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Thread: Where do I go from here with Brahms?

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    Senior Member Tallisman's Avatar
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    Default Where do I go from here with Brahms?

    I've recently got into Brahms. I've been listening to the glorious Mutter/Karajan violin concerto, and have the complete symphonies too. I was wondering where would be the best place to go from here. Any reccomendations? I hear the clarinet concerto is good...?

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    Senior Member AfterHours's Avatar
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    Piano Concertos would be the most natural evolution
    "We must not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time." -- T.S. Eliot

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    Senior Member Tallisman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AfterHours View Post
    Piano Concertos would be the most natural evolution
    2nd is a popular one, I hear?

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallisman View Post
    I hear the clarinet concerto is good...?
    He did not write one (Berio constructed one from a Brahms clarinet sonata).

    Brahms did write some of the most beautiful chamber music of all time (imo), start with the clarinet quintet, the string quintets and the string sextets.

    Another must hear is his Deutsches Requiem.
    Allüberall und ewig blauen licht die Fernen! Ewig ... ewig ...

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    Brahms is one of my favourite composers! Love most of his works. Possibly his 4th symphony to start with. What I listened to when started out with him! Do love Double Concerto too! His life story interesting too!

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    Brahms - Piano Quintet & String Quartet No. 1/Akiko Yamamoto (piano)Quatuor Ebène.
    Very fine start.

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pugg View Post
    Brahms - Piano Quintet & String Quartet No. 1/Akiko Yamamoto (piano)Quatuor Ebène.
    Very fine start.
    It's always interesting to see how tastes differ. For me his piano quintet and three string quartets are the least interesting in his chamber music oeuvre.

    Also, from personal experience, I found the double concerto a tough nut to crack. I like it now, but it took a lot more listens than the three more famous concertos (which I still prefer over the double concerto by a very wide margin).
    Allüberall und ewig blauen licht die Fernen! Ewig ... ewig ...

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    ^


    I started with the concertos / symphonies and gone towards the chambers music later.
    Now I am hooked on the one I mentioned.
    Last edited by Pugg; May-08-2017 at 08:35.

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    Senior Member AfterHours's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallisman View Post
    2nd is a popular one, I hear?
    Yes, it's practically a symphony. The first is amazing too. The best set is probably Freire/Chailly.
    "We must not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time." -- T.S. Eliot

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    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    One of the nice things about Brahms was that he was his own toughest critic. He refused to publish (and before his death destroyed) any number of compositions. As a consequence, he only published 24 works of chamber music. I consider them one of the most remarkable bodies of work in all of classical music - the pieces range from highly satisfying to spectacular.

    Near the end of his life Brahms became enamored with the clarinet playing of Richard Muhlfeld, and "came out of retirement" to write 4 chamber works for clarinet, plus some marvelous works for piano and a few other pieces. They are among my favorite Brahms compositions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jegreenwood View Post
    One of the nice things about Brahms was that he was his own toughest critic. He refused to publish (and before his death destroyed) any number of compositions. As a consequence, he only published 24 works of chamber music. I consider them one of the most remarkable bodies of work in all of classical music - the pieces range from highly satisfying to spectacular.
    Yes, he had high standards and did not, to the best of my knowledge, compose anything that is outright bad. The very worst of his works are, as you note, still highly satisfying.

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    Senior Member Tchaikov6's Avatar
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    The first ten pieces you should listen to by Brahms (according to me):

    1. Werther Quartet

    2. Variations on a Theme of Paganini

    3. Piano Trio No. 3

    4. Piano Quartet No. 2

    5. Symphony No. 2

    6. Alto Rhapsody

    7. Hungarian Dances

    8. Five Songs, Op. 105

    9. Clarinet Trio

    10. Variations on a Theme of Haydn

    Just my suggestions.

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    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallisman View Post
    2nd is a popular one, I hear?
    You definitely want to listen to both. In several senses they are works by two different composers, and offer different yet equal rewards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallisman View Post
    I've recently got into Brahms. I've been listening to the glorious Mutter/Karajan violin concerto, and have the complete symphonies too. I was wondering where would be the best place to go from here. Any reccomendations? I hear the clarinet concerto is good...?
    Brahms never wrote a clarinet concerto but he did write two fine clarinet sonatas and a clarinet quintet, but they are a bit more introverted than the Violin Concerto.

    How about the Piano Trio No. 1 or the two Orchestral Serenades?

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    Senior Member Tallisman's Avatar
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    Loving the lieder (songs) collection.

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