 22, 2015, 03:48:32 AM
Geistliches Lied is on disc 5 in the Brilliant Brahms a cappella Choral (at least according to the back of the box). I do not know about the big Brahms box but I think the Choral box is a subset, so it should be there as well.

I guess I need to bring the CD-ROM home to search it out (my eyeballing the set has come up empty).  It's not on the Vol. 5 of the apparently corresponding disc.  (Listening to the piece on YouTube, I find — and I ought probably to be a little embarrassed — that it's a piece I have sung!  And since it is accompanied by organ, I should find it a little counterintuitive to search the a cappella choral music discs — although, in fact, I looked, or tried to, at every CD sleeve . . . .)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 22, 2015, 03:49:21 AM
At less than 90 seconds, damned if that ain't a Little Wedding Cantata!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on May 22, 2015, 04:00:29 AM
Apparently the discs were re-organized for the newer edition (blue box) I have. Your disc 5 is (almost) my disc 4 (almost, because mine also has the canons op.113).

My disc 5 has the motets op.29,74,110, Missa canonica, Choruses with harp and horns op. 17 and as track 3 Geistliches Lied op.30.



In any case, several of the works included have some accompaniment by piano, organ etc.


Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 22, 2015, 04:01:38 AM
Thanks!  Must wait on my return home to solve the puzzle . . . .
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on June 02, 2015, 04:49:44 AM
Oh, how wicked the universe is sometimes. The very same day that, elsewhere on this forum, I talked all about my love of structure and developmental logic, my first ever listens to Violin Sonata No.2 are doing my head in.



It's not that it sounds completely random, but I'm having a really hard time understanding the links between sections. Obviously, there's the middle movement with its dual Andante/Vivace nature, but the first movement is also really throwing me off!

I think I like it, but I don't understand it enough to be sure yet...

Is it just me? Or do other people also find this a puzzling piece?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on June 02, 2015, 05:29:34 AM
Okay, I'm getting it now...

Can I thoroughly recommend this site: http://www.kellydeanhansen.com/index.html

It's someone's collection of listening guides to Brahms' works. I find it incredibly helpful. To me it has just the right amount of detail to be helpful and interesting without overwhelming. It has timings based on particular performances, but working off the bar numbers and descriptions works well with any recording.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Artem on June 02, 2015, 04:56:39 PM
Thank you for that link. I'll try to use it next time I listen to the German Requiem.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ZauberdrachenNr.7 on June 02, 2015, 05:07:39 PM

Can I thoroughly recommend this site: http://www.kellydeanhansen.com/index.html

It's someone's collection of listening guides to Brahms' works. I find it incredibly helpful. To me it has just the right amount of detail to be helpful and interesting without overwhelming. It has timings based on particular performances, but working off the bar numbers and descriptions works well with any recording.

This is outstanding.  8)  Thank you.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Ken B on June 02, 2015, 05:23:02 PM
Indeed.  I've had my eye on that Hyperion set of complete chamber works for quite some time, and may pull the trigger shortly.
Me too. Last thing I need though. BRO if they ever reopen had it at a decent price.
I do recommend the Sony box of Rubinstein plays Brahms. Super cheap and great stuff.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: NorthNYMark on June 02, 2015, 05:31:40 PM
Me too. Last thing I need though. BRO if they ever reopen had it at a decent price.
I do recommend the Sony box of Rubinstein plays Brahms. Super cheap and great stuff.

Thanks for the suggestion--I'll look into it.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Brian on June 02, 2015, 05:56:48 PM
I do recommend the Sony box of Rubinstein plays Brahms. Super cheap and great stuff.
I recommend the Sony box of All Rubinstein (140+ CDs), but if you must have less than everything, his Brahms is among the best recordings I own of anything, involving a piano or otherwise.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on June 02, 2015, 10:15:39 PM
The Rubinstein Brahms box is recommendable without any restriction. Almost all of these recordings can be counted both among Rubinstein's best and among the best Brahms available. Of course the chamber music with only strings or including wind instruments is not included.

The huge Rubinstein-Box is IMO overwhelming unless you are a big fan and want 3-4 alternative recordings of a bunch of pieces (Beethoven/Brahms/Grieg concerti, lots of Chopin) by the same pianist. (I bought it in 2013 and I cannot say I regret the purchase (although I had already about 20 or more single discs included) but I am not sure if I will ever listen to all of it...)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Ken B on June 03, 2015, 11:51:44 AM
The Rubinstein Brahms box is recommendable without any restriction. Almost all of these recordings can be counted both among Rubinstein's best and among the best Brahms available. Of course the chamber music with only strings or including wind instruments is not included.

The huge Rubinstein-Box is IMO overwhelming unless you are a big fan and want 3-4 alternative recordings of a bunch of pieces (Beethoven/Brahms/Grieg concerti, lots of Chopin) by the same pianist. (I bought it in 2013 and I cannot say I regret the purchase (although I had already about 20 or more single discs included) but I am not sure if I will ever listen to all of it...)

Not only that but between the Brahms, Chopin, and Concertos boxes you get, dirt cheap, the bulk of his stereo recordings without multiple duplicates.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on June 04, 2015, 02:37:35 AM
It will probably come as no surprise that within the space of a few days I've gone from being slightly puzzled by op.100 to being enraptured by it.

Damn you, Brahms, for your sheer consistency of inspiration.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on June 04, 2015, 05:19:47 AM
Sometimes called "Meistersinger"-sonata because the very first notes sound like Morgenlich leuchtend im rosigen Schein"-song. Quite frankly, I didn't even notice the similarity until I heard about the nickname.

Although this is probably more often called "Thun-sonata".
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on June 13, 2015, 01:50:27 AM
Tonight I'm listening to, of course, Piano Trio No.3, op.101

And I've had my system of record-keeping long enough to tell me I haven't listened to this work for 5.5 years.  :o

There is just too much music to go round. Because there's certainly nothing about this that would have put me off listening. Every movement is quality, though I'm particularly taken with the hushed intensity of the 2nd movement, and the wilful refusal of the piano and strings to play with each other in much of the 3rd movement.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 13, 2015, 01:43:14 PM
Tonight I'm listening to, of course, Piano Trio No.3, op.101

And I've had my system of record-keeping long enough to tell me I haven't listened to this work for 5.5 years.  :o

Zowie!  I am not at all organized in my listening;  I admire those who are.

There is just too much music to go round.

And this is the most wonderful problem to have  8)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on June 13, 2015, 02:13:15 PM
Zowie!  I am not at all organized in my listening;  I admire those who are.

The reason I decided to keep a record was simply so I didn't listen to the same things all the time and never touch the furthest corners of my collection. For example, if I just relied on my occasional urge for some Brahms chamber music, I'd probably hit opp. 24, 25, 114 and 115 over and over. Not because I don't like the others, but because those are the ones I keep remembering I like.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 13, 2015, 02:25:02 PM
I understand.  I'm fairly good about stretching into the not-as-yet-known regions, but could be better  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Ken B on June 13, 2015, 03:06:04 PM
The reason I decided to keep a record was simply so I didn't listen to the same things all the time and never touch the furthest corners of my collection. For example, if I just relied on my occasional urge for some Brahms chamber music, I'd probably hit opp. 24, 25, 114 and 115 over and over. Not because I don't like the others, but because those are the ones I keep remembering I like.
The extent of my organization is to put a disc back in the box at the back of the box. But sometimes I cheat and don't play from the front.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on June 24, 2015, 05:09:13 AM
Today's stop on my chamber music tour, Violin Sonata No.3, op.108, is a momentous one. This is the last of the works to be brand new to me.



