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Topic: brahms's ouevre- particular highlights?  (Read 4474 times)

Offline cziffra

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brahms's ouevre- particular highlights?
on: January 23, 2004, 04:00:44 PM
my father, who has a reputation for book-finding unparalleled in any other human being i know, has managed to get the complete piano music of brahms in two hard cover volumes for 20 dollars.  

enough of the bragging- of brahm's output which are the ones worth looking into, and which aren't? any recordings of a particular work that are exceptional?

in general, treat this post as an all-brahms-related post.
What it all comes down to is that one does not play the piano with one’s fingers; one plays the piano with one’s mind.-  Glenn Gould

Offline eddie92099

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Re: brahms's ouevre- particular highlights?
Reply #1 on: January 23, 2004, 11:13:44 PM
As a general rule, I find early Brahms much more satisfying than late Brahms. Have a look at the Paganini Variations and the Schumann Variations. Julius Katchen's recording of the complete piano music of Brahms is extremely good,
Ed

Offline liszmaninopin

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Re: brahms's ouevre- particular highlights?
Reply #2 on: January 23, 2004, 11:24:06 PM
If you're looking for a shorter work, the opening of his Ballade #4 is beautiful.

Offline allchopin

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Re: brahms's ouevre- particular highlights?
Reply #3 on: January 24, 2004, 12:22:35 AM
The Ballade #4 is very good, however, the Intermezzo #2 Op. 118 in A major is THE epitome of Brahms' literature.  Not too long or hard either- defintely download a recording of this piece.
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Offline Noah

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Re: brahms's ouevre- particular highlights?
Reply #4 on: January 24, 2004, 04:04:02 AM
Piano: 1st concerto, Sonata Op.5, and the Op.118, 2-pianos sonata Op.34b (2 pianos version of the Quintet)

Apart from that, the Piano Quintet is amazing, as well as the violin concerto and sonatas, the cello sonatas, the clarinet quintet, the piano trios and the trio for piano, clarinet and cello. For the vocal music, Ein Deutsches Requiem is fantastic too.

Interesting... I didn't know I loved Brahms that much!
'Some musicians don't believe in God, but all believe in Bach'
M. Kagel

Offline nad

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Re: brahms's ouevre- particular highlights?
Reply #5 on: January 24, 2004, 01:41:09 PM
I played intermezzo op118 no2 a few years ago, and really liked that piece. I'm playing it now again  :)
Indeed technically it isn't hard. Musically it's harder.

nad

Offline comme_le_vent

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Re: brahms's ouevre- particular highlights?
Reply #6 on: January 24, 2004, 02:29:37 PM
if you want to go straight to the psycho pieces, then i recommend the scherzo in Eb Minor Op.4, its wacked out and crazeeeeeeeee and its my fave brahms short work, and katchen plays it like a pregnant cat from hell with bat wings and a wicked snarl.
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Offline liszmaninopin

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Re: brahms's ouevre- particular highlights?
Reply #7 on: January 24, 2004, 03:10:32 PM
I'd have to say that you're really safe with most Brahms.  So far, I've never listened to anything of his that wasn't good quality music.

Offline eddie92099

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Re: brahms's ouevre- particular highlights?
Reply #8 on: January 24, 2004, 04:45:11 PM
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Apart from that, the Piano Quintet is amazing


;D. It is my favourite pre-20th Century chamber work,
Ed

Offline camejia

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Re: brahms's ouevre- particular highlights?
Reply #9 on: January 24, 2004, 06:07:12 PM
I enjoy the Intermezzo Opus 118 No. 2 as well, but I have a problem with it...there doesn't seem to be any introduction and it just "jumps right in" with the main melody.  I think a few measures of L.H. arpeggios or something would be a nice way to start.  This lack of an introduction is true of the other Brahms pieces I'm familiar with (e.g. Rhapsody Opus 79 No. 2).  Does anyone agree with my observation, or am I just crazy?

Offline nad

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Re: brahms's ouevre- particular highlights?
Reply #10 on: January 24, 2004, 06:17:03 PM
hmm i like it the way it is. I think its a question of musicallity how to start the piece (or do i sound ridiculous now?). I wouldn't add anything before the beginning and i wouldn't like it either.

nad

Offline allchopin

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Re: brahms's ouevre- particular highlights?
Reply #11 on: January 24, 2004, 06:44:27 PM
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So far, I've never listened to anything of his that wasn't good quality music.

Actually, Brahms is one of the composers I have found with some pieces that contain no new insight and no catchy melody (for instance, Mozart being the opposite).  Some of Brahms' works just go nowhere- I can't tell what he was thinking when he wrote them (i.e. some of his Fantasies Op. 116).  Nonetheless, he was a great composer who stacked up quite well with his counterparts.  One odd thing I have noticed about Brahms' works is a multitude of low notes- in just about every one of his works he uses very low notes when it doesn't seem necessary.
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline cziffra

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Re: brahms's ouevre- particular highlights?
Reply #12 on: January 25, 2004, 03:37:04 AM
scanning through the books he seems to have a fetish for "i'll add more notes in here-" he seems to never be content with what he has, always adding layer upon layer of sound.

i have a cd of kovacevich playing the two rhapsodies and all of opus 116 i think, and it's really good to be able to, each time, listen to a different layer- he's an amazing composer!
What it all comes down to is that one does not play the piano with one’s fingers; one plays the piano with one’s mind.-  Glenn Gould

Offline johnreef

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Re: brahms's ouevre- particular highlights?
Reply #13 on: January 25, 2004, 06:08:35 AM
Even though I so seldom post.....I must comment on Brahms, since he's my favorite....

Katchen complete recordings is not in fact complete; several pieces with no opus number are missing, for better or worse (the A major sarabande, lacking opus #, is an absolute gem -- also, nobody would guess its by Brahms). I find Katchen's recordings to be mixed. I don't generally like his tone (but that could be the quality of the recordings as well), and some pieces are played with, in my opinion, absolutely no expression at all. For example, the above-mentioned fourth ballade, which sounds like it is being expertly sight-read.

I like Radu Lupu's late Brahms recordings, and if you can find it, there's an out-of-print recording of various great pianists, plus brahms himself, playing Brahms piano music. It also includes Michelangeli playing the Paganini variations (out of order!) which is a must-have.

I agree with whoever it was that the 4th ballade is just wonderful. I wish it were more popular. I usually cannot get into his earliest piano pieces (pre-opus 10), and I really dislike the two D-major variation sets.

Offline dchaikin

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Re: brahms's ouevre- particular highlights?
Reply #14 on: January 26, 2004, 11:05:57 PM
Rubinstein playing any of the intermezzi - absolutely sublime!

Offline krenske

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Re: brahms's ouevre- particular highlights?
Reply #15 on: January 28, 2004, 08:25:10 PM
RE repertoire...
I nominate op117 #3
does anyone agree with me there?
"Horowitz died so Krenske could live."
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