Brahms Fest

Not one, but two virtuosos


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The Lesher Center for the Arts

1 hour and 55 min, with intermission

What’s Interesting About This Concert

  • This all-Brahms celebration kicks off with Hungarian Dance No. 5, a fast-paced sprint inspired by traditional folk music of the region.
  • This will be the first time that Music Director Donato Cabrera conducts Brahms Symphony No. 3. The piece was hailed at its premiere as “Brahms’ Eroica,” after Beethoven’s own much loved third symphony.
  • Soloists Kobialka and Herbert were both members of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra when Music Director Donato Cabrera led the ensemble.

The Program

BrahmsHungarian Dance No. 5

Hungarian Dances (Brahms)

The Hungarian Dances (German: Ungarische Tänze) (Hungarian: Magyar táncok) by Johannes Brahms (WoO 1), are a set of 21 lively dance tunes based mostly on Hungarian themes, completed in 1869.[1]

They vary from about a minute to five minutes in length. They are among Brahms's most popular works and were the most profitable for him. Each dance has been arranged for a wide variety of instruments and ensembles. Brahms originally wrote the version for piano four hands and later arranged the first ten dances for solo piano.[2]

Only numbers 11, 14 and 16 are entirely original compositions. The better-known Hungarian Dances include Nos. 1 and 5, the latter of which was based on the csárdás "Bártfai emlék" (Memories of Bártfa) by Hungarian composer Béla Kéler, which Brahms mistakenly thought was a traditional folksong.[3] A footnote on the Ludwig-Masters edition of a modern orchestration of Hungarian Dance No.1 states: "The material for this dance is believed to have come from the Divine Csárdás (ca. 1850) of Hungarian composer and conductor Miska Borzó."

List of Hungarian Dances

  • Book 1. (Published in 1869)
  1. in G minor: Allegro molto
  2. in D minor: Allegro non assai – Vivace
  3. in F major: Allegretto
  4. in F minor (F minor for orchestra): Poco sostenuto – Vivace
  5. in F minor (G minor for orchestra): Allegro – Vivace
  • Book 2. (Published in 1869)
  1. in D major (D major for orchestra): Vivace
  2. in A major (F major for orchestra): Allegretto – Vivo
  3. in A minor: Presto
  4. in E minor: Allegro ma non troppo
  5. in E major (F major for orchestra): Presto
  • Book 3. (Published in 1880)
  1. in D minor: Poco andante
  2. in D minor: Presto
  3. in D major: Andantino grazioso – Vivace
  4. in D minor: Un poco andante
  5. in B major: Allegretto grazioso
  6. in F minor: Con moto – F major: Presto
  • Book 4. (Published in 1880)
  1. in F minor: Andantino – Vivace
  2. in D major: Molto vivace
  3. in B minor: Allegretto
  4. in E minor: Poco allegretto – Vivace
  5. in E minor: Vivace – E major: Più presto


Brahms wrote orchestral arrangements for Nos. 1, 3 and 10.[4] Other composers have orchestrated the other dances. These composers include Antonín Dvořák (Nos. 17 to 21), Andreas Hallén (Nos. 2, 4 and 7), Paul Juon (No. 4), Martin Schmeling (1864–1943) (Nos. 5 to 7), Hans Gál (Nos. 8 and 9),  [de] (Nos. 5, 6 and 11 to 16) and  [de] (Nos. 4, 8 and 9). More recently, Iván Fischer has orchestrated the complete set.

Brahms's Hungarian Dances were influential in the development of ragtime.[5] See, for example, the role of German-American piano teacher Julius Weiss in ragtime composer Scott Joplin's early life and career.


The earliest known recording of any movement of Hungarian Dances was a condensed piano-based rendition of Hungarian Dances No. 1, from 1890, played by Brahms himself, and was known to have been recorded by Theo Wangemann, an assistant to Thomas Edison.

The following dialogue can be heard in the recording itself, before the music starts:

  • Theo Wangemann: "Dezember 1889."
  • Johannes Brahms: "Im Haus Von Herrn Doktor Fellinger bei Herrn Doktor Brahms, Johannes Brahms." (English: "In the house Of Dr. Fellinger with Dr. Brahms, Johannes Brahms.")

Joseph Joachim, a close friend of Brahms, in collaboration with an as-of-yet unnamed accompanying pianist, recorded their own renditions of Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 and 2.

Leopold Stokowski's very first recordings with the Philadelphia Orchestra were devoted to Hungarian Dances Nos. 5 and 6. They were recorded by the Victor Talking Machine Company in Camden, New Jersey in 1917.

