Brahms

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anthony, Wednesday, 3 October 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Search: REQUIEM. This is one of the pieces of music that justifies western civilization.

Dan Perry, Wednesday, 3 October 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

blimey dan

in grove it said he lived on nowt but very strong black coffee and ceegars, which aged 16 i tht was way kewl and started in fact to imitate*

*minus the 'gars, which i disapproved of

mark s, Wednesday, 3 October 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Search - Violin Concerto in D.
Coincidentally I retrieved my copy from storage over the weekend, it's playing in the other room as I'm typing. Listening to it for the first time in a decade, last Saturday night, I laughed my way through the whole thing, how I could have taken it all so seriously, I'm ashamed of myself.

Also search for photos of Brahms.
Destroy - Nigel Kennedy's version. He plays it like the word of God.

K-reg, Wednesday, 3 October 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Search: Clarinet Quintet, Symphony No.3, 2nd Piano Concerto
Also fond of: Symphonies 1 & 2 (esp. the end of the 1st). Less keen on the 4th, but wouldn't presume to destroy any Brahms

Jeff, Wednesday, 3 October 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

The piano quartets are divine. Truly divine.

Mickey Black Eyes, Wednesday, 3 October 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

six years pass...

any more? I think I've always dismissed him for v bad reasons, something to do with hearing lullabiesat primary school, perhaps, and thinking that was all he did? But I keep reading things which suggest I'm missing out.

toby, Thursday, 13 March 2008 16:49 (twelve years ago) link

four months pass...

Search: REQUIEM. This is one of the pieces of music that justifies western civilization.

the famous bit (movement 2) is something i just now craved to hear, it's massively awesome

i wish ppl would do that sort of shit w updated instrumentation/production techniques

Just got offed, Tuesday, 5 August 2008 14:20 (twelve years ago) link

i mean more with the conception than the execution, obv the actual music would not be a facsimile on guitars/synths or whatever, i'd hope it was rather more avant-garde than that tbh

god i'm spouting shit about ambitious music nobody will ever make i need to stfu ;_;

Just got offed, Tuesday, 5 August 2008 14:27 (twelve years ago) link

A movement of the Violin Concerto is used effectively over the end credits of There Will Be Blood.

o. nate, Tuesday, 5 August 2008 14:47 (twelve years ago) link

lol I just been listening to this shit over Youtube ownage compilations, way to defile great art :D

Just got offed, Tuesday, 5 August 2008 16:09 (twelve years ago) link

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/11/Johannes_Brahms_1853.jpg/436px-Johannes_Brahms_1853.jpg

most beautiful man i've ever seen?

Surmounter, Tuesday, 12 August 2008 13:38 (twelve years ago) link

i'd say search it all. i love brahms.

scott seward, Tuesday, 12 August 2008 16:16 (twelve years ago) link

http://i22.tinypic.com/5wxtdz.jpg

young schubert

Frogman Henry, Tuesday, 12 August 2008 17:56 (twelve years ago) link

o_O

Surmounter, Tuesday, 12 August 2008 17:57 (twelve years ago) link

and dear god brahms' 2nd piano concerto is just unbelivably great.

Frogman Henry, Tuesday, 12 August 2008 17:58 (twelve years ago) link

symphonies nos. 2 and 4.

cryfok, Tuesday, 12 August 2008 18:21 (twelve years ago) link

brahms pic is great, though that schubert portrait is flattering. he was barely five feet, wore thick glasses and everyone called him 'Schwammerl' ('fatty')

http://sausagelynx.com/Liszt%20-%20Henri%20Lehmann.jpg

not too hot here but liszt is supposed to have been the ladies man. he pretty much invented the solo concert, too.

i admire the brahms piano and violin concertos (although i think the latter is a little staid-- and i like haydn!), but i mainly listen his violin sonatas, piano trios and first symphony. he has a lot of great, unsung solo piano music (capriccios etc), too. i have the Decca juluius katchen box set.

poortheatre, Tuesday, 12 August 2008 19:07 (twelve years ago) link

2 songs for mezzo, viola, and piano. HEAVEN

tehresa, Tuesday, 12 August 2008 19:08 (twelve years ago) link

also: alto rhapsody

(i am biased)

tehresa, Tuesday, 12 August 2008 19:09 (twelve years ago) link

four months pass...

i actually can't believe the 1st symphony was premiered in 1876

get that pion down you son (Frogman Henry), Monday, 15 December 2008 16:14 (twelve years ago) link

ive always associated with the midperiod romantic movement. but dear god that's only 12 years before mahler's 2nd.

get that pion down you son (Frogman Henry), Monday, 15 December 2008 16:16 (twelve years ago) link

ok, not quite, mahler's 2nd premierd in 1895. still, "beethoven's 10th" comes 52 years after the 9th.

