Brahms 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118

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Belle
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Brahms 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118

Post by Belle » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:29 am

My perennial love for the music of Johannes Brahms knows no limits. Tonight it's the 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118. What a pleasure reading and listening!!

http://ks.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usim ... _Sauer.pdf

My favourite recording of the work is an early version by Stephen Kovacevich, released on Philips, which isn't available on U-Tube.

A performance of the work by Julius Katchen can be heard on U-Tube, but it is downloaded in six separate parts, so I've just provided the Intermezzo in A Major:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZLxOdlW9Vo

John F
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Re: Brahms 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118

Post by John F » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:04 am

For me, the most beautiful recording of op. 118 is by Wilhelm Kempff - not the DG stereo version, in which the piano tone is rather dry, but the freer Decca/London recording of the 1950s. Unfortunately it's not on YouTube, but here's Kempff's op. 117 no. 1 from 1953 to give an idea.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zh5V28azOFw
John Francis

Belle
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Re: Brahms 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118

Post by Belle » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:30 am

Absolute perfection; it's an intimate and tender conversation, isn't it.

Rach3
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Re: Brahms 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118

Post by Rach3 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:47 am

Younger Helene Grimaud's recording is also worth hearing, originally on an Erato cd I have, and perhaps her first solo recording (?).I believe this may be it, unfortunately in 6 separate pieces on YT :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVanJyN2u6U ( Op.118,No.1 )

maestrob
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Re: Brahms 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118

Post by maestrob » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:33 pm

Thanks, Belle for bringing up some of my favorite piano music. I'll have to try the Stephen Bishop, and here is my current favorite recording of the three cycles:

Image

Belle
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Re: Brahms 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118

Post by Belle » Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:45 pm

Rach3 wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:47 am
Younger Helene Grimaud's recording is also worth hearing, originally on an Erato cd I have, and perhaps her first solo recording (?).I believe this may be it, unfortunately in 6 separate pieces on YT :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVanJyN2u6U ( Op.118,No.1 )
This link wouldn't play here in Australia, but I've always found Grimaud an interesting musician. Yesterday afternoon I was watching an excerpt from a MediciTV performance on U-Tube from Verbier 2007 (which is no longer available on that channel) of Grimaud accompanying Thomas Quasthoff in Schumann's Dichterlieder. It was only very brief, but tantalizing.

Belle
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Re: Brahms 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118

Post by Belle » Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:55 pm

maestrob wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:33 pm
Thanks, Belle for bringing up some of my favorite piano music. I'll have to try the Stephen Bishop, and here is my current favorite recording of the three cycles:

Image
I haven't heard of this pianist, but I did listen to this following your comments:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TukTLnk2sXg

Brahms seems deceptively easy on keyboard, but it requires a great nuance of touch and expression to prevent it from becoming too chunky, tangled and chordal. A (late) friend of mine was a broadcaster on our nationwide ABC-FM classical network. He used to say on air that the piano under the hands of Brahms "shows all its teeth"!!

And here's Radu Lupu playing Op. 117: his is a fine performance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6Fq5GhUwgA

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Re: Brahms 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118

Post by Lance » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:35 pm

Ah, the Brahms pieces! I have the Katchen on Decca and Audite, Gieseking's EMI recordings (now on Appian), Kubalek on Dorian, all by Kempff on Decca and DGG, Volodos on Sony, Richter on Eurodisc, Egon Petri, Grimaud (Erato), and Lupu. I have been most touched by the recordings of Radu Lupu on Decca, just about anything he has recorded by Brahms. There are many other recordings, but nobody I know can have them all! :(
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Belle
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Re: Brahms 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118

Post by Belle » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:48 pm

I just looked up Nicholas Angelich on Wiki and discovered these photos!! Be still, my beating heart:

https://www.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl ... E3oECAYQBg

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Re: Brahms 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:42 pm

Well, there are all those CDs, which is fine, but the solo piano works of Brahms are horrendously neglected as recital works. When was the last time you heard one programmed, and I don't just mean the Beethoven-bagatelle-inspired works of the late years, as great as they are? I was going to make this an essay, but enough said.


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Donald Isler
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Re: Brahms 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118

Post by Donald Isler » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:55 am

Of course, no one who knows me will be surprised that my favorite recording of these works is the one by Bruce Hungerford, which is now on Youtube:
https://youtu.be/Sd5nzUyNw0w

And, if anyone is interested, I am about to release the only video of Hungerford's playing, a DVD of the Beethoven Fourth Piano Concerto with Boris Khaikin and the Berlin Staatskapelle (1964). Also included on the DVD is a performance of the Mussorgsky/Rimsky-Korsakoff Night On Bald Mountain with the same ensemble and conductor.
Last edited by Donald Isler on Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
Donald Isler

maestrob
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Re: Brahms 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118