The Boston Pops Orchestra with conductor Arthur Fiedler recorded Hungarian Dances Nos. 5 and 6 in Symphony Hall, Boston. Hungarian Dance No. 5 was recorded on June 25, 1950. It was released by RCA Victor as catalog number 10-3254B (in USA) and by EMI on the His Master's Voice label as catalog number B 10631. Hungarian Dance No. 6 was recorded on June 16, 1950. It was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 10-3244B (in the USA) and by EMI on the His Master's Voice label as catalog number B 10631. These were 78 rpm discs. The pieces were arranged by Albert Parlow.

Julius Katchen and Jean-Pierre Marty recorded the complete set in the 1960s, as part of Katchen's recording of the complete piano works of Brahms. Aloys and Alfons Kontarsky recorded them in 1976 for Deutsche Grammophon, released originally on LP catalog number 2530 710. The French sister duo-pianists Katia and Marielle Labèque recorded the complete set of dances for Philips in 1981, as catalog number 4164592.

Dances Nos. 17, 19 and 21 were recorded in 1966 by the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra for their album Orchestral Fireworks, released in the UK on the Music For Pleasure label.

The complete orchestral versions were recorded digitally by Claudio Abbado and the Vienna Philharmonic for Deutsche Grammophon in 1982, released on LP as 410 615-1 and on CD as 410 615-2.

The complete orchestral versions were again recorded digitally by  [hu] and the Budapest Symphony Orchestra for Naxos in 1988, released on CD as 8.550110. This recording was awarded a Rosette by The Penguin Guide. Their review called this recording "sheer delight from beginning to end... an outright winner among the available versions."[6]

Another set of complete orchestral versions was recorded in 1998 by Iván Fischer conducting the Budapest Festival Orchestra on the Philips Records label, released as CD 289 462 589-2.


  1. ^ Bozarth, George. "Brahms, Johannes". Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
  2. ^ Lopraits, Elizabeth (2008). Hungarian gypsy style in the Lisztian spirit: Georges Cziffra's two transcriptions of Brahms' Fifth Hungarian Dance. ProQuest. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-549-55607-7.
  3. ^ Walker, Alan (1987). Franz Liszt: The Virtuoso Years, 1811–1847. Cornell University Press. p. 341. ISBN 9780801494215. Brahms was accused by the Hungarian bandmaster Béla Kéler of having published under his own name two Hungarian Dances composed by Kéler himself—nos. 5 and 6. In fact, Brahms's Fifth Hungarian Dance is based on Kéler's csárdás Bártfai emlék.
  4. ^ Wilson, Conrad (2005). Notes on Brahms: 20 crucial works. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-8028-2991-7.
  5. ^ "Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 5 on Bill Edwards' site". Archived from the original on 2009-09-25.
  6. ^ 2006 Penguin Guide, p. 254

External links


Brahms Symphony No. 3

Symphony No. 3 (Brahms)

The Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90, is a symphony by Johannes Brahms. The work was written in the summer of 1883 at Wiesbaden, nearly six years after he completed his Symphony No. 2. In the interim Brahms had written some of his greatest works, including the Violin Concerto, two overtures (Tragic Overture and Academic Festival Overture), and Piano Concerto No. 2.

The premiere performance was given on 2 December 1883 by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Hans Richter. It is the shortest of Brahms' four symphonies; a typical performance lasts between 30 and 40 minutes.


The symphony is scored for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, a contrabassoon, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, timpani, and strings.


Orchesterwerke Romantik Themen.pdf
Orchesterwerke Romantik Themen.pdf
Orchesterwerke Romantik Themen.pdf
Orchesterwerke Romantik Themen.pdf

The symphony consists of four movements, marked as follows:

  1. Allegro con brio (F major, in sonata form)
  2. Andante (C major, in a modified sonata form)
  3. Poco allegretto (C minor, in ternary form A–B–A′)
  4. Allegro — Un poco sostenuto (F minorF major, in a modified sonata form)


Hans Richter, who conducted the premiere of the symphony, proclaimed it to be Brahms' Eroica. The symphony was well received, more so than his Second Symphony. Although Richard Wagner had died earlier that year, the public feud between Brahms and Wagner had not yet subsided. Wagner enthusiasts tried to interfere with the symphony's premiere, and the conflict between the two factions nearly brought about a duel.[1]

After each performance, Brahms polished his score further, until it was published in May 1884. His friend the influential music critic Eduard Hanslick said, "Many music lovers will prefer the titanic force of the First Symphony; others, the untroubled charm of the Second, but the Third strikes me as being artistically the most nearly perfect."[1]