get that pion down you son (Frogman Henry), Monday, 15 December 2008 16:19 (twelve years ago) link

nine months pass...

got an old dgg pressing of emil gilels & members of the amadeus quartet doing *piano quartet no.1 in g minor,op 25* and it's a dreamy powerhouse! um, that might sound like an oxymoron, but it really does lilt and flow and then POW hits you with a punch to the kisser. digging it.

scott seward, Wednesday, 23 September 2009 14:37 (eleven years ago) link

Brahms is really the powerhouse of 19c chamber music. The piano quartets, the string quintets, the clarinet sonatas... I like him in symphonic/concerto mode too but his chamber works are his top shelf.

BTW that Piano Quartet was expanded for orchestra by Schoenberg, into a kind of 'Brahms Fifth Symphony'. Somehow I've never heard that arrangement even though it's had a number of recordings.

Wee Tam and the lolhueg (Jon Lewis), Wednesday, 23 September 2009 15:30 (eleven years ago) link

one year passes...

Listening to the Op. 60 piano quartet. Love how the music reaches these moments of crisis that only break through by means of wrenching dissonances. No wonder Schoenberg was a follower.

corey, Saturday, 14 May 2011 14:52 (nine years ago) link

And the chugging of the ostinato bowing makes it all feel like it's floating over a rapidly moving surface, like lines on a highway.

corey, Saturday, 14 May 2011 14:54 (nine years ago) link

one year passes...

gieseking! doing brahms piano stuff. soooooooo in love.

scott seward, Friday, 29 June 2012 20:11 (eight years ago) link

I'm a big Gieseking fan. He recorded my all time favorite composition (Debussy Preludes Books I and II) 3 different times in his career: the earliest (78 era) have been on CD twice, the last (EMI LP) have been on CD a jillion times; the middle one (columbia LP) has never been on CD, not even in Japan. I keep those records close. Someday I will pay i4n j0hnson to make a transfer for me...

Lewis Apparition (Jon Lewis), Friday, 29 June 2012 20:27 (eight years ago) link

Also Gieseking's off-brand LP of Schumann's Davidsbundlertanze is THEE craziest rendition anyone has ever recorded of an already crazy piece.

Lewis Apparition (Jon Lewis), Friday, 29 June 2012 20:29 (eight years ago) link

i don't think i've heard the schumann? i'll keep an eye out. and, yeah, his debussy stuff is numero uno and essential.

scott seward, Friday, 29 June 2012 20:34 (eight years ago) link

five years pass...

This movement is one of his beauty peaks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clfmwC4biTA

Freedom, Sunday, 13 August 2017 20:38 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

as a former brahms sceptic it took me a while to find out that the powerful intro music from the nazis: a warning from history was denn alles fleisch, es ist wie gras from Ein Deutsches Requiem. I don't why I previously didn't like his symphonies either, but I was wrong.

calzino, Tuesday, 5 March 2019 11:23 (one year ago) link

Have you heard Carlos Kleiber's recording of the 4th symphony? I'm not sold on the entirety of Brahms's output either, including some of his more celebrated pieces, but at his best he blows most 19th century composers out of the water.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 5 March 2019 11:28 (one year ago) link

The 3rd violin sonata, late piano pieces, 1st piano quartet, clarinet quintet, clarinet sonatas, double concerto and the four serious songs are all godly.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 5 March 2019 11:30 (one year ago) link

I've got Barenboim's 1-4 set. Will check them out.

calzino, Tuesday, 5 March 2019 11:30 (one year ago) link

Brahms really isn't Barenboim's forte imho. Kleiber is on a whole other level, although, true to his selective self, he never recorded the first three. My favourite set is probably Abbado's with the BPO.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 5 March 2019 11:36 (one year ago) link

Solti for the symphonies here; his takes sound just plain majestic!

I never heard Kleiber in Brahms but he and Toscanini are the only guys whom I can stand doing Beethoven symphonies (I honestly hate Ludwig van though I listen to him anyway sometimes to make sure of my footing!), this because they both invest their Beethoven with a kind of relentless forward motion and don't wallow in the romance or something? Does that sound right? I can imagine him being good for Brahms, too!

Brahms is a bit squared-away (by this I think I mean he doesn't try to surprise you like a lot of artists, instead he plants seeds that later blossom exactly as you expect them to?) but unusually rich and, again, majestic; I've yet to hear anything by him that wasn't a masterpiece at the highest level, including the string quartets which don't seem to get much recognition. He's known for not publishing and/or destroying anything he wrote but didn't personally consider a masterpiece, and I myself have come to believe that legend! I haven't heard all the lieder, choral works, or the piano sonatas, or the requiem mass, but I've spent a lot of time with most everything else. I would personally die for the piano trios, quartets, and the quintet! They have a driving quality that reminds me of rock and roll, frankly! Really super high level rock and roll sans drums and electricity! There's an amazing budget priced Isaac Stern boxset from Sony which I'd like to highly recommend that contains the trios, quartets, violin sonatas + concertos in uniformly excellent versions. The best quintet version I've heard is a recent release by Artemis trio, where it's paired with the Schumann, and both in spirited/agile performances and very hi fidelity sound.

