Brahms: Sonata for 2 Pianos – Haydn Variations

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Composer: Johannes Brahms
Artists: Eleonora Spina, Michele Benignetti
This unassuming-looking “Sonata for two pianos” in fact represents a seminal work in Brahms’s output, as it became the Piano Quintet – whose symphonic dimensions, no less than that of the First Piano Concerto, were one of the many precursors to Brahms finally facing up to the task of composing a symphony proper.
In fact while working on the score, Brahms had showed it to Joachim, who deemed the piece too heavy for strings and (in an unusual instance of Brahms taking advice from anyone) the composer rewrote it for piano duo. Clara Schumann contributed her two-penny-worth too: “It is no sonata but rather a work whose ideas you could – you must – scatter over the entire orchestra as if from a horn of plenty! Right from the first time I played it I had the feeling of its being an arrangement.”

However, Brahms retained a fondness for this ‘original’ form of a work that would become so famous, and indeed it reflects the essentially domestic side of so much of his music-making, conceived for friends and musicians together, however strong and unbridled the passions expressed therein. It was Clara herself who remarked that only once she could play through the Third Symphony did she feel able to comment on it: reading and even listening to it weren’t enough.

Tracklist
00:00:00 Johannes Brahms: Sonata for 2 Piano’s in F Minor Op. 34b: I. Allegro non troppo
00:14:59 Johannes Brahms: Sonata for 2 Piano’s in F Minor Op. 34b: II. Andante, un poco adagio
00:23:22 Johannes Brahms: Sonata for 2 Piano’s in F Minor Op. 34b: III. Scherzo, allegro
00:31:08 Johannes Brahms: Sonata for 2 Piano’s in F Minor Op. 34b: IV. Finale. Poco sostenuto – allegro non troppo
00:41:43 Johannes Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56b: I. Choral St. Antoni – Andante
00:43:59 Johannes Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56b: II. Variation I. Andante con moto, poco più animato
00:45:17 Johannes Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56b: III. Variation II. Più vivace
00:46:19 Johannes Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56b: IV. Variation III. Con moto
00:48:17 Johannes Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56b: V. Variation IV. Andante con moto
00:50:15 Johannes Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56b: VI. Variation V. Poco presto, vivace
00:51:14 Johannes Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56b: VII. Variation VI. Vivace
00:52:30 Johannes Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56b: VIII. Variation VII. Grazioso
00:55:16 Johannes Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56b: IX. Variation VIII. Poco presto
00:56:12 Johannes Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56b: X. Finale – Andante

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