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#2160331 - 10/01/13 05:59 AM Brahms piano concerto no 1
adultpianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 540
In ten days time I am going to a concert of the above. I thought it would be a good idea to try and find out what time signature this is played in and listen to it and work out all the different dynamics of the piano and when they occur. I was going to do this during the concert and count the beat on the time signature, which won't be easy but from a learning point of view I thought it would be a good exercise.

I was then told by someone,,, why sit through a concert and work? After all, it would be working. They said to me simply go and enjoy the concert and the music and forget about doing work and couting the time signature. Yes it is good to know but I was advised to do it beforehand, not during the concert because it will not make it a very relaxed evening.

Does anyone know the time signature of this piece? I guess I could use my wonderful friend Google but I was going to find out the timing of this and go through it with my teacher before as there are some fast bits and some slow bits of this concerto. Any ideas? And does anyone know when listening to the dynamics do you take into consideration the orchestra as well as the piano? I only know piano dynamics ie mp, pp, forte. I have no idea about orchestra dynamcis

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#2160337 - 10/01/13 06:41 AM Re: Brahms piano concerto no 1 [Re: adultpianist]
Ganddalf Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 613
Loc: Norway
Well, this concerto is not as frequently played as the second Brahms concerto, but still a really beautiful compostion.

The two first movements are 3/4 while the last one is 4/4.

When comes to dynamics there are no principal differences between the orchestra and the piano. The orcestra, however, consists of many instruments and instrument groups, and therefore the dynamic range becomes wider. Just imagine a single woodwind instrument playing pp compared to the whole orcestra (tutti) playing ff.

It may be interesting to notice the balance between the pianist and the orchestra and how the themes appear in differen instruments at different time. I wish you an enjoyable concert.

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#2160340 - 10/01/13 06:45 AM Re: Brahms piano concerto no 1 [Re: Ganddalf]
adultpianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 540
Thanks for your information.

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#2160357 - 10/01/13 08:05 AM Re: Brahms piano concerto no 1 [Re: adultpianist]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11700
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I have at times followed a score during a concert. I don't think this is "work", it is just a different level of enjoyment. I say go for it, but don't count out loud or anything wink. Also, take time to watch the pianist play, see their technique in how they approach certain difficult passages.

As far as orchestra dynamics, they can get quite loud, but it's usually a very lush sound, rather than the fortissimo of a piano which can be very harsh at the loudest dynamics. This is due to the percussive nature of the piano.

When a conductor puts the orchestra and piano together, it's his ears that determine if the orchestra is playing too loud for the piano, and visa versa, so he keeps everything in check.

I love the sound of piano and orchestra together. How exciting that you get to witness this live!
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#2160362 - 10/01/13 08:15 AM Re: Brahms piano concerto no 1 [Re: Morodiene]
adultpianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 540
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
I have at times followed a score during a concert. I don't think this is "work", it is just a different level of enjoyment. I say go for it, but don't count out loud or anything wink. Also, take time to watch the pianist play, see their technique in how they approach certain difficult passages.

As far as orchestra dynamics, they can get quite loud, but it's usually a very lush sound, rather than the fortissimo of a piano which can be very harsh at the loudest dynamics. This is due to the percussive nature of the piano.

When a conductor puts the orchestra and piano together, it's his ears that determine if the orchestra is playing too loud for the piano, and visa versa, so he keeps everything in check.

I love the sound of piano and orchestra together. How exciting that you get to witness this live!


I am not yet skilled enough to follow such a difficult score so I don't think I will do that lol. Besides whilst you cast your eye over the score you miss seeing the performers and at my humble level, I could not jump in and out of the score and keep track of where they were up to in the concerto. I will have to follow it note by note to keep up with the place in the score where the orchestra were at the time. The thing I will do as you say is watch the pianist and I have front row seat for that. And....... The pianist is Helene Grimaud who has just yesterday released her CD of Brahms no 1 and no 2. She is going around Europe promoting this CD giving radio interviews and live interviews and she also went to play this at the Steinway factory in Germany. I will hear her play Brams 1 and I very much hope she will promote this at the concert hall by way of CD signing. Then she will come back to London to play Brahms no 2 in January.

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#2160388 - 10/01/13 09:15 AM Re: Brahms piano concerto no 1 [Re: adultpianist]
timmyab Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/08
Posts: 459
Loc: Bristol, UK
The first and second movements are in 6/4, the rondo is in 2/4.
I would recommend that you do any studying before hand, just sit back and enjoy the concert.I would particularly recommend that you familiarize yourself with the adagio before the concert, it has a depth that took me a long time to grasp.
It's actually one of my favorite concertos, I've spent quite a bit of time in the past studying it with little to show for it.

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#2160407 - 10/01/13 10:01 AM Re: Brahms piano concerto no 1 [Re: timmyab]
Ganddalf Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 613
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: timmyab
The first and second movements are in 6/4, the rondo is in 2/4.
I would recommend that you do any studying before hand, just sit back and enjoy the concert.I would particularly recommend that you familiarize yourself with the adagio before the concert, it has a depth that took me a long time to grasp.
It's actually one of my favorite concertos, I've spent quite a bit of time in the past studying it with little to show for it.


Sorry for giving uncorrect information about the time signatures. I didn't look at the scores, but based my statement on my memory. Moreover 6/4 is nearly equvalent to 3/4, and so also 4/4 vs. 2/4. But I'm pretty confident that timmyab is right. smile

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#2160562 - 10/01/13 06:00 PM Re: Brahms piano concerto no 1 [Re: timmyab]
adultpianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 540
Originally Posted By: timmyab
The first and second movements are in 6/4, the rondo is in 2/4.
I would recommend that you do any studying before hand, just sit back and enjoy the concert.I would particularly recommend that you familiarize yourself with the adagio before the concert, it has a depth that took me a long time to grasp.
It's actually one of my favorite concertos, I've spent quite a bit of time in the past studying it with little to show for it.


I think I am farmiliar with the adagio already as I have listened to it over and over again as I love it. Pianist Helene Grimaud was interviewed about this piece and she said it makes her feel as if electricity is running through her body as she plays. I can relate to that as although it is totally beyond my capabilities to play I love hearing it and it has the same effect.

http://youtu.be/_9zWbo792JU

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