Brahms c minor piano quartet program notes

Brahms c minor piano quartet program notes

The Piano Quartet No.

brahms c minor piano quartet program notes

It was premiered in in Hamburgwith Clara Schumann at the piano. It was also played in Vienna on 16 Novemberwith Brahms himself at the piano supported by members of the Hellmesberger Quartet. This first movement, a sonata form movement in G minor and common timebegins immediately with the first theme, a declamatory statement in straight quarter-notes, stated in octaves for the piano alone.

This theme is the opening cell that governs the content of the rest of the musical material in the movement. The other instruments soon join in to develop this initial theme and cadence in G minor. There are four other themes in the exposition. The exposition ends with a closing section that develops only the opening theme and oscillates between D major and D minor, and eventually ends, almost reluctantly, in D major. Although the exposition is not repeated, Brahms creates the illusion of its repetition by starting the development section with the identical ten measures that begins the exposition, up to and including the strong G minor cadence.

The development section then goes through many of the themes previously heard and extends them in new ways, and moves from A minor to E minor and eventually to D major.

Very atypically, the recapitulation begins not with the first theme, but with the second theme in G major. The resolution is short-lived, as it moves back to the minor mode, where it cadences after an imitative development of the first theme in G minor. The recapitulation ends with a coda that is relatively brief but intense, concluding with an ascending passage built through imitation of the opening cell, whose buildup comes suddenly crashing down in a descending 'fortissimo' phrase.

The piece ends on a desolate and incomplete-sounding G minor chord, the highest notes being the third and fifth scale degrees of the tonic triad rather than the tonic. The second movement, marked Intermezzo and Trio, is in C minor and compound triple meter.

It is in ternary form and functions like a scherzothe more traditional second or third movement of a piano quartet. The consistently repeated eighth notes creates an effect of perpetual motion, even agitation, although the melodic themes are quite lyrical. The intermezzo flirts between major and minor and ends in C major. The intermezzo is repeated, followed by a brief coda in C major that restates the theme of the trio. The first subject is very lyrical.

A second idea, which brings back the repeated eighth notes from the intermezzo, begins the transition to the second main section. The second section is in C major and starts with fortissimo chords in dotted rhythm for the piano solo. The second theme itself is rhythmically energetic and exuberant in character. It is initially stated by the piano and accompanied by light sixteenth note gestures by the strings, although this is later reversed.

A long coda helps to stabilize the often dissonant and unstable harmonies of the movement. Like the previous movements, this movement develops a plethora of themes.

brahms c minor piano quartet program notes

The final cadence of this movement, from the minor subdominant to the tonic, is used to conclude many of Brahms's slow movements, such as that from the Piano Quintet. The voicing of the last chord is ominous: the highest note of the strings is the violin's open G string, while the piano plays a tonic chord again with the third on top two octaves higher. This fast rondo marked 'presto' is in G minor in duple time.

The subtitle "Rondo alla zingarese" has given it the nickname "Gypsy Rondo. The quartet was orchestrated by Arnold Schoenberg inat the instigation of conductor Otto Klemperer and premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Klemperer; this orchestrated version was made into the ballet Brahms—Schoenberg Quartet by George Balanchine.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Piano Quartet in G minor No. Piano Quartet in G minor: I. Piano Quartet in G minor: II.

Allegro, ma non troppo. Andante con Moto.Piano Trio No. Naxos Javascript not enabled. Work Title Piano Trio No. Simrock Average Duration Avg. Duration 21 minutes Composer Time Period Comp. Trios ; For violin, cello, piano ; Scores featuring the violin ; Scores featuring the cello ; Scores featuring the piano ; For 3 players ; For piano 4 hands arr ; Scores featuring the piano arr ; Scores featuring the piano 4 hands arr ; For 2 players arr.

Contents 1 Performances 1. Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Editor First edition. Editor Georg Schumann — Leipzig: C.

PetersNo. Plate Javascript is required for this feature. Plate J. I provide the original scanned version and the filtered, because the filter does some changes smoothening, sharpening borders and some portions of the scan get lost sometimes when they are too small e.

You may ask me for a manually cleaned version. Arranger Robert Keller — Original images: dpi, color tif from pdf files. Editing: converted to black and white, de-skewed, and set uniform margins. Wikipedia ; BNF : h. Brahms, Johannes.

Strings and Winds: String Sextet No.

Piano Trio No.3, Op.101 (Brahms, Johannes)

Instrumental Sonatas: Cello Sonata No.This is the last work Brahms wrote for the piano trio. It is a magnificent work in every respect, from the sharply etched melodies to the concision and masterly manner in which they are handled.