That said, I've recently come to believe that Schumann surpasses Brahms overall! They're similar artists except Schumann has this super-endearing quirky personality thing going on, rippling under the surface of all his music, that Brahms kind of lacks to my ear. Or at least Brahms' personality is more sublime and reserved or something... and where Brahms' notes tend to sound strong and monolithic, Schumann's notes instead invariably sing and sigh!

liam fennell, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 17:37 (one year ago) link

Artemis quartet rather, with the addition of Leif Ove Andsnes on piano for that disc of quintets.

liam fennell, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 17:44 (one year ago) link

How could I forget the piano quintet? The string quartets are quite ravishing as well, but with the possible exception of the 1st, I keep unfairly comparing them to Beethoven's (or even Mendelssohn's). Schumann suffers from the same problem (1st string quartet dwarfs the other two imho), but whenever a piano is thrown into the equation, his chamber music is at least as good as Brahms's (I agree that there's something almost rock & rollish about Brahms's chamber works at their manic best, such as the 1st piano quartet). As for the piano pieces, there is no competition, unless we only count Brahms's final essays in the genre.

(Speaking of solo Schumann, there's an excellent complete, 13-disc set by Dana Ciocârlie, from 2017.)

pomenitul, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 17:47 (one year ago) link

I do love that Artemis/Andsnes quintet recording! Belcea/Till Fellner is also lovely.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 17:48 (one year ago) link

Thanks Pomenitul. I have Jorg Demus for solo Schumann, which set has a super mellow sound which I find really appropriate for the smaller melodic pieces but not so much for the more stormy romantic things and I do want to get a second set to complement that one!

So I wanted to do some listening and re-examine my position. I think you're right about the piano being the critical element, for me at least that's mainly where Schumann is surpassing Brahms; in all non-piano works it's Brahms who easily takes the lead. Brahms' symphonies are certainly greater, but his piano concertos aren't, I don't think! Schumann's single piano concerto is so much more concentrated and concise, natural like flowing water, whereas the Brahms piano concertos are like these monstrous and somewhat ponderous things that I tend to lose track of as they go on and on. Brahms' violin concerto however is first-rate and while I don't think I've heard Schumann's yet, somehow I can't imagine it being quite as good; Brahms is just so masterful at writing for strings. I didn't re-listen to these yet, but I remember ranking the Brahms' double-concerto about equal with Schumann's cello concerto, both seeming like minor works overall? I also overlooked some critical things, like the Brahms string quintets and sextets for instance; all those works are nothing less than rarefied and exquisite, and all of them invariably remind me of shimmering color-changing sculptures that kind of levitate in the air -- nothing in Schumann is quite like that! Ditto the clarinet works, which are very, very special indeed.

I re-listened to some of the string quartets of each as well; hard to say whose I prefer ultimately, they're pretty different. They're interesting in particular to me right now (as I'm drawing all these parallels) because Schumann's sound like Brahms, being very strictly fugal/classical with limited melodic elements, and the Brahms' contain the characteristics I associate with Schumann! Brahms' string quartets at least give me the impression of being quite melodic and intensely romantic, though perhaps as you say they're ultimately more comparable to Beethoven than anything else. They certainly resemble the late Schubert ones, which I understand also resemble Beethoven?

I haven't yet spent time with Beethoven's quartets, Beethoven really bothers me for reasons I find hard to articulate; that said, the only string quartet of his I'm familiar with is one I do think pretty amazing, it is the one in Godard's (I think) masterpiece Prenom: Carmen where it is both the score and part of the plot, with the quartet performing it visible on screen quite often! I'm not even sure which quartet it is, I believe it is one of the later "difficult" ones, but it is a very good one all the same! I should probably really hear all those a few times before spouting off more half-baked opinions!

liam fennell, Friday, 8 March 2019 13:43 (one year ago) link

"instead he plants seeds that later blossom exactly as you expect them to?"

this sort of mirrors my recent experiences of initially finding his symphonies whelming at best - but I keep coming back for more and am starting to like them a lot.

calzino, Friday, 8 March 2019 14:05 (one year ago) link

Yeah -- I too found they had to grow on me at first, as it were!

liam fennell, Friday, 8 March 2019 17:08 (one year ago) link


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