Musical elements

A musical motto consisting of three notes, F–A–F, was significant to Brahms. In 1853 his friend Joseph Joachim had taken as his motto "Free, but lonely" (in German Frei aber einsam), and from the notes represented by the first letters of these words, F–A–E, Schumann, Brahms and Dietrich had jointly composed a violin sonata dedicated to Joachim. At the time of the Third Symphony, Brahms was a fifty-year-old bachelor who declared himself to be Frei aber froh, "Free but happy". His F–A–F motto, and some altered variations of it, can be heard throughout the symphony.[1]

At the beginning of the symphony the motto is the melody of the first three measures, and it is the bass line underlying the main theme in the next three. The motto persists, either boldly or disguised, as the melody or accompaniment throughout the movement. For the third movement – poco allegretto instead of the rapid scherzo standard in 19th-century symphony – Brahms created a unique kind of third movement that is moderate in tempo (poco allegretto) and intensely lyrical in character.[2] The finale is a lyrical, passionate movement, rich in melody that is intensely exploited, altered, and developed. The movement ends with reference to the motto heard in the first movement – one which quotes a motif heard in Schumann's Symphony No. 3, "Rhenish" in the first movement just before the second theme enters in the recapitulation – then fades away to a quiet ending.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Leonard Burkat; liner notes for the 1998 recording (William Steinberg, conductor; Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; MCA Classics)
  2. ^ Kamien, R. (2006). Johannes Brahms. In Music: An appreciation (9th ed., p. 352). McGraw-Hill Humanities.


  • Frisch, Walter (2003). Brahms: The Four Symphonies. New Haven: Yale University Press. pp. 91–114. ISBN 978-0-300-09965-2.

External links


BrahmsConcerto for Violin and Cello

Double Concerto (Brahms)

The Double Concerto in A minor, Op. 102, by Johannes Brahms is a concerto for violin, cello and orchestra. The orchestra consists of 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani and strings.

Origin of the work

The Double Concerto was Brahms' final work for orchestra. It was composed in the summer of 1887, and first performed on 18 October of that year in the  [de] in Cologne, Germany.[1] Brahms approached the project with anxiety over writing for instruments that were not his own.[2] He wrote it for the cellist Robert Hausmann, a frequent chamber music collaborator,[3] and his old but estranged friend, the violinist Joseph Joachim. The concerto was, in part, a gesture of reconciliation towards Joachim, after their long friendship had ruptured following Joachim's divorce from his wife Amalie.[4][5] (Brahms had sided with Amalie in the dispute.)

The concerto makes use of the musical motif A–E–F, a permutation of F–A–E, which stood for a personal motto of Joachim, Frei aber einsam ("free but lonely").[6] Thirty-four years earlier, Brahms had been involved in a collaborative work using the F-A-E motif in tribute to Joachim: the F-A-E Sonata of 1853.


The composition consists of three movements in the fast–slow–fast pattern typical of classical instrumental concerti:

  1. Allegro (A minor)
  2. Andante (D major)
  3. Vivace non troppo (A minor → A major)

Performance and reception

Joachim and Hausmann performed the concerto, with Brahms at the podium, several times in its initial 1887–88 season, and Brahms gave the manuscript to Joachim, with the inscription "To him for whom it was written." Clara Schumann reacted unfavourably to the concerto, considering the work "not brilliant for the instruments".[7] Richard Specht also thought critically of the concerto, describing it as "one of Brahms' most inapproachable and joyless compositions". Brahms had sketched a second concerto for violin and cello but destroyed his notes in the wake of its cold reception.[citation needed] Later critics have warmed to it: Donald Tovey wrote of the concerto as having "vast and sweeping humour".[8] It has always been hampered by its requirement for two brilliant and equally matched soloists.

Scholarly discussion

Richard Cohn has included the first movement of this concerto in his discussions of triadic progressions from a Neo-Riemannian perspective.[9] Cohn has also analysed such progressions mathematically.[10] Cohn notes several progressions that divide the octave equally into three parts, and which can be analyzed using the triadic transformations proposed by Hugo Riemann.



