Two of Johannes Brahms’ most popular late piano pieces are now available as Urtext scores from Piano Street’s sheet music library. Recordings, of the two pieces performed by Henrik Sandback, have also been added.
The three Intermezzi Op. 117 are probably the most well-known and best-loved of Brahms’s late piano pieces.
The composer described these pieces, all three of which are marked Andante, “lullabies to my sorrows”. They were inspired by a Scottish poem from Herder´s Volkslieder, Lady Anne Bothwell’s Lament, and bear this inscription:
Schlaf sanft mein Kind, schlaf sanft und Schön!/Mich dauert´s sehr, dich weinen sehn. (Sleep softly my child, sleep softly and well!/It hurts my heart to see you weeping.)
The second piece of Op. 118 is one of Brahms’s most beloved creations, a deeply lyrical and moving nocturne. The opus, consisting of six pieces, were sent as a gift to Clara Schumann immediately upon their completion. Brahms’ biographer Jan Swafford has surmised: “he may have composed the pieces to try and keep Clara Schumann going in body and soul. Since she could only play a few minutes at a time now, and because she loved these miniatures so deeply, maybe they did keep her alive.”