It didn't take long to confirm what I've been reading, which is that this a rather more extrovert work than the first two violin sonatas. I'm finding it very approachable, with strong and clear melodies. Some of which sound surprisingly modern to my ears for some reason, almost like I could find them in a pop song somewhere. A weird response, I know.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on June 24, 2015, 05:59:34 AM
almost like I could find them in a pop song somewhere. A weird response, I know.

I hear you. The opening melody of 3rd movement sounds like pop.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: jlaurson on July 04, 2015, 05:52:59 AM
Today's stop on my chamber music tour, Violin Sonata No.3, op.108, is a momentous one. This is the last of the works to be brand new to me.


It didn't take long to confirm what I've been reading, which is that this a rather more extrovert work than the first two violin sonatas. I'm finding it very approachable, with strong and clear melodies. Some of which sound surprisingly modern to my ears for some reason, almost like I could find them in a pop song somewhere. A weird response, I know.

One of the very best recordings of those works, too!!!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: CRCulver on August 15, 2015, 12:00:17 AM
In the collection Messiaen Perspectives, Hugh McDonald makes the following comment: “But the French often have trouble appreciating Brahms (think of Lalo’s horrified reaction to the Violin Concerto).”

Any idea what he is talking about? What did Lalo say about that work?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on August 15, 2015, 12:21:09 AM
IIRC the most famous reaction to the violin concerto was by Sarasate: When there finally appears a tune, the oboe has it. [i.e. the beginning of the slow movement]
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) re: French disklike of the Violin Concerto
Post by: Scion7 on August 15, 2015, 01:36:58 AM
Any idea what he is talking about? What did Lalo say about that work?

No idea - my bio's by MacDonald and Seigmeister don't mention it.  MacDonald quotes Hellmesberger as saying it was a concerto "not for, but against the violin."   :-)

It doesn't really matter, for there will always be the naysayers and folks that don't appreciate it - none of which has stopped its reputation as one of the three greatest violin concertos ever written, along with Beethoven's and Tchaikovsky's.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on August 15, 2015, 03:51:58 AM
Google found me a snippet on the Sydney Symphony Orchestra website (from a concert including both composers) saying Lalo "didn't like Brahms at all", so clearly he is recorded as having said something negative.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: North Star on August 15, 2015, 07:39:08 AM
Google found me a snippet on the Sydney Symphony Orchestra website (from a concert including both composers) saying Lalo "didn't like Brahms at all", so clearly he is recorded as having said something negative.
Not to mention what Lalo is quoted to have written here (https://books.google.fi/books?id=7iwZ-qTuSkUC&pg=PA85&lpg=PA85&dq=mendelssohn+berlioz+indifferent+drivel&source=bl&ots=JDfFJiQt10&sig=5Sv09The2Z1S-5L7Hqn3gA124G0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=QUEsVcnLG4X28QW0sIHoCg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=lalo%20brahms&f=false) (Composers on Music: Eight Centuries of Writings, ed. Josiah Fisk, Jeff William Nichols) (pp. 130-131).

There's a nice bit from Brahms's letter to Clara Schumann about the Bach Chaconne, too, on p. 134, followed by bits on Schumann to von Herzogenberg, and . . . on Die Meistersinger to Clara.  8)
Also most worthy of a reading is Tchaikovsky's review of Rakh 1st, p. 142.  :laugh:
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Brahms vs. Tchaikovsky .....
Post by: Scion7 on August 15, 2015, 10:12:33 AM
Brahms and Tchaikovsky got along courteously if not warmly when they met, but neither one liked the other's music and style.  The descriptions of what they said seemed to be a game of one-upmanship. >:D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on August 15, 2015, 11:05:48 PM
Brahms supposedly made very scathing remarks even about some composer's much closer to his style and tradition, e.g. Bruch. (Although I am not sure if some might have been made up. E.g. there is a German children/folk song "Fuchs, Du hast die Gans gestohlen" (Fox, you've stolen a goose) and Brahms apparently commented about a symphony by Robert Fuchs with "Fuchs, die hast Du ganz gestohlen" (Fuchs, you stole that one entirely).

The only major contemporary he seems to have been fond of, was Dvorak, but he also supported a fair number of unknowns composing in a traditional classicist style. But then Brahms apparently found most of his own work not good enough (compared to the likes of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert), supposedly destroyed dozens of works (including movements friends like Clara or Joachim had found pretty good, e.g. a trio begun parallel with op.87) so one would not expect him to be generous to others if he was so hypercritical of his own work.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: amw on August 15, 2015, 11:18:55 PM
Clara (or Joachim?) actually liked the discarded E-flat major trio better than the Op. 87 trio as I recall, praising the second theme in particular. Brahms still got rid of it. Though I'm sure he reused any good bits in another composition later on; composers do that.

Brahms had high praise for Dvořák, Wagner (most of the time), and a few of the younger generation who met with his approval late in life (Schoenberg and Busoni, notably). His favourite contemporary composer however appeared to be Johann Strauss II.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on August 16, 2015, 02:03:48 AM
I recall reading (possibly false) anecdote that although Brahms seemed to detest Bruckner's symphonies, he actually went to his funeral, teary-eyed. It sounds fake but then again, this is Brahms we're talking about...
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on August 16, 2015, 02:29:21 AM
I believe we have very scathing remarks about Bruckner's music and personality in writing. I do not know whether the teary Brahms at either a concert with Bruckner's 8th or Bruckners funeral is made up or authentic.

Apparently, Brahms also thought that Berlioz and especially Liszt were hacks who lacked the very craft of musical composition. (So it is somewhat puzzling that he found nothing to admire in Bruckner's polylphonic craftsmanship).

I did not know that Brahms had known the young Schoenberg (although the unpublished string quartet of the latter does sound a lot like Brahms and Dvorak) at all.
There is an anecdote about him giving critical feedback to a string quintet of the young Zemlinsky (Brahms opened a volume of Mozart's string quintets and pointed out the voice leading in some passage to Zemlinsky and said: That's how you do that, from Bach to myself).

Apparently he had good things to say about the (rather Brahmsian) piano quintet of the young Ernst von Dohnanyi. There is a nice clarinet quartet (cl, piano, vl, vc) by some Walter Rabl (1873-1940, who seems to have quit composing in favor of teaching not much later) that also won a price from some jury Brahms was part of and Brahms recommended it for publication.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on August 16, 2015, 02:39:08 AM
What about Richard Strauss? I know he gave recognition to Strauss's symphony no.2 but did he ever give a comment about his tone poems (those that he lived to hear, IF he heard them at all)?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 16, 2015, 05:22:15 AM
Brahms admired Nielsen's Symphony No. 1 in G minor as well. 8)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Brian on August 16, 2015, 05:35:14 AM
Brahms had high praise for Dvořák, Wagner (most of the time), and a few of the younger generation who met with his approval late in life (Schoenberg and Busoni, notably). His favourite contemporary composer however appeared to be Johann Strauss II.
I wonder if this is because Johann Strauss II not only could do something Brahms had great trouble doing, but did that particular thing better than almost anyone else in history. And, to some extent, Dvořák fits in that category too.

