Day 332: Piano Sonata No. 1, Scherzo in E Flat Minor, 16 Waltzes

BrahmsCD26Eighteen piano compositions.

Two different pianists.

One CD.

You’d think that would the formula for excitement.

And you’d just about be right.


Four-hand piano is done (at least for the time being). These piano compositions are for two-hand piano.

Performers are:

Kamerhan Turan (tracks 1-5)
Karin Lechner (tracks 6-21)

Compositions are:

Piano Sonata No. 1 in C Op. 1 (Turan)

According to its entry on Wikipedia:

The Piano Sonata No. 1 in C major, Op. 1, of Johannes Brahms was written in Hamburg in 1853, and published later that year. Despite being his first published work, he had actually composed his second piano sonata first, but chose this work to be his first published opus because he felt that it was of higher quality. The piece was sent along with his second sonata to Breitkopf & Härtel with a letter of recommendation from Robert Schumann. Schumann had already praised Brahms enthusiastically, and the sonata shows signs of an effort to impress in its technical demands and dramatic character. It was dedicated to Joseph Joachim.

If that is correct, then Brahms was 20 years old when he composed this music.

And beautiful music it is, too. Very listenable. Exciting. Seems the younger Brahms was Continue reading

Day 133: Now You’re Talkin’!

HaydnCD133Like yesterday’s CD of music for Lute and Strings, today’s CD of Concertini and Divertimenti for Piano is another a delightful surprise.

The first track – Concertino in C HOB XIV: 12, Movement I (“Allegro”) – reminded me of Glenn Gould’s rendition of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. The piano was all snappy and trill-y and bright. Loads of fun. Very lively.

Movement II (“Adagio”) definitely slows the tempo. But the piano is so lovely (in a Chopin nocturne sort of way) that the retarded pace is not depressing. More slightly melancholy, but not in an unpleasant sort of way.

Movement III (“Finale: Allegro”) is a bit less allegro than some I’ve heard. But, the sprightly interplay between the piano and the strings is delightful. A terrific blending of instruments.

Divertimento in C HOB XIV: 7 was equally fun to hear. Movement II (“Menuet”), especially, was lively and compelling.

Concertino in F HOB XVIII: F2 was more subdued, more stately, than the previous selections. But just when I thought it was going to go out with a wimper, not an altogether unpleasant one, Movement III (“Allego assai”) kicked in and flipped me on my ear. What a brisk, thousand-notes-a-minute piano piece this is!

Divertimento in C HOB XIV: 3 opens with a first movement (“Allegro moderato”) that features more fleet-fingered piano playing from Harald Kosik, but with more balance from the other musicians. It’s a nice piece. Movement II (“Menuet”) is a little slow for my tastes, and not bouncy enough as my favorite menuets are. But Movement III (“Finale: Allegro molto”) jars the menuet-induced reverie with a butt-kicking finale that, Continue reading