1856-61: Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor (GYPSY RONDO), age 23

Mr. Peabody Says:

This was was premiered in 1861 in Hamburg, with Clara Schumann at the piano. This also underscored how good Clara was, since in her time it was very hard for women to be known as performers.Schoenberg was around 63 when he turned this quartet into something for complete orchestra.

Start with the last movement, first as Brahms wrote it.

The same last movement, as Schoenberg orchestrated it.

Fauré Quartet

  • I. Allegro (G minor)
  • II. Intermezzo: Allegro ma non troppo — Trio: Animato (C minor, ends in C major)
  • III. Andante con moto (E♭ major)
  • IV. Rondo alla Zingarese (“in the Gypsy style”): Presto (G minor)

Christoph Eschenbach

  • I. Allegro (G minor)
  • II. Intermezzo: Allegro ma non troppo — Trio: Animato (C minor, ends in C major)
  • III. Andante con moto (E♭ major)
  • IV. Rondo alla Zingarese (“in the Gypsy style”): Presto (G minor)

The story of Christoph Eschenbach:

Read about this man for the story of tragedy and triumph. It is about everything that is wonderful and horrific about humanity. Somehow he survived, and his conducting is miraculous.

Instruments:

  • piano
  • violin
  • viola
  • cello

Piano quartets use the same instruments as a string quartet but without the 2nd violin part.

The quartet was orchestrated by Arnold Schoenberg in 1937

Schoenberg was around 63 when he turned this quartet into something for complete orchestra. He wrote some of the ugliest music I’ve ever heard, and I flat don’t like his music. But here you can hear that he was a superb musician. He took Brahms’ quartet and turned it into a symphony. I can’t help thinking that Brahms would have loved this.

When was it written?

This is the 1st of Brahms’ piano quintets. No one seems to know exactly when he composed this. He was a slow writer, preferring to take a long time to perfect his music. But people seem to agree about when he started it, and when it was performed – showing when it was complete. I was looking for compositions by a very young Brahms and was delighted to find this.

1 thought on “1856-61: Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor (GYPSY RONDO), age 23

  1. I hadn’t heard the Schonenberg. I don’t quite like what he usually does, but this time I do. And that orchestra – Frankfurt Radio Symphony – is always top-shelf talent. They have Orozco now. Honestly a whole bunch of people show up at that podium to conduct.

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