Melody must have been very hard for Brahms. I don't know if there's evidence he found melody a great challenge? But his famous Johann Strauss anecdote is jotting down the "Blue Danube" theme and writing "Alas, not by Brahms." And one of his quotes about Dvořák, which I'm paraphrasing since I don't know where to find it, is that Dvořák casually tossed around melodies which other composers would use to build entire symphonies. (Maybe he said something about Dvořák writing envy-inducing tunes "in his sleep"?)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on August 16, 2015, 06:00:54 AM
While Brahms died before Sibelius's breakthrough outside Finland, I recall Tawastjerna's biography mentioning that Brahms heard one of Sibelius's early songs, "Se'n har jag ej frågat mera" and he said: "He will be something someday." To quote Tomi Mäkelä: "For Brahms, that was presumably a compliment."
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 16, 2015, 06:32:52 AM
While Brahms died before Sibelius's breakthrough outside Finland, I recall Tawastjerna's biography mentioning that Brahms heard one of Sibelius's early songs, "Se'n har jag ej frågat mera" and he said: "He will be something someday." To quote Tomi Mäkelä: "For Brahms, that was presumably a compliment."

I would certainly take that as a compliment. He basically foresaw that he will do great things in music and his prediction was correct. 8)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: amw on August 17, 2015, 06:29:29 PM
I wonder if this is because Johann Strauss II not only could do something Brahms had great trouble doing, but did that particular thing better than almost anyone else in history. And, to some extent, Dvořák fits in that category too.

Melody must have been very hard for Brahms. I don't know if there's evidence he found melody a great challenge? But his famous Johann Strauss anecdote is jotting down the "Blue Danube" theme and writing "Alas, not by Brahms." And one of his quotes about Dvořák, which I'm paraphrasing since I don't know where to find it, is that Dvořák casually tossed around melodies which other composers would use to build entire symphonies. (Maybe he said something about Dvořák writing envy-inducing tunes "in his sleep"?)
I think it may reveal a bit of Brahms's compositional process. The music of Dvořák and Strauss II, along with his 'all time favourite' Mozart and mentor Schumann, is clearly written with almost no sketching or laborious working-out at the piano (if they used the piano it was likely to improvise in order to come up with thematic ideas). Dvořák in particular is almost entirely an 'intuitive' composer. Brahms spent ages on pieces working them into shape. No one who's heard (eg) the sextets, violin sonatas, some of the songs, etc will deny that Brahms was an extremely refined melodist, but these melodies are products of intellect (eg the secondary theme in the first movement of Op. 36, one of his finest inspirations, is cleverly set up to loop back into itself to avoid problems of overly square phrasing we sometimes find in Dvořák or Mendelssohn [another 'intuitive'], in a way that suggests he spent some time figuring out how to do that. Or the gorgeous 'trio' section of Op. 119/2, which is a transformation of the opening theme into a lyrical mode). And more often he wrote 'themes' instead of melodies, so that he could turn them upside down or use them in canon with each other etc.

Not that Brahms didn't sometimes turn out popular melodies of the same calibre as Strauss (as in the Hungarian Dances) but even then the tunes themselves have been worked out in the sense that Brahms had studied the popular style closely, rather than inhabiting it with complete unselfconsciousness.

(I seem to recall Brahms being initially supportive and then turning lukewarm towards R Strauss, and declining to meet Sibelius even though he had a letter of introduction from Busoni?)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on August 17, 2015, 09:45:28 PM
declining to meet Sibelius even though he had a letter of introduction from Busoni?)

They did meet briefly eventually, though, at Cafe Leidinger.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on August 17, 2015, 10:46:26 PM
There are some famous statements by Brahms in conversation or writing where he says that he does not value "mere musical ideas" because "working them out" is what makes the music (and what needs the brains). Also, that in variations one should forget about the melody of the theme and just take the bass or the harmonic scheme and work out something really new from that.

In any case, I never really understood how Brahms could be considered poor in the melody department. There is some of the "subordination" to larger scale structures etc. but this is hardly different from Bach or Beethoven (although the details may be quite different, the subordination as such is not).
And, interestingly, the arch-melodist Schubert uses in some of his best works even less "melodic" but very simple short motives, e.g. the string quintet and the G major quartet. So such subordination is to some extent a feature of large scale classical-romantic movements.

And while Brahms's respect for Joh. Strauss' melodic gifts was genuine (and apparently shared by Schoenberg and his circle) I think he was a little facetious with the Blue Danube on that napkin (or visiting card or what it was).
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Brian on August 18, 2015, 03:56:21 AM
To be clear/defensive, I did not insult Brahms's melodies, only said that he must have found writing melodies to be harder than, say, Dvorak found writing melodies.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Brahms vs. Tchaikovsky .....
Post by: ChamberNut on August 18, 2015, 05:19:29 AM
Brahms and Tchaikovsky got along courteously if not warmly when they met, but neither one liked the other's music and style.  The descriptions of what they said seemed to be a game of one-upmanship. >:D

This is mostly true.  However, I do believe Brahms admired and gave praise for Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony.  However, I don't think Tchaikovsky made any exceptions to his disdain for Brahms' music.  :D
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on October 25, 2015, 03:41:23 AM
None of you talk about Brahms unless I'm in here doing my chamber music thing...  ;)

I've dipped into the String Quintet No.2, op.111 a few times on and off in the last few months. Apparently Brahms intended this to be his last work? I've seen more than one source indicating it was around this time he intended to stop composing.

The recording I have is members of the Berlin Philharmonic Octet (Malacek, Mezger, Tsuchiya, Gerhard, Steiner) from 1970 - the sound is a fraction thin, but there's plenty of body to the performance. I just love the way it opens. It's so full of life, to me it feels like Spring is bursting out.

The second movement, by contrast, has a hushed and veiled quality to it. It takes some quite surprising little harmonic twists, and the main 'tune' rarely feels very settled. It sets up very nicely to lead into the 3rd movement, which is a rather gloomy menuet/trio. Well, the menuet is gloomy, the trio gets back towards the sunny disposition of the first movement. And then in the finale, Brahms gets a bit Hungarian rustic again, although it's quite complicated including an off-key beginning.

I don't know that this is one of my favourite Brahms chamber works, but it's still pretty darn good.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on October 25, 2015, 08:48:07 AM
None of you talk about Brahms unless I'm in here doing my chamber music thing...  ;)

I've dipped into the String Quintet No.2, op.111 a few times on and off in the last few months. Apparently Brahms intended this to be his last work? I've seen more than one source indicating it was around this time he intended to stop composing.

The recording I have is members of the Berlin Philharmonic Octet (Malacek, Mezger, Tsuchiya, Gerhard, Steiner) from 1970 - the sound is a fraction thin, but there's plenty of body to the performance. I just love the way it opens. It's so full of life, to me it feels like Spring is bursting out.

The second movement, by contrast, has a hushed and veiled quality to it. It takes some quite surprising little harmonic twists, and the main 'tune' rarely feels very settled. It sets up very nicely to lead into the 3rd movement, which is a rather gloomy menuet/trio. Well, the menuet is gloomy, the trio gets back towards the sunny disposition of the first movement. And then in the finale, Brahms gets a bit Hungarian rustic again, although it's quite complicated including an off-key beginning.

I don't know that this is one of my favourite Brahms chamber works, but it's still pretty darn good.

