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#2083759 - 05/16/13 05:03 PM Brahms Piano Sonatas
bplary1300 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/08
Posts: 353
Loc: Maine
I've always found Brahms' Piano Sonatas to be historically and musically very interesting. They show signs of a young, fiery Brahms seeking to make a place for himself in the world of music through brash romanticism and virtuosity.
I'm beginning work on the second Sonata Op.2 this Summer and would love to hear about anyone else's experiences with or thoughts about these youthful works of a great master.
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#2083783 - 05/16/13 05:59 PM Re: Brahms Piano Sonatas [Re: bplary1300]
Goomer Piles Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/13
Posts: 129
I would call them great works of a youthful master. smile

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#2083784 - 05/16/13 06:02 PM Re: Brahms Piano Sonatas [Re: bplary1300]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3754
Loc: Bay Area, CA
I never got into them; for me Brahms starts with op.10. Perhaps I'll give then another try.

-J
_________________________
Beethoven: op.109, 110, 111

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#2083802 - 05/16/13 06:56 PM Re: Brahms Piano Sonatas [Re: beet31425]
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
I love the F# minor sonata. It is a lot of fun to play. I am sure I am projecting, but I always think this piece sounds like the young Brahms holding out his middle finger to the rest of the music world. I mean that in a good way. It is such a cocky piece.
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Keith D Kerman
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#2084096 - 05/17/13 09:58 AM Re: Brahms Piano Sonatas [Re: bplary1300]
jdhampton924 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 1009
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
I have found them interesting, but I keep coming back to sonata No. 2 over 3 most days. It always felt tighter, and the melodies stuck out in my head more.

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#2084154 - 05/17/13 12:36 PM Re: Brahms Piano Sonatas [Re: bplary1300]
bplary1300 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/08
Posts: 353
Loc: Maine
I did a theory project on the first movement of Op.1 last year and man that's a difficult work. Especially the finale!
Katchen is my favorite for these early pieces, this video of him playing Op.2 on youtube is fantastic. A bit faster than I like at parts but he plays with such intensity!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXutzzQur3s


Edited by bplary1300 (05/17/13 12:38 PM)
_________________________


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#2084175 - 05/17/13 01:28 PM Re: Brahms Piano Sonatas [Re: bplary1300]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2310
Loc: San Jose, CA
I played Op. 5 for my senior recital. The slow movement is spellbinding. The rest of it is kind of chunky and awkward, but I appreciate it anyway because it is unadulterated Brahms. His intense self-criticism and censorship hadn't really taken hold yet, and it benefits from having some faults and overexuberance.

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#2085023 - 05/19/13 02:25 AM Re: Brahms Piano Sonatas [Re: bplary1300]
Immortal Beloved Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/15/13
Posts: 18
I haven't heard the other Sonatas, but I think that No. 3 in F minor is a masterpiece.
_________________________
R.I.P. Beethoven

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#2085266 - 05/19/13 03:25 PM Re: Brahms Piano Sonatas [Re: Immortal Beloved]
MathGuy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 232
Loc: California
The first three sonatas are all delightful, in my opinion. Things I especially love:
  • The last two pages of Opus 1, which are as exuberant as anything could ever be. Those final iii-IV-I-I-vi-V-I chords seem to just shout out "Yeah, I'm here, get used to it!"
  • The scherzo of Opus 2, with the horn call motif in the trio (and those crazy tremolos at the end).
  • The slow movement of Opus 5, which as JeffreyJones noted is spellbinding.
Something else I occasionally hear in Brahms' early sonatas, but not elsewhere in his work, is passages that seem like remarkably direct precursors of 20th century popular music. The G major episode in the finale of Opus 1 sounds to me very much like proto-doo-wop, and the Andante molto of Opus 5's slow movement has a definite pop ballad feel. I guess it's the somewhat lush harmonies, coupled with a willingness (which one sees less and less in later Brahms) to simply spin out a tune without doing anything "advanced". (That may sound a bit snarky, but I don't mean it that way!)

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#2085273 - 05/19/13 03:29 PM Re: Brahms Piano Sonatas [Re: bplary1300]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
I have some pretty awesome recordings of the three piano sonatas that changed how I view them. They're good pieces, though I wouldn't say the pinnacle of the Romantic piano sonata.

(Bonus!)

I hope Damon enjoys these recordings smile

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#2085290 - 05/19/13 03:43 PM Re: Brahms Piano Sonatas [Re: Orange Soda King]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19268
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
I have some pretty awesome recordings of the three piano sonatas that changed how I view them. They're good pieces, though I wouldn't say the pinnacle of the Romantic piano sonata.
Do you know what pupil of that pianist owns one of the most famous piano stores in the U.S.?

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#2085312 - 05/19/13 04:26 PM Re: Brahms Piano Sonatas [Re: pianoloverus]
Schubertslieder Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/13
Posts: 373
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
I have some pretty awesome recordings of the three piano sonatas that changed how I view them. They're good pieces, though I wouldn't say the pinnacle of the Romantic piano sonata.
Do you know what pupil of that pianist owns one of the most famous piano stores in the U.S.?