Brahms seemed to reserve C minor for some of his weightiest, most dramatic and gravely serious works — the First Symphony, the First String Quartet and the Third Piano Quartet come to mind. The first performances — in Hofstetten and Budapest that year — were private ones. The second theme, though warmly lyrical, brings no relaxation of the tension and momentum. The second movement, also in C minor, is mysterious, almost wraithlike, yet also of great delicacy.

The dynamic level rarely rises above piano. The key is now C major rather than C minor. The sonata-form finale returns to C minor and to the spirit of grim determination that dominated the first.

As in the monumental First Symphony, drama and fury give way to radiant warmth, and C minor yields to C major in the final pages. Six years after writing his first piano trioMendelssohn produced a second. It was first performed on December 20, at the Leipzig Gewandhaus, where Mendelssohn was serving as conductor of its famous orchestra.

The first movement, in perfectly constructed sonata-form, opens with a restless, flowing subject for the piano, soon joined by the strings. The second subject is a glorious, life-affirming theme in E flat major. The exposition is not repeated, perhaps since the development section is so extensive and does such a thorough job of working out both themes with great inventiveness.


The slow movement offers a good measure of consolation after the relentless pace and intensity of the first. It is a three-part structure, with the outer ones gently songlike and set to the pervasive rhythmic pattern of short-long, short-long. The Scherzo flies by in a blizzard of notes.

It is further characterized by much imitative writing and by a vaguely Hungarian gypsy flavor. In its powerful sonorities, massive piano chords, extremes of range, seriousness of purpose and overall intensity, the finale seems to speak more of Brahms than of Mendelssohn. Another feature of this movement is the incorporation of a chorale-like theme that has had scholars searching intently for its German-Lutheran origin — in vain.Edited by Hanspeter Krellmann.

Sheet Music.

Henle Music Folios. Urtext edition-paper bound. Single piece and set of performance parts softcover. With introductory text, performance notes, bowings and fingerings. Henle HN Published by G. Henle HL. Brahms' Third Piano Quartet stands out for the extremely involved and complex history of its genesis. In Brahms reprised his work, but still found no satisfying solution. This name will appear next to your review. Leave it blank if you wish to appear as "Anonymous".

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For the first work in each genre he chose a key darkly emblematic of the brooding temperament and explosive emotional energy of his musical forbear. Both his Symphony No. C-natural is also the lowest pitch on the cello, allowing the composer ample space for expressive depth in his string writing. Over top races an urgent rising figure that culminates in a downward leap of a diminished 7th, the same interval that opens the Op.

In a mere seven breathless measures, Brahms takes us from a furtive piano to a defiant forte, from a textural spacing of a single octave to a gaping expanse of four and a half—from the low C on the cello to a high-high A flat in the first violin—and from a pulse- quickening pace to an abrupt crash-test halt.

Following an emotional climax in cascading strettothe exposition closes with graceful arabesques from the first violin to spread soothing melodic oil over the troubled textural waters. The recapitulation is remarkable for its coda, an intense accelerando of fz accents that pulls back in its final bars to end with a written out ritardando in the major mode.

Between the more rhetorically fraught first and last movements, Brahms inserts two miniatures of distinctly contrasting mood. The Romanze is a Mendelssohnian voyage into the domestic coziness. This is music to curl up with in front of a fire, with a cat in your lap.

Piano Quartet No. 3 (Brahms)

The close spacing of the string writing and restrained dynamic range add to the feeling of intimacy in this movement, which alternates between a warmly expressive opening theme, brocaded with melodic variation at its second occurrence, and a slightly more heart-fluttering B-section featuring pleading groups of sigh motives.

Where an extroverted scherzo in triple meter would normally be expected as a third movement, Brahms writes instead a darkly flavoured, but deeply ambivalent duple-metered intermezzo. While nominally in F minor, it coyly refuses to either confirm or deny the fact for most of its duration. Its pattern of little two-steps, stalked by a leering countermelody in the viola, evokes a mood of mischief perhaps there is the scherzo quality somewhere between mincing and menacing.

This is music your cat would like. The fourth movement begins with an aggressive restatement of the climbing motive that opened the first movement, with its dramatic downward leap of a diminished 7th. So tightly argued is this sonata-form movement that its development and recapitulation sections seemed inseparably grafted together.

At a time when European music was turning towards large programmatic orchestral works performed in grandiose public concerts, Brahms continued to write music created from just the basic building blocks of the tonal system, intended for private performance by small ensembles. In so doing, he established the foundations for a rich new literature of chamber works that featured hitherto neglected instruments such as the clarinet and viola in a leading role.

Indeed, the duo-sonata literature for these instruments can be said to begin with Brahms. The second of these, the three-movement Sonata in E flat, is remarkable for its relaxed ease of expression, its underlying ethos of moderation, both in mood and in tempo. It begins with a sinuous, songlike melody with many a winding turn but nary a care in the world. A second theme arrives, less meandering but equally carefree, that even the occasional outburst from the piano cannot perturb.