Well, I just had to listen to the string quintets after your post.  I enjoy them both, very much.  Op. 88 was an immediate favourite of mine, while it took some time for me to warm up to the Op. 111.  Interesting that both string quintets were written in the mature/late years, while the two string sextets were from his younger days.

Listening to Op. 88 and Op. 111, performed by the Brandis Quartett, with Brett Dean on viola II.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on October 25, 2015, 08:52:23 AM
Well, I just had to listen to the string quintets after your post.  I enjoy them both, very much. 

Me too. But I do have a minor objection to Op. 111, in that the explosive first mvt. really dominates it, and the following mvts. sound like afterthoughts by comparison. They seem to inhabit two different worlds.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on October 26, 2015, 12:05:19 AM
Yes, I also feel that the first movement rather overshadows the rest.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on November 09, 2015, 02:58:58 AM
Great video of Furtwangler and Brahms 4th finale...


https://www.youtube.com/v/leYbb5KZYDg
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Scion7 on November 09, 2015, 05:32:11 AM
It's a crime so many of these classic recordings suffer so much from the limits of the technology of the day.   :(
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: amw on November 10, 2015, 12:47:26 AM
Yes, I also feel that the first movement rather overshadows the rest.
The first movement, if I recall correctly, contains material intended for a fifth symphony; but when Brahms wrote Op. 111 he had decided to give up composing while he was still good, so I guess he just decided to write it as a string quintet instead. It's clearly on a more "symphonic" scale with quasi-orchestral sound at times, which is probably what leads to the impression of overshadowing the other (less substantial) movements. That and its quality is higher imo, with an intensity and vitality unsurpassed anywhere in Brahms's output.

Not the only Brahms work where the first movement greatly overshadows the remainder, though—I would also nominate the first Piano Concerto Op. 15 (whose first movement is basically an entire concerto on its own, and would work much better that way, imo), the second Sextet Op. 36, the second Symphony Op. 73, the first Violin Sonata Op. 78, and arguably the revised version of the first Piano Trio Op. 8.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on November 21, 2015, 10:45:04 PM
My chamber music sequencing has brought me to the Clarinet Trio, op.114. As performed by Pressler, Greenhouse, Pieterson.



Crazily, it's been over 4 years since I listened to this, but it might as well have been yesterday. Because this is one of those pieces I fell totally in love with. In fact, one of the reasons I started developing spreadsheets and some kind of listening plan is so that I didn't just keep going back to the same works over and over - for example, so that every time I thought "Brahms chamber music" I didn't just head for the Clarinet Trio.

That special Brahmsian reticence, combined with the mellowness of clarinet and cello, is just perfect for me. Every one of the movements works. I don't even know which one I'd nominate as a favourite if pressed, I could probably narrow it down to the 1st and 2nd but between those it would be a toss-up.

I know general opinion seems to favour the Clarinet Quintet over the Clarinet Trio, and I do thoroughly enjoy the Quintet, but personally the Trio has a very special magic.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on November 22, 2015, 12:25:59 AM
The clarinet quintet is on a larger scale and has the more impressive slow movement, but the trio might be even more "Brahmsian", terse and melancholy. I also prefer the quintet but the trio is certainly also a great piece (as are the sonatas). We can really be eternally grateful to Mühlfeld that he lured Brahms out of retirement... (he might have composed the late piano stuff anyway but not the clarinet works).

The young Zemlinsky wrote a trio for the same instrumentation is worthwhile (although extremely indebted to Brahms). There is also a nice clarinet quartet (clarinet + piano trio) by some Walter Rabl from the same time.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on November 22, 2015, 07:44:07 AM
Another clarinet trio fan here, in fact I think I currently prefer it to the quintet. Interesting how I've heard reports of this composition being considered an outright failure among Brahms's masterpieces. I cannot agree with that at all.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on November 22, 2015, 09:52:21 AM
My chamber music sequencing has brought me to the Clarinet Trio, op.114. As performed by Pressler, Greenhouse, Pieterson.



Crazily, it's been over 4 years since I listened to this, but it might as well have been yesterday. Because this is one of those pieces I fell totally in love with. In fact, one of the reasons I started developing spreadsheets and some kind of listening plan is so that I didn't just keep going back to the same works over and over - for example, so that every time I thought "Brahms chamber music" I didn't just head for the Clarinet Trio.

That special Brahmsian reticence, combined with the mellowness of clarinet and cello, is just perfect for me. Every one of the movements works. I don't even know which one I'd nominate as a favourite if pressed, I could probably narrow it down to the 1st and 2nd but between those it would be a toss-up.

I know general opinion seems to favour the Clarinet Quintet over the Clarinet Trio, and I do thoroughly enjoy the Quintet, but personally the Trio has a very special magic.

Same here.  Absolutely adore the beautiful Clarinet Quintet, but I find the Trio even more compelling.  Along with the two clarinet sonatas.  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: San Antone on November 22, 2015, 10:34:31 AM
Same here.  Absolutely adore the beautiful Clarinet Quintet, but I find the Trio even more compelling.  Along with the two clarinet sonatas.  :)

A few days ago I was listening to this recording which has all those works on one disc in excellent recordings.

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on November 23, 2015, 05:16:48 AM
A few days ago I was listening to this recording which has all those works on one disc in excellent recordings.



Very nice.  That set receives a lot of praise.  :)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: esMussSein on November 23, 2015, 10:03:59 AM
I just recently heard the Frost recording of the sonatas and trio and was completely impressed. Excellent playing and feeling, and that was a little unexpected by me for some reason I can't quite put my finger on. However, the Philips set with Pressler is also excellent; can't go wrong with either.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on December 13, 2015, 04:17:05 AM
No surprise that I've moved on to the charms of the Clarinet Quintet.

I love the lyrical grace with which the 1st movement opens. For some reason that opening theme sounds a little French to me when the clarinet gets involved! The movement does have its more forceful moments, but lyricism is the dominant impression.

The 2nd movement gives similar impressions of melodies unfolding, although it does some dramatic things in the middle section I can't quite get a handle on (no listening guide for this one! curses!). The 3rd movement is somewhat similar, an easygoing section followed by the 'real' scherzo, more agitated.

Then the theme and variations finale shifts in mood as it goes, but it's always lyrical melody unfolding. It should be obvious by now that this is the overwhelming impression I get from the whole piece.

I do like it, but at least in the performance I have (Berlin Philharmonic Octet members), it just doesn't hit me in the same way as the Clarinet Trio. The brighter sound, though yearning and still autumnal, doesn't make me respond in quite the same way. I somehow wish I liked it more than I do.

The very opening of the piece is probably my favourite part!
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on January 09, 2016, 11:46:07 PM
A guide to my listening pace... I started this survey of 24 Brahms chamber works on 28 July, 2014.

And now I'm up to the 23rd work, the Clarinet Sonata No.1



Another sign of my often leisurely place... I feel like I want to say the clarinet sonatas are a relatively recent purchase, only thing is my initial listen to them was in March/April 2014.  ???

The 1st movement allegro appassionato doesn't feel all that 'allegro' initially, at least in this recording, but it certainly feel like a very dense work, full of different ideas and moods, and some of it most certainly is passionate. It's also got plenty of moments with that special Brahmsian autumnal reticence. I ended up listening to this movement several times in a row and using one of those listening guides I've previously mentioned (http://www.kellydeanhansen.com/opus120-1.html) not because I wasn't getting enjoyment out of the movement but because it was even better once I had more of a grasp of the form. It is indeed a sonata form, but the 'joins' are very well hidden.

