1875: Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 3 in C minor

SUNDAY, April 4, 2021 – 2:27 PM

Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 3 in C minor (Werther Quartet after Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther), age 42

First, just start with this, because it is an absolutely smoking performance. There is only this one movement here, but it’s probably 20% faster than any other performance. Grandma has gray hear here, so it’s not a performance from long ago, but Argerich has as much fire here as she did when very young.

Instrumentation

  • piano
  • violin
  • viola
  • cello

Movements

  • 1. Allegro non troppo (C minor)
  • 2. Scherzo: Allegro (C minor → C major)
  • 3. Andante (E major)
  • 4. Finale: Allegro comodo (C minor → C major)

Piano quartets

This is a very famous piano quartet. Piano quartets use the same instruments as a string quartet but without the 2nd violin part. I say this is famous because as a non string player my interest is generally more in larger ensembles, particularly symphonies and concertos. So I’m still making up my mind who I like playing this the most, although Argerich would be my 1st choice, hands down, if only we had her playing all the movements.

A recent live performance

Veronika Eberle, Violin | Veronika Hagen, Viola | Monika Leskovar, Cello | Nelson Goerner, Piano

I know nothing about any of these players, but I have a preference for modern recordings because of the miking. Engineers are becoming absolutely wizards at getting full, vibrant sound. I like the full sound of the piano. Without a great deal of experience with this piece I think this is my favorite. It’s live which is always best, when it works, and the church is beautiful. If I continue to like this as much as I do now, I’ll try research all the players. And look at all the women, with only a man playing the piano. Every year I swear there are more stunning female performances.

 

 

1 thought on “1875: Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 3 in C minor

  1. The Quartet

    This recording is outstanding. The music, the performers, the sound, and the setting, all the boxes are checked. I’ve already listened 3 times.

    Argerich hasn’t lost her touch. Just look at her fingers fly across the keys. WOW!!!

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