This first movement is what a happy contented old age sounds like. The formal contrasts that normally distinguish sections within first-movement sonata form are attenuated in this last sonata movement that Brahms was to compose.

The fluidity of form is most keenly felt in the development section, where tumult is avoided in favour of civilized lyrical conversation. Despite the odd provocation from the piano, the blood pressure rarely rises beyond a slight quickening of pulse from duplets to triplets, so that the recapitulation arrives like a welcoming hostess announcing to her guests that dinner is served.

The coda, marked Tranquillo, nudges the movement to a conclusion with the viola playing beneath the piano for the last chord.The Piano Quartet No. The first movement is a sonata-form movement in C minor in triple meter. It begins with the piano playing bare octaves on C. The violin, viola, and violoncello then play the first theme, consisting of two sighing gestures of a descending minor second, followed by a descending theme.

Some have speculated that the sighing motive is a musical utterance of the name "Clara", in reference to Clara Schumannthe composer, pianist, and lifelong friend and love interest of Brahms. Furthermore, there is direct evidence that this melodic form actually embodied her, for Brahms as for Schumann. The opening motives, again played by the strings, becomes more chromatic and unsettling, until finally coming to rest on the dominant of C, G major.

This second theme is an uplifting eight-measure theme stated initially in the piano alone.

Brahms - Piano Quartet No. 3 In C Minor, Opus 60 'Werther'

Brahms then uses the technique of theme and variations to construct four variations on this theme, each eight measures long. A short idea based on the opening theme closes the exposition, which is not repeated. This moves to B major for a new fortissimo idea perhaps a variation based on the same theme. The quartet's opening sighing motives become developed in an E minor passage that incorporates a triplet figure on the second beat of the measure, and eventually the previous B major idea is restated identically in G major.

The second theme from the exposition is then treated in imitative almost canonic counterpoint in C minor. After the beginning of the third contrapuntal treatment of this theme, a dominant pedal is sustained in octaves on G.

brahms c minor piano quartet program notes

The sighing motive indicates the beginning of the recapitulation. Chromatic descent is employed to bring the music to a half-cadence on D, leading to the second theme in G major. This is perhaps the only sonata form movement in the minor mode in which the recapitulation features the second subject in the key of the major dominant.

A fifth variation leads to a short digression in C major but becomes chromatic and ends with a development the first theme, coming to a cadence on C.

This is followed by a brief coda that expands on the first motives heard in the piece. Nevertheless, the key of C minor is arguably not clearly established by the recapitulation the key signature of C minor is present at the end of the movement for less than two complete pages.

The movement ends with a clear tonic—dominant—tonic perfect cadencestated piano. The expansive and exploratory nature of the movement, along with the quiet closing dynamic, helps make the conventional final cadential progression appear mysterious.

The second movement is a tempestuous scherzo ternary form in compound duple meter in C minor, the same key as the first movement. Donald Francis Tovey argues that Brahms puts the scherzo in the same key as the first movement because the first movement does not sufficiently stabilize its own tonic and requires the second movement to "[furnish] the tonal balance unprovided for by the end of the first movement.

The first theme, which clearly derives from the opening motif, is immediately by the solo piano played after this and Brahms uses the technique of developing variation to expand this theme. Most melodic ideas can be traced to the opening motif or the ascending minor second of the opening motif, which, notably, is the inversion of the descending sighs of the introduction of the first movement. This scherzo is very chromatic and unstable tonally, although it does actually move to a secondary phrase on the dominant and returns to the tonic with frequency.

The scherzo ends with a pedal on the tonic C minor. The middle section is not demarcated by the title of trio as are the middle sections of the scherzi from Brahms's previous two piano quartets. Moreover, this middle section serves more as a section of contrasting material than as a structural contrast—it maintains the same key signaturetime signatureand tempo as the scherzo, is not musically marked off in any clear way, and even develops the same themes as the scherzo.

One may argue whether it is in fact a trio at all, as nineteenth century composers knew it. Nonetheless, the middle section begins with a new theme, an ascending line in quarter notes in the strings, accompanied by a descending triplet figure played by the piano. This instrumentation is soon reversed and earlier themes from the scherzo become further developed. The transition back to the scherzo develops and rhythmically diminishes the opening motif of the scherzo and is the most chromatic, rhythmically complex, loud, and dramatic section of the movement.

The scherzo is repeated almost entirely, however, the section immediately preceding the tonic pedal is omitted and replaced with a climactic dominant chord in a very high register in the strings, ending with a tierce de picardie on C major with three loud declamations of the tonic major chord.Good tips, especially the YouTube one. For some potential customers, these may carry more weight. My company (Tortuga Backpacks) compiles quotes from 3rd party reviews on a Reviews page with links back to the original article.

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