The 2nd movement is warm and sweet-natured and untroubled in comparison. The 3rd movement is also mild, more a mid-paced waltz than a scherzo. It's rather lovely actually.

And then the finale is positively bouncy! Well, okay, it's late Brahms so it's not just a complete perpetual motion or anything, but the mood is most definitely bright, with only one episode that suggests darker moods. Really, it feels like the 1st movement has set you up to expect a certain kind of work, and the 3rd/4th movements don't fulfil that expectation.

But the piece isn't any less satisfying for subverting expectations. Another fine work that I'll have to try and put in rotation a little more often! But then the queue is always so long...
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: North Star on January 10, 2016, 01:48:11 AM
And now I'm up to the 23rd work, the Clarinet Sonata No.1

Another sign of my often leisurely place... I feel like I want to say the clarinet sonatas are a relatively recent purchase, only thing is my initial listen to them was in March/April 2014.  ???
...
But the piece isn't any less satisfying for subverting expectations. Another fine work that I'll have to try and put in rotation a little more often! But then the queue is always so long...
Gosh, I see it's time I revisited Brahms's chamber works, too - they feel like old friends to me, but I've managed to neglect them for a while.
Listening to Op. 120 no. 1 now, (King/Benson for me as well). It's true that the mood of the first movement might make one expect that the rest of the work is more stormy as well, but - as you say - the road it takes isn't any less satisfying. And surely anyone would want to eventually find relief from the tempestuousness of the first movement in real life, too.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on January 10, 2016, 02:09:38 AM
Don't postpone op.120/2; it's probably my favorite Brahms sonata!
The f minor I am not so sure about; I am not too fond of the "bubbling", happy finale.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: ChamberNut on January 11, 2016, 06:43:08 AM
A guide to my listening pace... I started this survey of 24 Brahms chamber works on 28 July, 2014.

And now I'm up to the 23rd work, the Clarinet Sonata No.1



Another sign of my often leisurely place... I feel like I want to say the clarinet sonatas are a relatively recent purchase, only thing is my initial listen to them was in March/April 2014.  ???

The 1st movement allegro appassionato doesn't feel all that 'allegro' initially, at least in this recording, but it certainly feel like a very dense work, full of different ideas and moods, and some of it most certainly is passionate. It's also got plenty of moments with that special Brahmsian autumnal reticence. I ended up listening to this movement several times in a row and using one of those listening guides I've previously mentioned (http://www.kellydeanhansen.com/opus120-1.html) not because I wasn't getting enjoyment out of the movement but because it was even better once I had more of a grasp of the form. It is indeed a sonata form, but the 'joins' are very well hidden.

The 2nd movement is warm and sweet-natured and untroubled in comparison. The 3rd movement is also mild, more a mid-paced waltz than a scherzo. It's rather lovely actually.

And then the finale is positively bouncy! Well, okay, it's late Brahms so it's not just a complete perpetual motion or anything, but the mood is most definitely bright, with only one episode that suggests darker moods. Really, it feels like the 1st movement has set you up to expect a certain kind of work, and the 3rd/4th movements don't fulfil that expectation.

But the piece isn't any less satisfying for subverting expectations. Another fine work that I'll have to try and put in rotation a little more often! But then the queue is always so long...

Love, love, love the Op. 120 sonatas, especially the # 1 F minor.  A top 5 favourite Brahms' chamber work of mine, to be sure!  :)  Please, do check out the viola transcriptions of the sonatas as well.  I hope you will find them equally satisfying, as I do.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on February 06, 2016, 06:47:13 PM
Don't postpone op.120/2; it's probably my favorite Brahms sonata!

I'm actually kind of glad that I did hold off a while, so that I could hear it as an entirely 'separate' piece.

Because I am loving it. It's got this wonderful balance between relaxation and energy. It's basically sunny, but every and now then it swings into something more intense. But it never goes too far. The shifts are never jarring.

I think perhaps the final theme and variations isn't quite on the same level for me as the rest, a little more static than I'd like for a finale, but it's still pretty enjoyable.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: jlaurson on May 15, 2016, 05:45:40 AM
This probably belongs here more than in the WAYLN thread.

Hm, I think I've got enough for the next few years ... put this list together so I know what's around:

#1-4
1939/40 - Weingartner, LPO/LSO
1948-52 - Furtwängler, BP
1951/52 - Toscanini, NBC
1951-56 - Jochum, BP
1956/57 - Klemperer, Phil
1957-63 - Dorati, LSO/MSO
1959/60 - Walter, ColSO
1959-63 - Sawallisch, WS
1960-64 - Bernstein, NYPhil
1963 - Ansermet, OSR
1975 - Böhm, WP
1976 - Jochum, LPO
1977/78 - Karajan, BP
1982/83 - Wand, NDR
1988-91 - Abbado, BP
2007/08 - Gardiner, ORR
2010 - Zinman, Tonhalle

You show me yours, I'll show you mine.  :)

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7713/26993787126_720f3d6a65_b.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51PH1GFNFPL.jpg)
Abbado, BPh, DG (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00JJ9DZ0U/goodmusicguide-20)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00ARWDR8S.01.L.jpg)
Berglund, COE, Ondine (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00ARWDR8S/goodmusicguide-20)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00JX5DZOQ.01.L.jpg)
Chailly, LGW, Decca (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00JX5DZOQ/goodmusicguide-20)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00005TNML.01.L.jpg)
Eschenbach, Houston, Virgin-Erato
★★★(★)
(http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005TNML/goodmusicguide-20)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000002S69.01.L.jpg)
Furtwaengler, WPh & BPh, EMI (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000002S69/goodmusicguide-20)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000CNDHYQ.01.L.jpg)
Gielen, SWR SO BB&F, Hänssler (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000CNDHYQ/goodmusicguide-20)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71OzHmbWGzL._SX522_.jpg)
Giulini, Philharmonia, EMI-Warner (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0040UEI90/goodmusicguide-20)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B003Y3MYWM.01.L.jpg)
Haitink, RCO, Decca (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B003Y3MYWM/goodmusicguide-20)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000T5ELAG.01.L.jpg)
Janowski, Pittsburgh, Pentatone
★★★(★)
(http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000T5ELAG/goodmusicguide-20)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0000012YE.01.L.jpg)
Levine, WPh, DG (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000012YE/goodmusicguide-20)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B002AGIEYG.01.L.jpg)
Rattle, BPh, EMI
★★★★★
(http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B002AGIEYG/goodmusicguide-20) (Review (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/03/dip-your-ears-no-100.html))

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00M14IFRI.01.L.jpg)
Thielemann, WPh, DG (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00M14IFRI/goodmusicguide-20)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51lJfdO3xvL.jpg)
Wand, NDR, RCA
★★★★★
(http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005QHUZ/goodmusicguide-20)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Bo%2BgfNWOL.jpg)
Wand, NDR live, RCA (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000023ZSF/goodmusicguide-20)

Elsewhere I am rather certain that I have a few more -- HvK 70s, Mackerras & Celi.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on May 15, 2016, 08:19:13 AM
I think I have too many already, but - not surprisingly - less than you guys:

Toscanini/NBC (RCA)
Furtwängler/BPO (Music & Arts)
Walter/NYPO (Sony)
Jochum/BPO (DG)
Klemperer/Philharmonia (EMI)
Sanderling/Dresden (RCA)
Wand/NDR (RCA)
Karajan/DG (I think a mix of 1980s and 70s, one of the latest twofers)
Giulini/VPO (Newton/DG)

Earlier this year I decided that I should weed out some CDs and the Brahms symphonies would be a major candidate. But so far I have only sorted out an earlier single disc Karajan #1 (60s DG) and Toscanini 2nd that became obsolete with the complete set (and I do not need the coupled Haydn variations, I think).

