|Brahms, Johannes / Piano Concerto No. 2 In B-Flat Major, Op. 83; Piano Sonata No. 1 In C Major, Op.|
|Add Date:||2018-02-27|| ||Pull Date:||2018-05-01|| ||Charts:||Classical/Experimental|
|Week Ending:||4 Mar|
The 1880 Brahms Second Concerto has been called “a symphony with piano obbligato.” The scale of writing and breadth of expression demand a special technique and stamina. In 4 mvmts rather than 3, the Concerto adds a powerful Scherzo in D minor for its 2nd mvmt. For the ensuing Andante - Piu adagio, Brahms employs a long, ardent cello melody based on one of his art songs, “Ever lighter is my slumber.” The music in the central section of the Andante becomes virtually static, a sustained, slow nocturne for piano and muted strings. The last mvmt, Allegretto grazioso, provides a leisurely theme that occasionally explodes into the few bravura passages that Brahms permits in this otherwise hugely mounted, Classical concerto.|
The 1853 Sonata No. 1 in C major owes huge debts to Beethoven, whose Fifth Symphony motto theme resounds throughout the piece, as well as percussive elements from his Hammerklavier Sonata (No. 29 in B-flat major). A long, diverse development section leads to an exuberant coda. The slow mvmt Andante presents a theme-and-variations based on what Brahms thought was an old Minnelied, or courtly love song. The powerful Scherzo movement is a form Brahms favored while young, but he came to reject the fast-paced motion later in his career, opting for intermezzos and reflective movements. The Finale returns to the animated aspects of the opening mvmt, and its pulsating energy has an ambiguous rhythmic vitality, 9/8 competing with 6/8.