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Pianist Benjamin Grosvenor Running Out of Time...

London based Karrot Animation Studios have been busy working on a music video for pianist Benjamin Grosvenor's performance of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. The brief was to assemble a four minute version from the longer audio track whilst creating an animated narrative about Benjamin getting to a concert at New York's Radio City Hall. Read more >>

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Author Topic: for the brahms lovers!  (Read 6376 times)
Tash
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« on: June 08, 2005, 10:17:47 AM »

if you're obsessed with brahms then you should be somewhat happy to know that i'm starting to get into his music! like before i was like yeah i'm not hearing anything special, but after a few piano and violin concertos, symphonies, clarinet quintets, piano music, and who knows what else, i'm starting to like good old brahms quite a bit. my one issue is that i don't know what defines his music. so tell me, what's special about brahms, what are some of the typical characteristics of his music. i'd like to add brahms to my list of composers i can identify after just a few bars of listening (well i managed to the other week, after my lecturer mentioned the composer was on our listening list and i guessed brahms cos i couldn't recognise the composer!)

in summary, have a nice subjetive rant about brahms!
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'J'aime presque autant les images que la musique' Debussy
quantum
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« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2005, 10:30:36 AM »

Well Brahms' piano music could be descibed as:  non-idyomatic piano writing (when playing)  that sounds "musically" correct and very rewarding to perform. 

In other words it doesn't feel like piano music, but it is somehow sounds right. 
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Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach
happyface94
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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2005, 12:19:28 PM »

Musically virtuosistic. What defines brahms in most of what I played is that its very charged in notes, his big chords are important to put weight on while his legato passages are delicate.
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apion
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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2005, 02:56:56 PM »

Brahms engenders the quintessence of musical greatness.  He is the alpha and omega of depth, drama, power, expressiveness, and perfection in music. 

He is the only composer whose music I can listen to repeatedly and never tire of it.

Every one of his compositions is a masterpiece (even op. 1), and each Brahms composition will transport you to a better place than where you were.

Brahms = God
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odsum25
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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2005, 10:28:30 PM »

Brahms is absolutely sublime and so hard to play well, but so rewarding to play well.  Everything is so thickly textured and voiced to absolute perfection.
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ludwig
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2005, 11:20:47 PM »

I think Brahms' musical characters differ from genre to genre. I think his piano music is very percussive and strongly rhythmic most times, with lush (and experimental) harmonic changes and nationalistic folk influences... However his chamber music is more structured in harmony, still carrying that gracefulness of the classical chamber but with much more dynamic contrast, and its the best chamber music ever! Because all players take equal reponsibility for melody, accompaniment, counter melody, harmony filler-inner-er etc Smiley (I'm sick of playing accompaniment and chordal things in other chamber things  Angry ) But most of all, his symphonies are just so interestingly romantic, very rich and powerful, sophisticated orchestration, brings out the most appealing sounds in all instruments, and harmonically beautiful. I love Brahms too!
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"Classical music snobs are some of the snobbiest snobs of all. Often their snobbery masquerades as helpfulnes... unaware that they are making you feel small in order to make themselves feel big..."
whynot
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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2005, 11:58:19 PM »

I love Brahms.  He was old-fashioned, which I really like.  He loved Bach.  He used classical and baroque forms while everyone else was writing music without form.  Romantics were composing programmatic music-- it had to tell a story etc-- but Brahms championed "music for its own sake."  You can spot him, when trying to identify composers, by the combination of long flowing melodies with complicated rhythms and LOTS of hemiolas (hemioli?).  A lot of his music has a gypsy flavr, because he did a concert tour as a young man with a famous Hungarian violinist and learned the style through him, then met another Hungarian violinist with whom he had a friendship all his life.  Anyway, so that style is a frequent signature.  The piano pieces (and parts) are difficult, but they're difficult in a particular way that, at least for me, is pretty consistent.  So if I can get in the Brahms "zone," the funny awkward things start to feel normal and good. 
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musicsdarkangel
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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2005, 02:36:48 AM »

Check out his violin (with piano) sonata in d minor...first movement is gorgeous.


I played it with concertmaster of the Illinois Symphony, had to learn it in a week...it was unusually tough!
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Floristan
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« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2005, 06:33:40 AM »

I second what Ludwig and whynot say above.  As Brahms matured, his melody lines got longer and longer.  It's not unusual in later Brahms to find 12-16 bar melodies.  He also became increasingly chromatic, not to the extent of Wagner by any means, but frequently shifing harmonies that were often at least partly chromatically based.

He's capable of great power and immense tenderness.  I think he is the most earnest of the composers, he and Schubert.  He seldom departed from the classical forms, but the content was anything but classical -- very romantic, very rhapsodic, full of counterpoint and syncopation.  He could be forceful but never harsh or angry like Beethoven can be.  Brahms' chamber works are probably his best music and a great place to get to know him.  It's too bad more people don't know this incredible music. 

His late piano pieces, especially those he labeled Intermezzo, are all jewels of the small-piece repertoire.  They are dense with complexity and meaning, often more than it seems they can bear, as though a bigger work was in chrysalis form.  The somewhat overplayed Op. 118, No. 2 in A is one of the great small piano works of all time, a profound composition of yearning and longing with an undertow of sadness and regret.

I love his symphonies and concerti, too, all of them (especially the violin and double), but I think he really excelled in the intimate setting of the chamber work and piano solo.
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Barbosa-piano
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« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2005, 08:11:20 AM »

 From my point of view, Brahms' music has many definitions. Intimate expression, Heroic patriotism, classic beauty and simplicity... His compositional style is a mixture, that is hard to recognize... I walked into one piano training room, and the teacher was playing one of his Intermezzos, though I found it beatiful, I couldn't tell by whom it was composed. Was quite a surprise after I found out it was Brahms, and after that I simply feel in love for his music...  Tongue
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Feel free to follow my music blog! themusicalcause.blogspot.com
tds
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« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2005, 08:39:26 AM »

i love you! i love you!!! you are the meaning of my life.....oh brahms, my heart, my heart.....

tds
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dignity, love and joy.
rachmaninoff_969
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« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2005, 05:31:57 PM »

I HAVE BUT A FEW WORDS WITH WHICH TO DESCRIBE BRAHMS' MUSIC:

FAT, HUNGARIAN, CHORDAL, and when it comes to piano music...NON-IDIOMATIC and HUUUUUUGE!  haha yay Brahms!
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Tash
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« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2005, 12:16:52 AM »

yay you're all legends! thanks heaps that was bril Cheesy
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'J'aime presque autant les images que la musique' Debussy
apion
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« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2005, 04:29:24 PM »

Who is Brahms?

Simply put, Brahms is the greatest thing to ever befall this planet.
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pianonut
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« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2005, 04:34:45 PM »

i thought liszt was.  oh, well.  pianistically, maybe liszt was composing things to fit under the fingers better, but in brahms you can hear all the instruments of the orchestra.

in chopin i can always hear a tenor or contralto voice.  kind of like brahms in that voicing that seems to come out of nowhere and mesmerize.  vioin/voice/ whatever - he could intertwine the ideas and all so that they melt in and out - but still seem chordal and more choppy than chopin/liszt.

brahms german requiem has some beautiful pianistic spots in the accompaniment.
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do you know why benches fall apart?  it is because they have lids with little tiny hinges so you can store music inside them.  hint:  buy a bench that does not hinge.  buy it for sturdiness.
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