And I have another 6 or 7 singles of #1...
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Scion7 on May 15, 2016, 08:38:48 AM
I will never let go of the Karajan 1960's DG LP's (or CD's if I had them) - those were award-winners and they sound great.
Also have the Brahms' symphonies with Solti/Chicago SO.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 15, 2016, 10:22:58 AM
Complete Cycles

JOCHUM/LPO
MACKERRAS/SCOTTISH CHAMBER
KLEMPERER/PHILH
BARENBOIM/CHICAGO
MAAZEL/CLEVELAND
DOHNÁNYI/CLEVELAND
SZELL/CLEVELAND
FURTWÄNGLER(M&A)
FURTWÄNGLER (ARCHIPEL)
SANDERLING/STAATSKAPELLE DRESDEN
WAND/SONDR
CELIBIDACHE/MUNICH PHIL
GIELEN/SWR SO BADEN BADEN
ESCHENBACH/HOUSTON
BERNSTEIN/VIENNA PHIL

Single Symphonies

No.1

SOLTI/CHICAGO
PAITA   /NATIONAL PO
IVAN FISCHER/BUDAPEST FEST
GIULINI/LOS ANGELES

No.2

NORRINGTON/LONDON CLASS
GIULINI/LOS ANGELES
GIULINI/VIENNA PHIL

No.3

ABENDROTH/RSO LEIPZIG
NORRINGTON/LONDON CLASS
BOULT/BBC SO
KARAJAN/VIENNA PHIL

No.4

ABENDROTH/RSO LEIPZIG
ESCHENBACH/SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN
NAGANO/DSO BERLIN
KLEIBER/VIENNA PHIL
NORRINGTON/LONDON CLASS
GIULINI/CHICAGO
STEINBERG/PITTSBURGH
LOUGHRAN/HALLÉ
FISCHER-DIESKAU/CZECH PHIL
STOKOWSKI/NEW PHILHARMONIA



Sarge
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 15, 2016, 03:48:59 PM
NAGANO/DSO BERLIN

That there is a mighty fine sleeper.


Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: kishnevi on May 15, 2016, 04:31:52 PM
Complete Cycles

JOCHUM/LPO
MACKERRAS/SCOTTISH CHAMBER
KLEMPERER/PHILH
BARENBOIM/CHICAGO
MAAZEL/CLEVELAND
DOHNÁNYI/CLEVELAND
SZELL/CLEVELAND
FURTWÄNGLER(M&A)
FURTWÄNGLER (ARCHIPEL)
SANDERLING/STAATSKAPELLE DRESDEN
WAND/SONDR
CELIBIDACHE/MUNICH PHIL
GIELEN/SWR SO BADEN BADEN
ESCHENBACH/HOUSTON
BERNSTEIN/VIENNA PHIL

Single Symphonies

No.1

SOLTI/CHICAGO
PAITA   /NATIONAL PO
IVAN FISCHER/BUDAPEST FEST
GIULINI/LOS ANGELES

No.2

NORRINGTON/LONDON CLASS
GIULINI/LOS ANGELES
GIULINI/VIENNA PHIL

No.3

ABENDROTH/RSO LEIPZIG
NORRINGTON/LONDON CLASS
BOULT/BBC SO
KARAJAN/VIENNA PHIL

No.4

ABENDROTH/RSO LEIPZIG
ESCHENBACH/SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN
NAGANO/DSO BERLIN
KLEIBER/VIENNA PHIL
NORRINGTON/LONDON CLASS
GIULINI/CHICAGO
STEINBERG/PITTSBURGH
LOUGHRAN/HALLÉ
FISCHER-DIESKAU/CZECH PHIL
STOKOWSKI/NEW PHILHARMONIA



Sarge

Not anything from Gardiner? Nor Haitink? And only 1 from Karajan?

As best I recall  I have
Eschenbach
Solti
Gardiner
Haitink
Karajan
Bernstein/VPO on DVD
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Brian on May 15, 2016, 04:47:17 PM
Okay, fine, I'll play!

Levine/Chicago
Bernstein/Columbia
Wand
Dohnanyi/Cleveland
Harnoncourt
Kertesz
Janowski/Pittsburgh (2-4; missing No. 1)
[EDIT:] Abbado/BPO
Van Zweden (Brilliant)
the individual volumes of Ivan Fischer that have been released so far

Plus I've streamed a number of others, notably Chailly/Concertgebouw, Gielen, Alsop, Rattle. And individual symphony recordings like Kleiber's.

That there is a mighty fine sleeper.

Mighty fine sleeper is a term you can apply to almost any/every Kent Nagano recording. Few conductors I know are as reliable and as little-known, and when I got to see him live in Montreal last year, he had the band in truly great shape.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on May 15, 2016, 05:22:50 PM
Not anything from Gardiner? Nor Haitink? And only 1 from Karajan?

As best I recall  I have
Eschenbach
Solti
Gardiner
Haitink
Karajan
Bernstein/VPO on DVD
Other than Lenny all the others are snoozers. Not sure which HVK cycle you have but they are all gluey and ponderous. Almost anything from the extensive list above are better renditions of these works. If it was me I would vote for Walter/CSO or Sanderling/Dresden for two very different but equally persuasive readings.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 15, 2016, 05:30:00 PM
Janowski/Pittsburgh (2-4; missing No. 1)

Janowski's Pittsburgh 2nd is a huge fave of mine.

Quote
Mighty fine sleeper is a term you can apply to almost any/every Kent Nagano recording. Few conductors I know are as reliable and as little-known, and when I got to see him live in Montreal last year, he had the band in truly great shape.

Yes, Nagano is one of those conductors who I've always admired. I might not have as large a collection of his work as I'd like but I'm always on the lookout for his discs.
 

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 15, 2016, 05:35:21 PM
Not anything from Gardiner? Nor Haitink? And only 1 from Karajan?

The Haitink that does it for me is his OOP Boston cycle. Sleeper of all sleepers right there. ;D


Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: amw on May 15, 2016, 06:09:24 PM
Not like I'm an expert or anything ::) but

Kertész/VPO
Jochum/LPO
Kempe/BPO
Walter/NYPO
Walter/CSO (2 + 3 only)
Walter/VPO (3 only)
Fricsay 2 (from the box)
Mackerras/SCO
Thielemann/Dresden
Les Dissonances (4 only)
Bernstein/NYPO (from the box)

I also go back and forth on whether or not to add the Kubelík/BRSO cycle or just to listen to it on streaming occasionally. And the Furtwängler/BPO 1, which is my favourite for that piece, but I still haven't bothered to download.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on May 15, 2016, 10:14:30 PM
I hope I'll get the nerve and leisure to do some comparative listening. The Giulini/Vienna is so slow that I might get rid of it although some seem to love it. I'll probably keep Wand's for nostalgia anyway (it was the first cycle I bought in the late 1980s) and I even have his Chicago 1st in addition to the NDR studio.
I certainly do not feel that I need about 10 or more recordings of those pieces.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: jlaurson on May 16, 2016, 01:41:39 AM
I hope I'll get the nerve and leisure to do some comparative listening. The Giulini/Vienna is so slow that I might get rid of it although some seem to love it. I'll probably keep Wand's for nostalgia anyway (it was the first cycle I bought in the late 1980s) and I even have his Chicago 1st in addition to the NDR studio.
I certainly do not feel that I need about 10 or more recordings of those pieces.