Post by maestrob » Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:58 am

Donald Isler wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:55 am
Of course, no one who knows me will be surprised that my favorite recording of these works is the one by Bruce Hungerford, which is now on Youtube:
https://youtu.be/Sd5nzUyNw0w

And, if anyone is interested, I am about to release the only video of Hungerford's playing, a DVD of the Beethoven Fourth Piano Concerto with Boris Khaikin and the Berlin Staatskapelle (1964). Also included on the DVD is a performance of the Mussorgsky/Rimsky-Korsakoff Night On Blad Mountain with the same ensemble and conductor.
Thanks for that link, Donald. I look forward to getting that DVD. Please let us know when it's released. :)

maestrob
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Re: Brahms 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118

Post by maestrob » Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:31 am

Belle:)

Thank you for the Angelich link. I'm just now listening to his Rachmaninoff III/3, and find it miraculous that he can play the opening at such a fast tempo. Astounding! The Brahms that precedes it is quite fine, as is the Brahms I concerto that follows. A great concert!

maestrob
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Re: Brahms 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118

Post by maestrob » Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:48 am

Just did a search on amazon, and found the set below. It would appear that Angelich has a special relationship with Brahms, and has recorded the 10CD set pictured, along with the Capucon brothers, who, IMHO, are two of the finest string players of their generations. IF you're interested in Brahms as he is interpreted today, I strongly recommend this bargain set which I predict will contain some extraordinarily good music-making. I ordered it for roughly $19 including shipping. I'm listening now to the Paavo Jarvi/Angelich performance of Brahms I, and it's just right in my comfort zone.

Image

Belle
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Re: Brahms 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118

Post by Belle » Tue Nov 13, 2018 6:18 pm

maestrob wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:48 am
Just did a search on amazon, and found the set below. It would appear that Angelich has a special relationship with Brahms, and has recorded the 10CD set pictured, along with the Capucon brothers, who, IMHO, are two of the finest string players of their generations. IF you're interested in Brahms as he is interpreted today, I strongly recommend this bargain set which I predict will contain some extraordinarily good music-making. I ordered it for roughly $19 including shipping. I'm listening now to the Paavo Jarvi/Angelich performance of Brahms I, and it's just right in my comfort zone.

Image
I did listen to that very Brahms #1 with Angelich/Järvi/Orchestre de Paris last night before bed!! (Can anyone tell us why they think that cover was over the lid of the grand piano?)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnOVi91cRCk

To think the people in that first performance of the work, with Brahms at the keyboard in Leipzig (or Hamburg?), gave it the thumbs down so badly. Brahms never forgot that rebuke!! An early work and a very wonderful one. Did I happen to mention that I adore Brahms? Adore, I say!! Thank you for introducing me to the pianism of Nicholas Angelich.

And another form of beauty and athleticism today; the sublimity of Roger Federer playing Austrian Dominic Thiem. Both have the grace and power of a keyboard virtuoso.

Rach3
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Re: Brahms 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118

Post by Rach3 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:39 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:42 pm
Well, there are all those CDs, which is fine, but the solo piano works of Brahms are horrendously neglected as recital works.
By coincidence , pianist Paul Lewis last night live in London playing the Brahms Op.116 complete, and the complete Beethoven Op.33 Bagatelles , just listening now to Op.116, like what I'm hearing:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0001788

While today's youngsters do seem to program the Piano Sonatas Nos. 1 and 3 occasionally, and the Handel and Paganini Variations with some frequency, the Sonata No.2 ,wonderful Op.4 Scherzo,Opa.9 and 18 Variations,and even the Op.10 Ballades ( at least complete beyond # 1 ) seem rare, but my vantage may be too limited.


Katchen plays the Brahms Op.4 Scherzo : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaS6NnwoaC4

jbuck919
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Re: Brahms 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:30 pm

Donald Isler wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:55 am
Of course, no one who knows me will be surprised that my favorite recording of these works is the one by Bruce Hungerford, which is now on Youtube:
https://youtu.be/Sd5nzUyNw0w

And, if anyone is interested, I am about to release the only video of Hungerford's playing, a DVD of the Beethoven Fourth Piano Concerto with Boris Khaikin and the Berlin Staatskapelle (1964). Also included on the DVD is a performance of the Mussorgsky/Rimsky-Korsakoff Night On Bald Mountain with the same ensemble and conductor.
Donald, not that I needed an excuse, but out of respect for your continued feelings for your late teacher, I listened to the whole thing. Perhaps his greatest memorial is that he had a pupil like yourself.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Donald Isler
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Re: Brahms 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118

Post by Donald Isler » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:12 am

Well, thank you, John!
Donald Isler

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Re: Brahms 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118

Post by Donald Isler » Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:30 am

(Since Hungerford and Beethoven were mentioned on this thread) If anyone is interested in the new Hungerford DVD they are supposed to arrive today. Anyone is welcome to send me an email with your name and address if you'd like to receive a flyer. Thanks for any interest.
Donald Isler

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