Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

Started by BachQ, April 07, 2007, 03:23:22 AM

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Opus131

Quote from: Mandryka on December 15, 2023, 01:15:48 PMBusoni made transcriptions for one piano which Paul Jacobs recorded - he said they were the most difficult thing he ever played.

I'm not a keyboard player so i wouldn't know how hard they are to play but i think with late Brahms in general it is the melodic complexity or density that makes it difficult.

There's just SO much going on in his music:


There's a similar degree of melodic density in those chorales as well:


The only caveat about those chorales is that we don't know the actual order as Brahms died before he could publish them himself. Hard to say if the set is even finished.

atardecer

Quote from: Opus131 on December 16, 2023, 02:17:30 AMI'm not a keyboard player so i wouldn't know how hard they are to play but i think with late Brahms in general it is the melodic complexity or density that makes it difficult.

There's just SO much going on in his music

That is a pretty good description. Also Brahms tends to use a similar idea in a multitude of different ways, creating passages that have similarities but are moving around a lot through different chords and keys, with the voices changing in subtle ways. It's generally challenging to play and also challenging to memorize and internalize.
"The deeper education consists in unlearning one's first education." - Paul Valéry

"The Gods kindly offer us the first verse, what is difficult is to write the next ones which will be worthy of their supernatural brother." - Paul Valéry

LKB

Quote from: Florestan on December 15, 2023, 02:07:37 AMI've never met Albeniz yet he was clearly lying when he claimed he studied with Liszt. I've never met Colin Powell yet he was clearly lying when he claimed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. I've never met Putin yet he lies all the time.


I must defend General Powell here. He was not making stuff up, he was making a case that he believed to be true, based on inaccurate intelligence reported to him and others within the Bush administration. So, " lying " isn't the word l would use, as he wasn't intentionally misleading in his address to the UN.
Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen...

Spotted Horses

Quote from: Opus131 on December 16, 2023, 02:17:30 AMI'm not a keyboard player so i wouldn't know how hard they are to play but i think with late Brahms in general it is the melodic complexity or density that makes it difficult.

Probably there is a distinction between being hard to play the notes, and hard to make the music emerge from the notes.
There are simply two kinds of music, good music and the other kind. - Duke Ellington

lordlance

I heard two Brahms 1s in quick succession:



This is from the 1970s and is not to be confused with his cycle from the '50s. There an excellent write up comparing both cycles that can be found here

Overall the performance is a let-down. It's not bad I suppose. Technically fine. Recorded well. Just lacking excitement or energy so necessary for a Brahms 1. Feels underwhelming. This combined with the Coriolan Overture from roughly the same period lead me to believe Boult was past his prime by the time stereo came around or at least his later EMI recordings much like Walter and Klemperer's stereo stuff.

Onwards to Asahina with Osaka from 1994:


I was pleasantly surprised by this performance actually. It didn't get bogged down by "stately" tempi as Asahina is wont to do in most of his performances. The timpani being highlighted was also a lot of fun for me personally and at certain times I picked out some background string writing I hadn't heard before. Overall I shall revisit this later.
If you are interested in listening to orchestrations of solo/chamber music, you might be interested in this thread.
Also looking for recommendations on neglected conductors thread.

Mandryka

Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Herman


Florestan

Quote from: Jan BrokkenLike everyone else, I associate Johannes Brahms mainly with Hamburg

Everyone else?...

Quote from: Jan BrokkenAfter all, who was more Viennese than Haydn?

Schubert, Johann Strauss I and II, Joseph Lanner.
There is no theory. You have only to listen. Pleasure is the law. — Claude Debussy

Madiel

I don't think he understands what Vienna was at the time.

Having visited the city, it didn't take long for me to realise many of the buildings and monuments were doing the same sort of display as a centre of power that I'd previously seen in Paris. Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms didn't shuffle off to Vienna by coincidence.
I am now working on a discography of the works of Vagn Holmboe. Please visit and also contribute!

atardecer

Some of the article was interesting, some of it kind of annoying. The guy read some books about Brahms and now speaks as though he pretty much knew him, and assumes to know pretty much everything about his life (and apparently everyone else knows all about these things too - it's common knowledge). He speaks as though Brahms and him are practically BFF, and so its no big deal to make light of him.