Heresy! Wand still rocks the heck out of the Brahms Symphonies. Compare that to the Giulini drudge (doesn't matter which set) or the Haitink-pleasantry, and you'll know that you were onto a good; nay: Marvelous thing, right out of the gate!  :)

Update w/singles:
This probably belongs here more than in the WAYLN thread.

You show me yours, I'll show you mine.  :)

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7713/26993787126_720f3d6a65_b.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51PH1GFNFPL.jpg)
Abbado, BPh, DG (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00JJ9DZ0U/goodmusicguide-20)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00ARWDR8S.01.L.jpg)
Berglund, COE, Ondine (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00ARWDR8S/goodmusicguide-20)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00JX5DZOQ.01.L.jpg)
Chailly, LGW, Decca (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00JX5DZOQ/goodmusicguide-20)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00005TNML.01.L.jpg)
Eschenbach, Houston, Virgin-Erato
★★★(★)
(http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005TNML/goodmusicguide-20)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000002S69.01.L.jpg)
Furtwaengler, WPh & BPh, EMI (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000002S69/goodmusicguide-20)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000CNDHYQ.01.L.jpg)
Gielen, SWR SO BB&F, Hänssler (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000CNDHYQ/goodmusicguide-20)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71OzHmbWGzL._SX522_.jpg)
Giulini, Philharmonia, EMI-Warner (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0040UEI90/goodmusicguide-20)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B003Y3MYWM.01.L.jpg)
Haitink, RCO, Decca (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B003Y3MYWM/goodmusicguide-20)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000T5ELAG.01.L.jpg)
Janowski, Pittsburgh, Pentatone
★★★(★)
(http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000T5ELAG/goodmusicguide-20)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0000012YE.01.L.jpg)
Levine, WPh, DG (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000012YE/goodmusicguide-20)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B002AGIEYG.01.L.jpg)
Rattle, BPh, EMI
★★★★★
(http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B002AGIEYG/goodmusicguide-20) (Review (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/03/dip-your-ears-no-100.html))

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00M14IFRI.01.L.jpg)
Thielemann, WPh, DG (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00M14IFRI/goodmusicguide-20)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51lJfdO3xvL.jpg)
Wand, NDR, RCA
★★★★★
(http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005QHUZ/goodmusicguide-20)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Bo%2BgfNWOL.jpg)
Wand, NDR live, RCA (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000023ZSF/goodmusicguide-20)

Elsewhere I am rather certain that I have a few more -- HvK 70s, Mackerras & Celi.

HvK 60s 2-4

1
Gardiner
Païta
Szell
Thielemann / MPhil
Wand / MPhil
Celi / VSO
Gergiev / LSO

2
Gergiev / LSO
Fricsay

4
Alsop
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Madiel on May 16, 2016, 04:16:07 AM
Zero.

Still trying to choose a set.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Drasko on May 16, 2016, 05:15:56 AM
sets:

Abbado BPO
Rattle BPO
Thielemann SKD
Mravinsky Leningrad Phil
Walter NYPO
Jochum BPO
Giulini VPO

singles:

No.1
Klemperer Berlin State Opera
Mehta VPO
Fischer BFO
Krips VPO
Karajan BPO (live '88)

Markevitch Symphony of the Air
Furtwangler Hamburg NDRSO
Bohm BPO
Jochum ONdF
van Beinum Concertgebouw
Oistrakh Moscow Phil
Toscanini NBCSO ('41)
Stokowski Philadelphia ('36)

No.2
Fischer BFO
Walter ColSO
Monteux LSO
Monteux SFSO ('45)
Furtwangler VPO ('45)
Fricsay VPO
Kondrashin USSRSO
Bohm LSO
Schuricht VPO
Mengelberg Concertgebouw
Klemperer Philh.
Abendroth Hessian RSO

No.3
Krauss VPO
Koussevitzky BSO

Karajan BPO
Karajan VPO
Walter VPO
Walter ColSO
Mengelberg Concergebouw
Monteux BBC Northern SO
Levine VPO
Dohnanyi CO
Bernstein VPO
Furtwangler BPO
Ansermet Bavarian RSO
Bohm VPO ('53)
Kertesz VPO
Klemperer Philh.
Keilberth Hamburg State Philh.

No.4
Kleiber VPO
Furtwangler VPO ('50)

Furtwangler BPO ('42)
Weingartner LSO
De Sabata BPO
Mengelberg Concertgebouw
Koussevitzky BSO
Krips LSO
Markevitch Lamoureux
Markevitch USSRSO
Eliasberg Leningrad Phil.
Kertesz VPO
Wand NDR SO
Bernstein VPO
Fischer-Dieskau CzPO
Celibidache Milan RAI SO
Reiner Royal Philh.

(some of the favorites bolded)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 16, 2016, 05:24:22 AM
Heresy! Wand still rocks the heck out of the Brahms Symphonies. Compare that to the Giulini drudge (doesn't matter which set) or the Haitink-pleasantry, and you'll know that you were onto a good; nay: Marvelous thing, right out of the gate!  :)

Giulini's Vienna cycle can be challenging when it comes to its slowness but I find his 1 and 3 to be total successes. Yes, they're on the slowish side but they steer clear of the dreaded "dirge" effect. Speeds are just this side of acceptable.

It's the inner detail, the "inner life", that makes the interpretations work. And the warmth.

As far as Haitink, as I've mentioned, his Boston cycle is a cut above "pleasant". It's solid, memorable music-making.


 
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on May 16, 2016, 09:14:51 AM
I also still like Wand, but I think that for the (more or less) lean and fast approach, Toscanini is more convincing.

Of singles I have

1
probably another Furtwängler
Abendroth
Böhm live orfeo
Horenstein Chesky
Scherchen
Giulini/LA
Levine/Vienna
Wand/Chicago live
Markevitch

2
Busch
Fricsay
Walter Columbia
Kegel

3
Szell Decca
Walter Columbia
Scherchen

4
De Sabata
Markevitch
Kleiber
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Florestan on May 16, 2016, 09:18:35 AM
My complete sets

Jochum
Furtwangler
Hermann Abendroth
Gardiner
Karajan (too lazy to check which version)
Bernstein
Celibidache



Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: jlaurson on June 25, 2016, 12:09:00 AM
From the "Recordings which you are considering thread", because it may be apropos: The different Karajan / Berlin Brahms Symphony Cycles.

Can anyone find the 60s cycle complete? Or the 4th individually?