See also


  1. ^ Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra: program notes
  2. ^ He disguised his reservations with joyless joking in his letter to Clara Schumann: "...I have had the amusing idea of writing a concerto for violin and cello. If it is at all successful it might give us some fun. You can well imagine the sort of pranks one might play in such a case," he wrote, adding "I ought to have handed on the idea to some who knows the violin better than I do." Litzmann, Schumann/Brahms Letters 8/1887, quoted by Jan Swafford, Johannes Brahms: a biography 1997:539.
  3. ^ For Hausmann he had written the Second Cello Sonata the previous summer.
  4. ^ "This concerto is a work of reconciliation— Joachim and Brahms have spoken to each other again for the first time in years", Clara Schumann noted in her journal after a rehearsal in Baden-Baden in September 1887.
  5. ^ Schwartz, Boris (Autumn 1983). "Joseph Joachim and the Genesis of Brahms's Violin Concerto". The Musical Quarterly. LXIX (4): 503–526. doi:10.1093/mq/LXIX.4.503. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
  6. ^ Musgrave, Michael (July 1983). "Brahms's First Symphony: Thematic Coherence and Its Secret Origin". Music Analysis. Music Analysis, Vol. 2, No. 2. 2 (2): 117–133. doi:10.2307/854245. ISSN 0262-5245. JSTOR 854245.
  7. ^ Wollenberg, Susan (February 1993). "Reviews of Books: Beiträge zur Geschichte des Konzerts: Festschrift Siegfried Kross zum 60. Geburtstag (eds. Reinmar Emans and Matthias Wendt". Music & Letters. 74 (1): 77–81. doi:10.1093/ml/74.1.77. ISSN 0027-4224. JSTOR 735204.
  8. ^ Stein, George P. (October 1971). "The Arts: Being through Meaning". Journal of Aesthetic Education. Journal of Aesthetic Education, Vol. 5, No. 4. 5 (4): 99–113. doi:10.2307/3331623. ISSN 0021-8510. JSTOR 3331623.
  9. ^ Cohn, Richard (March 1996). "Maximally Smooth Cycles, Hexatonic Systems, and the Analysis of Late-Romantic Triadic Progressions". Music Analysis. Music Analysis, Vol. 15, No. 1. 15 (1): 9–40. doi:10.2307/854168. ISSN 0262-5245. JSTOR 854168.
  10. ^ Cohn, Richard (Spring 1997). "Neo-Riemannian Operations, Parsimonious Trichords, and Their Tonnetz Representations". Journal of Musical Theory. Journal of Music Theory, Vol. 41, No. 1. 41 (1): 1–66. doi:10.2307/843761. ISSN 0022-2909. JSTOR 843761.
  11. ^ HMV DB1311-1314/Victor V-8208-8211.
  12. ^ HMV/Victor 78rpm:Naxos CD
  13. ^ Music and Arts MACD 108
  14. ^ Decca 78rpm AK2025-2028: Archipel CD ARPCD 0301
  15. ^ Naxos CD 8.111051
  16. ^ RCA LD(S)2513
  17. ^ Student of Camillo Oblach's at the G.B. Martini School of Music, Bologna, Baldovino was cellist with the Trio Italiano d'Archi and the Trio di Trieste: see [1] here.
  18. ^ HMV BLP 1028
  19. ^ Fournier and Janigro played together with Paul Badura-Skoda in a trio ensemble.
  20. ^ Westminster LP WLP 5117.
  21. ^ (Pye Golden Guinea GGC 4009).
  22. ^ Supraphon LP SUA ST 50573.
  23. ^ Cellist of the Barylli Quartet, Brabec was teacher of Nikolaus Harnoncourt at Vienna.
  24. ^ Dynamic IDIS Hist. CD IDI 6554
  25. ^ Schneiderhan succeeded Georg Kulenkampff as violin in the trio ensemble with Mainardi and Edwin Fischer after Kulenkampff died.
  26. ^ Orfeo CD C 359941B
  27. ^ CD DG 4775341
  28. ^ Australian Eloquence CD 4643092
  29. ^ Brilliant classics CD 93249
  30. ^ Philips LP ABL 3139/3289.
  31. ^ CBS Masterworks Mk 42387
  32. ^ DGG DVD 000983409
  33. ^ HMV/EMI SXLP 30185
  34. ^ HMV ASD 3312
  35. ^ BBC CD L41972
  36. ^ Palm was a pupil of Mainardi's, and a President of the European String Teachers' Association: see interview [2] here.
  37. ^ Movimento Musica srl Milano (WEA Italiana) 01.017 33/30 DP
  38. ^ Samuel H. Mayes
  39. ^ Music and Arts, West Hill Radio Archive WHRA 6017
  40. ^ CBS LP SBRG 72087
  41. ^ BBC CD L41492
  42. ^ EMI CDC 7 49486 2
  43. ^ Testament CD SBT 1337
  44. ^ EMI EG 27 0268 1
  45. ^ BBC CD L4252 2
  46. ^ Leslie Parnas
  47. ^ Doremi CD DHR 7844
  48. ^ BBC CD L42362
  49. ^ Warner Classics CD Maestro 2564673668
  50. ^ CD DG 4777470
  51. ^ CD DG 4695292
  52. ^ PTC 5186 066 PentaTone Classics

External links


Featured Artists

Music Director, Donato Cabrera

Oliver Herbert, cello

Alina Kobialka, violin