Who? I am just curious.
_________________________
Charles Peck (American)--Metropolitan
Debussy--various pieces
Grieg--various pieces

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#2085338 - 05/19/13 05:15 PM Re: Brahms Piano Sonatas [Re: Schubertslieder]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19268
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Schubertslieder
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
I have some pretty awesome recordings of the three piano sonatas that changed how I view them. They're good pieces, though I wouldn't say the pinnacle of the Romantic piano sonata.
Do you know what pupil of that pianist owns one of the most famous piano stores in the U.S.?

Who? I am just curious.
I'm sure someone will know...if not, you'll have to wait a little while for the answer which may only come in a PM.

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#2085343 - 05/19/13 05:21 PM Re: Brahms Piano Sonatas [Re: bplary1300]
Schubertslieder Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/13
Posts: 373
Loc: Michigan, USA
Ok, no problem. I just wondered who it could be.

Thanks for letting me know.
_________________________
Charles Peck (American)--Metropolitan
Debussy--various pieces
Grieg--various pieces

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#2086617 - 05/22/13 07:37 AM Re: Brahms Piano Sonatas [Re: bplary1300]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2630
Loc: Netherlands
Schumann said about the sonatas that they sounded like veiled symphonies, not too bad a remark. I like 1 best, then 3 and 2. The first sonata begins like op.106, has a folksong in it and revels in typically robust 'orchestral' virtuosity, it also, like the others, uses a quasi-lisztian transformation-of-themes technique. And they all have that round and deep sound so typical of Brahms, why did he stop writing for the piano after these (and the ballades) just to write some variations, only to come back at the end of his life with opp.116-119? Too much else to do probably. I think they belong to the best he wrote, that is: everything he wrote is good, I don't know of a 'bad' piece by Brahms (with the exeption of the 'Triumphlied').
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Couperin pièces, Ravel tombeau de C

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#2086808 - 05/22/13 01:13 PM Re: Brahms Piano Sonatas [Re: Orange Soda King]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6114
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
I have some pretty awesome recordings of the three piano sonatas that changed how I view them. They're good pieces, though I wouldn't say the pinnacle of the Romantic piano sonata.

(Bonus!)

I hope Damon enjoys these recordings smile


More Brahms! laugh Actually, one of the sonatas was the first thing that turned my ear towards Brahms a couple or so years ago, I forget which one but might remember after I listen to these. I think sometimes that hearing a composers' works chronologically helps add to the appreciation of later, more mature works, Brahms particularly not having a lot of youthful fans it seems.
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#2086874 - 05/22/13 03:14 PM Re: Brahms Piano Sonatas [Re: bplary1300]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7573
Loc: New York City
I love the last bit of both the 1st movement and the finale from Opus 1.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2086888 - 05/22/13 03:45 PM Re: Brahms Piano Sonatas [Re: Damon]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17939
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: Damon
[...]I think sometimes that hearing a composers' works chronologically helps add to the appreciation of later, more mature works, Brahms particularly not having a lot of youthful fans it seems.


Youthful fans or fans of Brahms' earlier (i.e. youthful) works? I lean towards the former in feeling that much of Brahms appeals more to the mature/experienced listener and is perceived to be less accessible to younger listeners.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
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#2086898 - 05/22/13 03:59 PM Re: Brahms Piano Sonatas [Re: BruceD]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: Damon
[...]I think sometimes that hearing a composers' works chronologically helps add to the appreciation of later, more mature works, Brahms particularly not having a lot of youthful fans it seems.


Youthful fans or fans of Brahms' earlier (i.e. youthful) works? I lean towards the former in feeling that much of Brahms appeals more to the mature/experienced listener and is perceived to be less accessible to younger listeners.

Regards,


Possibly both! Many people prefer his later works, or at least consider them greater.

I loved Brahms the moment I heard his music for the first time. I was 15. wink

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#2087028 - 05/22/13 08:34 PM Re: Brahms Piano Sonatas [Re: BruceD]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6114
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: Damon
[...]I think sometimes that hearing a composers' works chronologically helps add to the appreciation of later, more mature works, Brahms particularly not having a lot of youthful fans it seems.


Youthful fans or fans of Brahms' earlier (i.e. youthful) works? I lean towards the former in feeling that much of Brahms appeals more to the mature/experienced listener and is perceived to be less accessible to younger listeners.

Regards,


I mean that Brahms fans tend to be older. Outside of the Paganini variations, anything I heard of Brahms put me to sleep when I was in my teens. I really didn't give him much of listen again until I let Katchen's box set play through and the earlier works caught my attention, the 3rd sonata specifically (I still prefer his first concerto to the second). I started a thread here a couple of years ago about it. Now I can't get enough of him and I like all of his piano works.

I said sometimes because Scriabin's early work isn't helping me with his late work.
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#2087030 - 05/22/13 08:35 PM Re: Brahms Piano Sonatas [Re: Orange Soda King]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6114
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King

I loved Brahms the moment I heard his music for the first time. I was 15. wink


What was the first thing you heard?
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#2087045 - 05/22/13 09:12 PM Re: Brahms Piano Sonatas [Re: Damon]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King

I loved Brahms the moment I heard his music for the first time. I was 15. wink


What was the first thing you heard?


The first piano concerto. And I agree with your post, I prefer the 1st to the 2nd.

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