Brahms: Cello Sonatas 1 in E min + No 2 in F - KarazwLaimoon

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Brahms: Cello Sonatas 1 in E min + No 2 in F

Music Talks > 2015 Spring

Music Club: Wednesday 10 December 2014 (7 pm)

Title: Cello Sonatas: No 1 in E minor Op 38 and No 2 in F Op 99 (VIDEO)
Composer: Brahms
Sonata No 1: Gautier Capuçon (Cello) and Yuja Wang (Piano)
Sonata No 2: Jacqueline Du Pre (Cello) and Daniel Barenboim (Piano)
Facilitator: Akram Najjar

These two sonatas span the life of Brahms. One written "before the beard" and one after it. Most pictures show Brahms with an elderly beard. Actually, he only grew it at 45. Both sonatas are masterpieces. Both are passionate. They both show Brahms with one foot in the classical camp and the other in the romantic and progressive camp.

Brahms: (adapted from Wikipedia Click Here)
Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria. In his lifetime, Brahms's popularity and influence were considerable; following a comment by the nineteenth-century conductor Hans von Bülow, he is sometimes grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as one of the "Three Bs".

Brahms composed for piano, chamber ensembles, symphony orchestra, and for voice and chorus. A virtuoso pianist, he premiered many of his own works; he worked with some of the leading performers of his time, including the pianist Clara Schumann and the violinist Joseph Joachim. Brahms, an uncompromising perfectionist, destroyed some of his works and left others unpublished.

Brahms is often considered both a traditionalist and an innovator. His music is firmly rooted in the structures and compositional techniques of the Baroque and Classical masters. He was a master of counterpoint, the complex and highly disciplined art for which Johann Sebastian Bach is famous, and of development, a compositional ethos pioneered by Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, and other composers. Brahms aimed to honor the "purity" of these venerable "German" structures and advance them into a Romantic idiom, in the process creating bold new approaches to harmony and melody. While many contemporaries found his music too academic, his contribution and craftsmanship have been admired by subsequent figures as diverse as Arnold Schoenberg and Edward Elgar. The diligent, highly constructed nature of Brahms's works was a starting point and an inspiration for a generation of composers.

Interesting Links about Brahms:

Click Here (Biography)
Click Here (a comprehensive list of his works in Classical Archives)
Click Here (Naxos)
Click Here (
Click Here (Brahms website)

Cello Sonata No. 1 in E min Op 38 (adapted from Wikipedia Click Here):
The sonata is entitled "Sonate für Klavier und Violoncello" where the piano "should be a partner - often a leading, often a watchful and considerate partner - but it should under no circumstances assume a purely accompanying role" In the course of a private performance for an audience of friends, Brahms played so loudly that the worthy Gänsbacher complained that he could not hear his cello at all - "Lucky for you", growled Brahms, and let the piano rage on.

It is "a homage to J. S. Bach" and the principal theme of the first movement and of the fugue are based on Contrapunctus 4 and 13 of The Art of Fugue.

The work was championed in Europe and London by Robert Hausmann. In gratitude, Brahms dedicated his Second Sonata to Hausmann.

Cello Sonata No. 2 in F Op 99 (adapted from Wikipedia Click Here):
The Cello Sonata No. 2 in F major, Op. 99, was written by Johannes Brahms in 1886, more than twenty years after completing his first Cello Sonata. It was first published in 1887. It was written for, dedicated to and first performed by Robert Hausmann, who had popularized the First Sonata, and who would the following year be given the honor of premiering the Double Concerto in A minor with Joseph Joachim.

Interesting Links about the 2 Cello Sonatas:
Click Here (Analysis of Sonata 1)
Click Here (Analysis of Sonata 1)
Click Here (Download PDF file analysis of Sonata 1)
Click Here (Thematic / Timing Analysis and Structure of Sonata 1)
Click Here (Analysis of Sonata 2)
Click Here (Thematic / Timing Analysis and Structure of Sonata 2)
Click Here (Genesis of Sonata 2)
Click Here (Analysis of Sonata 2)

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