Johannes Brahms
in A minor, Opus Posth.

This little piece, written into a guestbook when Brahms was 20 and discovered more than 150 years later, may call to mind some of Schumann’s easier pieces.

ID: 3857
Johannes Brahms


Key: A Minor
Year: 1853
Level: 6
Period: Early Romantic
piano sheet music Piano score: PS Urtext Download
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A Pastoral Sketch

At a first glance the Albumblatt may call to mind some of Schumann’s easier pieces (e.g. Kinderszenen or Album für die Jugend), but it also seems to anticipate the simple melodic ideas Brahms was going to use in his late period - although of course the Albumblatt lacks the complexity of harmony and voicing that the composer was able to put into such works as the piano pieces Opp. 116-119.

The A section of Brahms’ Albumblatt presents the four bar pastoral motive which is the main material of the piece. The writing of both hands is dominated by parallel thirds, which gives this section a somewhat orchestral character.

In the B section the texture becomes more transparent; the parallel thirds disappear and the left hand supports the theme with chords and a single voice in inverted motion. The four bar structure is also finally broken up from bar 19, where the latter, sighing part of the motive takes over and gives rise to a series of modulations back to the key of A minor. A very Brahmsian six bar transition leads to the return of the A section, this time marked poco a poco accelerando e crescendo. From bar 39, the first half of the main motive is stubbornly repeated, and the diminished chords over a pedal point on A increase the tension and drama up to bar 47. Here we feel a sense of release at the appearance of the sub-dominant, after which a four bar cadenza ends the piece rather abruptly.


The newly discovered piece by Johannes Brahms was composed in June 1853 as a contribution to Arnold Wehner's “Album Amicorum”, a guest album containing entries from important contemporary composers. No source indicates that this little piece was intended for publication. However, it is certainly more than a rough sketch and includes careful performance markings.

The theme of the Albumblatt seems to have been precious to Brahms; twelve years later he re-used it in the Trio section of the Scherzo movement of the Horn Trio Op. 40.

Classical piano sheet music by Brahms to download: Albumblatt in the key of This piece has difficulty level 6 in the category Piece
Albumblatt in A Minor, a composition by the early romantic composer Johannes Brahms who was born in 1833 and died in 1897. The piano score of this piece was first published in 1853.