Brahms: Liebeslieder Waltzes for Piano 4-Hands / Duo Nadàn
The influential critic Eduard Hanslick was shocked by the discovery that ‘Brahms the serious, the taciturn, the North German, the Protestant, the man who detests the world writes waltzes!’ In this regard he underestimated Brahms just as he did Liszt and Wagner, the composers of opera and symphonic poems whom he detested. Brahms always retained a connection with and affection for all forms of amateur music-making, and indeed had been a well-loved conductor of an amateur choral society, of the kind for which the Liebeslieder waltzes were written. The Liebeslieder-Walzer are a brilliant tribute to the musical tradition of the Habsburg capital, that tradition of popular dances that traced back its composed heritage to Schubert and later the Strauss dynasty (Brahms was inordinately fond of Strauss waltzes). He composed them for a mixed vocal quartet (solo or choral) with piano accompaniment for four hands, according to a model already adopted by Schumann in several collections. In fact the first of the two sets was already designed for performance without voices, inspired by Brahms's somewhat awkward infatuation with Julie Schumann, and intended as a piano duo for the composer with Clara Schumann. Brahms made the arrangements of both sets of Liebeslieder himself, and they proved a commercial hit for the publisher Simrock. Prevailed upon for a sequel, Brahms wrote the Zigeunerlieder (Gypsy Songs) in 1874, and in a more allusive, concise style, experimenting with form and producing a set of more unpredictable, changeable pieces. This time he left the piano-duo arrangement to a trusted colleague, Theodor Kirchner, who had already produced several similar transcriptions of his music.
June 24, 2022
Label: Brilliant Classics
Number of Discs:
Composer: Johannes Brahms
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