THIS is the 80s cycle:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71qfCQiINAL._SL1120_.jpg)
Brahms - Symphonies 1-4
HvK / Berlin Phil [1986-88 - digital]
DG (http://amzn.to/28TWYq6)
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/418RHV50D1L.jpg) (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/416FDRBB9AL.jpg)
Brahms - Symphonies 1-4
HvK / Berlin Phil [1986-88 - digital]
DG (http://amzn.to/28SIshP)


THESE are the 70s cycle:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51VsFn1KpbL.jpg)
Brahms - Symphonies 1-4
HvK / Berlin Phil [1978]
DG (http://amzn.to/28XvRxn)
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/519qHlpWsHL.jpg)
Brahms - Symphonies 1-4
HvK / Berlin Phil [1978]
DG (http://amzn.to/28Tk3xk)
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51NFDj9N8JL.jpg)
Brahms - Symphonies 1-4
HvK / Berlin Phil [1978]
DG (http://amzn.to/293FKZM)


THIS is the MIXED cycle (1-3 = 80s, 4 = 70s):

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71pWcKBZToL._SX522_.jpg)
Brahms - Symphonies 1-4
HvK / Berlin Phil [1978/87-89]
DG (http://amzn.to/28Y5NEg)


These are the 60s recordings. I read of a complete cycle having been issued on DG, but I don't find it.
DG, on the release of the 2nd and 3rd claims 1959 - 1965. I think it should be 1963/64; the 1959 account of the First is Vienna/Decca (http://amzn.to/28ZPIMJ) (he also recorded the Third in Vienna (http://amzn.to/28SIS7G), in 1960); HvK re-recorded the 1st four years later in Berlin.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71i%2BxCU28SL._SX522_.jpg)
Brahms - Symphonies 2 & 3
HvK / Berlin Phil [1963-64]
DG (http://amzn.to/28ZOEbM)
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51ayHlJYkmL.jpg)
Brahms - Symphony 1
HvK / Berlin Phil [1963-64]
DG (http://amzn.to/28TkYOm)
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41%2BG7S38IEL.jpg)
Brahms - Symphonies 3 & 4 [import]
HvK / Berlin Phil [1963-64]
DG (http://amzn.to/28TB7BC)



Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Jo498 on June 25, 2016, 12:49:44 AM
Does anybody know why the put that particular mix on the twofer with HvK at the window? Is the 1978 4th supposed to be especially good or the early 1980s 4th especially bad?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Scion7 on June 25, 2016, 01:54:20 AM
Only the Grand Prix du Disque winners from the early 1960's are critically acclaimed for Karajan.  And they are very, very good.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: jlaurson on June 25, 2016, 02:51:43 AM
Does anybody know why the put that particular mix on the twofer with HvK at the window? Is the 1978 4th supposed to be especially good or the early 1980s 4th especially bad?

This doesn't come from my own experience... but the general tenor was that the 4th was the best in the 70s set and the weakest in the 80s set... his last studio recording with Berlin, I believe... and a little bit Autopilotish. But of course there are as many opinions as there are opinioneers: Some say 60s and 80s are awesome, some say 70s is the best but the sound is boxy... gosh. :-)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Parsifal on June 25, 2016, 03:56:35 AM
From the "Recordings which you are considering thread", because it may be apropos: The different Karajan / Berlin Brahms Symphony Cycles.

Can anyone find the 60s cycle complete? Or the 4th individually?




I got this this CD when it first came out, around 1986, then spent decades trying to get this cycle. The first came out as an original, the second and third a bargain price "resonance" with poorly done remastering.



The repackaged the 70's cycle over and over and over again and neglected the 60's cycle for reasons I cannot guess. Finally I have it in the 60's box.

The other Brahms miracle is that the Barbirolli/WPO cycle was finally released by EMI, after decades of being available only on OOP "Royal Classics" releases.

Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: NikF on October 15, 2016, 11:28:18 AM
Piano Concerto in D minor
Symphony No. 4 in E minor
Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 25
String Sextet No. 1 in B flat major
Piano Trio No.1 in B, Op.8

I was introduced to Brahms by a young German woman. Music was a huge part of her life and the vastness of her enthusiasm for it was exceeded only by the amount of patience she had with me. ;D She was convinced I'd like Brahms and for a couple of years persisted in playing a variety of his work. Then one day she came home with the Curzon/Szell D minor PC. Ah. And then her favourite recording, the Gilels/Jochum, during which there were a few moments where it felt like I had a lump in my throat - and that's not like me at all.
Brahms is my favourite composer now. I find his music very human, which is a quality I believe makes it simply beautiful.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 16, 2016, 04:24:18 AM
Piano Concerto in D minor
Symphony No. 4 in E minor
Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 25
String Sextet No. 1 in B flat major
Piano Trio No.1 in B, Op.8

I like your list...love your list actually. It's almost my Top 5 Brahms. (I'd substitute the D major Symphony for the Piano Quartet.)

Sarge
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: NikF on October 16, 2016, 05:08:33 AM
I like your list...love your list actually. It's almost my Top 5 Brahms. (I'd substitute the D major Symphony for the Piano Quartet.)

Sarge

Really? That's interesting. :)
Maybe there's only one of the symphonies on that small list because they were the last to become accessible to me. There was again an element of needing the music spread around various interpretations and performances before I could begin to enjoy them. I try to avoid allusions to photography (;D) but for a long time I had to step way back before I could finally move close enough to see and appreciate the shadow detail. Then eventually taken as a whole they were revealed as so wonderfully, passionately human. Perhaps even inspiring.
Is there a cycle you consider a favourite?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: San Antone on October 16, 2016, 05:20:24 AM
Piano Concerto in D minor
Symphony No. 4 in E minor
Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 25
String Sextet No. 1 in B flat major
Piano Trio No.1 in B, Op.8

Aside from Symphony No. 4 you have chosen all early works, arguably before Brahms developed his voice.  Don't get me wrong, those are all very fine works, but late Brahms is on an altogether different level.   He didn't publish his first Symphony (which took 20 years to germinate) until middle age, and his truly greatest works, imo, all came after the German Requiem, Op. 45 - almost half way through his catalog.

 ;)
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: North Star on October 16, 2016, 05:26:14 AM
Aside from Symphony No. 4 you have chosen all early works, arguably before Brahms developed his voice.  Don't get me wrong, those are all very fine works, but late Brahms is on an altogether different level.   He didn't publish his first Symphony (which took 20 years to germinate) until middle age, and his truly greatest works, imo, all came after the German Requiem, Op. 45 - almost half way through his catalog.

 ;)
Yes, although Piano Trio No. 1 was extensively revised later, so it's not really a genuinely early work.

If I tried to think of a top 5 Brahms works list, I suspect the late chamber works and would be heavily represented. There are so many works in his corpus that I love that naming just five seems rather difficult.
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: NikF on October 16, 2016, 05:42:18 AM
Aside from Symphony No. 4 you have chosen all early works, arguably before Brahms developed his voice.  Don't get me wrong, those are all very fine works, but late Brahms is on an altogether different level.   He didn't publish his first Symphony (which took 20 years to germinate) until middle age, and his truly greatest works, imo, all came after the German Requiem, Op. 45 - almost half way through his catalog.

 ;)

When I was making the list there were two other pieces I went back and forth over which would have tilted the scales the other way ;D I love the clarinet sonatas and the Op. 119, but at this stage a big part of it is down to two performances in particular, both of which I considered outstanding in comparison to others. Op. 119 was especially difficult for me because I kept going back to the words of Brahms to Clara "The little piece is exceptionally melancholic and ‘to be played very slowly’ is not an understatement". But I eventually found what I believed was true to that via the Serkin recording.





You familiar with them? And do you have any favourites?
Title: Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Post by: San Antone on October 16, 2016, 05:52:17 AM
When I was making the list there wer