Making light of oneself is usually not offensive, doing it to someone else you never met based on second hand sources you read too much into, not good form.


"The deeper education consists in unlearning one's first education." - Paul Valéry

"The Gods kindly offer us the first verse, what is difficult is to write the next ones which will be worthy of their supernatural brother." - Paul Valéry

vers la flamme

I enjoyed it, but then I enjoy reading any scrap I can about Brahms.


Madiel

The title is more than enough to put me off.
I am now working on a discography of the works of Vagn Holmboe. Please visit and also contribute!

SonicMan46

Solo Piano Music - some 'modern' cycles - I've been culling these for a while and now own the first two below, i.e. Geoffroy Couteau in a 6-disc box and Jonathan Plowright on 5 separate CDs; a third recent 6-disc box is with Barry Douglas which I've listen to a few performances on Spotify and enjoyed.

I'm not aware of any other 'new' cycles by any other pianist and am happy w/ the two owned - don't believe I need another but Douglas would be a consideration.  For those interested, there are several attachments - one on Plowright which is thorough; the other on Couteau & Douglas, unfortunately I could find only a few decent comments about Couteau on Amazon but the reviewers seem to have some good knowledge - the Douglas MusicWeb review is also excellent for those who might want to explore him further.  Dave

   

Herman

Quote from: Herman on December 31, 2023, 03:23:45 PMTalk about twaddle...

Jan Brokken is a successful Dutch writer, he likes to write books about artistic circles, painters, musicians etc. Long time ago (the eighties) he wrote a series of interviews with music soloists that was highly regarded. However, this Brahms piece is like time travel even further back. This is the way people used to write a hundred years ago, indeed, as if they knew every thought of their subject and also as if they understood what they were attempting in their endeavours.  It's deeply cringe-inducing, also the way the author constantly foregrounds himself. Quoting from memory: "Everyone thinks of Brahms as a Hamburg man, me too." Apart from the fact that many people think of Brahms in a different way, what purpose does the 'me too' serve?

Jo498

Yes, that's a rather old fashioned way of writing about artists although it probably was still somewhat common in popularizations in the 50s. It's a bit like a 1950s middle school book would try to get 14 year olds interested in "Great men" (although Brahms would not be as likely a candidate here as some scientist or explorer), only far more verbose.

It also makes a bit too much out of the beard. Just look at virtually any artist, scholar or scientist of that time. The fashion stuck around for another generation (so that the scientists in Tintin comic books from the 1930s are still mostly bearded because the 60 year old professors of the 20s-30s often did look like that) Brahms' beard was not extraordinarily unkempt (and he would not have had to fear setting it on fire a chemistry lab like Borodin).
Tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos, dans une chambre.
- Blaise Pascal

lordlance

Heard Paul Hindemith conduct the Academic Festival Overture. Was weary it would suck because Dave has said Hindemith was a lousy, stiff conductor but no it's pretty great. It can't be reference because of its sheer age and serviceable, at best, sonics but it's one to keep under historical recordings of interest:

If you are interested in listening to orchestrations of solo/chamber music, you might be interested in this thread.
Also looking for recommendations on neglected conductors thread.

lordlance

#1557
I used to think that Stokowski wasn't a great conductor in the central German repertoire based on his mediocre Beethoven but I recently heard him conduct the Brahms 4 live on BBC Legends (when he was 92!) and the first movement was quite vigorous and you would never know it's being conducted by a nonagenerian.

Today I heard his Brahms 1 from 1972 (when he was 90) which was also quite sprightly and impassioned.

Of course let's not forget his 1977 Tragic Overture when he was 95 (a few months before his death) which is definitely a swift rendition at 11.5 minutes.

The man retained his vitality, remaining zestful until the very end. His Brahms 1 at 92 is livelier than conductors who are 50. I can only revere such youthfulness. There truly was no one like Stokowski.
If you are interested in listening to orchestrations of solo/chamber music, you might be interested in this thread.
Also looking for recommendations on neglected conductors thread.