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O, Heavenly!
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Goldberg
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 11:06 pm    Post subject: O, Heavenly! Reply with quote

Well, it was inevitable: I knew that at some point in time, and soon, I would come to love Brahms in all his glory. I do believe that time has come. I have just finished listening to Ein deutsche Requiem for the second time and I could not be more in love with a piece of music! It is hackneyed of me to say so, but words can hardly describe its beauty and humanity. And let's not even begin to talk about his first symphony! Actually, heh, that reminds me of a humourous quote from my favourite television show, Fawlty Towers. Forgive this little interjection, but...

Sybil (Basil's wife, Basil being played by John Cleese): "I'm going out now, Basil...and turn off that racket would you??" (music is playing on a tape recorder)
Basil: (with affectation) "RACKET??! ...THAT'S BRAHMS!! BRAHMS' THIRRRD RACKET!!" (sits down with exasperation)



Heh, ok, well, the point is I MUST hear more Brahms! Gimme Brahms, Brahms, Brahms! I don't know much about his piano music (so far I'm not sold on anything but the sonatas and concerti), but am definitely going to get the other symphonies and string concerti, and his chamber music.


As for this thread, let's make it a "What's your favourite Requiem" thread. Mine is now the Deutsche Requiem, but honourable mentions are Faure's Requiem, Durufle's, and Ligeti's. I'm also extremely interested in hearing Britten's War Requiem...has anyone heard it?
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Helling
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brahms piano music is interesting. I don't think i am such an amazing brahms player, but i recorded two pieces by him. We have more on our site too.

Some of Brahms pieces though, e.g. the variations on a theme by paganini, seem rather boring to me however.

I recommend a lot of the intermezzi, fantasies, ballades etc. The two handed version of his hungarian dances is also good, even though he wasnt as skilled as liszt at reducing settings (i.e. the original four handed versions), so the transcriptions themselves are not as effective as they could be.


Last edited by Helling on Fri Feb 11, 2005 12:04 am; edited 1 time in total
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Goldberg
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I shall look into those categories, and I'm particularly interested in the fantasies. I must say, I share your views on the Paganini Variations. I don't know what he was thinking! He was totally out of his element, and I don't think they music could be any more boring or "overlong"--a suitable term I just learned from pianosociety, heh. Cziffra does some neat tricks on the technical side, but overall, bleh.
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Helling
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually there are a few of the slow variations that are really good, and he brings out interesting melodies that are are so different from the theme that you can hardly tell it's the same.

Generally though I was always bored of works that repeat the same theme in different variations no matter the composer. I guess that's a bit the same with the clochette fantasy we were talking about.

Though it does not include the Goldberg variations at least in your view I'm sure.

If you want something easy by Brahms just to get started playing, I am sure you could quickly learn the easy version of the waltzes (even sightreading perhaps ). He has two versions of those as you probably know.
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Smotter
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brahms symphonies are my fav of all time. His third is the best ever written IMO. But the first mov of the 4rth is such a quality piece of music
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Jeliness2
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a sucker for Verdi's Requiem. Smile

And, I too am a lousy Brahms player, having only played one of his rhapsodies.
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Helling
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeliness2 wrote:
I'm a sucker for Verdi's Requiem. Smile

And, I too am a lousy Brahms player, having only played one of his rhapsodies.


Hey I never said I was lousy, just not so great hehehe. My recordings arent that awful. But somehow I find my own interpretations of his music boring.
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Philip Daniel
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When playing Brahms on a 'piano', make sure that the harmonies never lose that vocal feeling--much of Brahms's work is essentially influenced by the choral music/sacred music of his time and before his time (especially the Renaissance), with elements of the romantic character piece and virtuoso sonata. At least that's what my teacher says Wink.
Best Wishes,
Philip Daniel
PS: If you like Brahms, then you'd like Thieriot and Fibich.
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Goldberg
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thus far in my life as a pianist, I have found it very difficult to interpret German and Austrian music--German and Austrian music in general--to a satisfactory level, namely Beethoven and Schumann, but also, I should think, Brahms (though I haven't tried very often). I enjoy listening to it (German music...though not Beethoven) but I can't seem to relate when I sit down at the piano and try to play it myself. It just seems so complex harmonically, in a sort of reserved way, if that makes sense...dense, and demanding very broad, yet specific controls of colouring on each note and counter melody and everything. It baffles me. This is probably why I haven't ever dug my way into the music, I keep it at a distance from me, though I suppose the more proper way to go about it is to bury myself with the music and learn my way through all the complexities...but lately I'm far too absorbed in Liszt and the Lisztians, as well as gypsy folk music, to start another journey into Brahmsiland. Till I do, I'll more or less limit myself to loving the music from a listener's perspective and begin to understand it.

I've also recently "discovered" Wagner...
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Helling
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well feel free to direct any Liszt questions to me. As far as Brahms....more difficult, since I dont know nearly as much about him (though i have a decent idea concerning his piano work even though I cant have played more than 20 %).
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Max
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gilels + Piano Concerti.
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Goldberg
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Helling wrote:
Actually there are a few of the slow variations that are really good, and he brings out interesting melodies that are are so different from the theme that you can hardly tell it's the same.

Generally though I was always bored of works that repeat the same theme in different variations no matter the composer. I guess that's a bit the same with the clochette fantasy we were talking about.

Though it does not include the Goldberg variations at least in your view I'm sure.

If you want something easy by Brahms just to get started playing, I am sure you could quickly learn the easy version of the waltzes (even sightreading perhaps ). He has two versions of those as you probably know.


Actually, on this subject I tend to agree, and Variations have become less and less appealing to me, although I remain a large fan of the Goldbergs as you guessed, and appreciate a few other sets of variations, like Rzewski's El Pueblo and even Beethoven's God Save the Queen, which is just for fun, really.

And then there are piece like Hexameron.......which, to its credit, is interesting simply because it gives a look into some of the greatest, but not necessarily well-known by modern standards, pianists of the age like Herz and Pixis.
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Helling
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've played the Chopin variation from the hexameron, but no other (it's on our site, if you want to hear it - could be published on chopinmusic too if anyone wants).
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PianistSk8er
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed, Brahms Concerti > * - Chopin, Liszt & Saint-Saens Concertos Wink

Sorry for the short post.
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An!ma`
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, lucky you, I can't stand a lot of Brahms.
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