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#2204975 - 12/30/13 12:15 PM What intermediate Brahms piece would you recommend?
Boira Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/09/07
Posts: 472
Loc: Barcelona
Hello piano enthusiasts!

Brahms is one of my favourite composers and I'd love to learn some of his works.

What do you think would be a good staring point? Which piece would be accesible for the intermediate player?

Any suggestion is much appreciated smile

Happy New Year!

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#2204992 - 12/30/13 12:59 PM Re: What intermediate Brahms piece would you recommend? [Re: Boira]
jdw Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 1480
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
I played Brahms Intermezzo Op 118 #2 some years ago with a former teacher, so it must be intermediate (since I'm still not "advanced"). It was the first piece I played with 2 against 3 rhythm, which I love. It's also really beautiful.
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Scarlatti, Sonata K. 146
Gershwin, Prelude, Melody No. 17
Brahms, Waltzes Op. 39
Chopin, Minute Waltz, Op. 64 no. 1
Haydn, Sonata Hob. XVI: 19

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#2205006 - 12/30/13 01:37 PM Re: What intermediate Brahms piece would you recommend? [Re: Boira]
zillybug Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/11
Posts: 300
Loc: upstate NY
Brahms is also one of my favorite composers. If you have not played any Brahms I would say that some of his waltzes from Opus 39 would be a good place to start. They are written both for four hands and for piano solo. When I returned to the piano almost 3 years ago after over 40 years, I played Opus 39, no. 15 after about 3 months of starting lessons again. My teacher had given me Mendelssohn's Venetian Boat song, opus 30, no 6 and then I also started the Brahms about a month later. Even though they are both labeled grade 6, I found the Brahms way more challenging. I think Brahms can sometimes look easier that it is to play. When I was complaining about how hard, I was finding the Brahms and how it seemed more difficult than the Mendelssohn, my teacher replied that it was harder and that Brahms did not write easy music.
I think that the intermezzos are quite difficult unless you are at a pretty late intermediate to advanced level. My dream is to play the Intermezzo in A major some day but I'm not ready yet.
Good luck,
Judy
_________________________



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#2205059 - 12/30/13 03:35 PM Re: What intermediate Brahms piece would you recommend? [Re: Boira]
IanW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/09
Posts: 58
Loc: Adelaide, South Australia
The Piano Syllabus site (here) has 90 entries for Brahms, mostly advanced pieces in the region of grade 8 to 11. However there are a couple of Intermezzos listed at grade 7 and a handful of other pieces at grade 6.

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#2205132 - 12/30/13 05:27 PM Re: What intermediate Brahms piece would you recommend? [Re: IanW]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 2315
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: IanW
The Piano Syllabus site (here) has 90 entries for Brahms, mostly advanced pieces in the region of grade 8 to 11. However there are a couple of Intermezzos listed at grade 7 and a handful of other pieces at grade 6.


Could you check that link? It won't load for me {error message: That website is not available} -- perhaps the problem is at my computer, but I don't think so.

Thanks!
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2205208 - 12/30/13 07:11 PM Re: What intermediate Brahms piece would you recommend? [Re: ClsscLib]
IanW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/09
Posts: 58
Loc: Adelaide, South Australia
Link works ok from here. Try again?

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#2205259 - 12/30/13 08:28 PM Re: What intermediate Brahms piece would you recommend? [Re: Boira]
hreichgott Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 2699
Loc: western MA, USA
I don't get that piano syllabus site. The grading doesn't make any sense. Op 116 no 6 is listed 4 times: grade 8, grade 8, grade 9 and grade 10. ?? And that's nothing compared to the variety of grades on Beethoven's Op. 49 sonatas...

Anyway, I recommend the Op. 39 waltzes too. Some of the 2-hand arrangements of the Hungarian Dances might also be manageable if you pick your arranger and selection of dances wisely.

That Intermezzo Op. 118 no. 2 is advanced music by the way; the notes and rhythms alone are maybe early advanced, and the real difficulties present themselves in the voicing and expressive demands.
_________________________
Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com
Working on:
reviewing Beethoven Op. 90, Chopin Nocturne Op. 48 no. 2
rehearsing Mozart, Variations in G major for four hands K. 501
I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music

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#2205310 - 12/30/13 09:35 PM Re: What intermediate Brahms piece would you recommend? [Re: Boira]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 13791
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
You may need to stick with arrangements for now. There are some composers whose majority of works are only in the advanced categories, and I think Brahms is one of them.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher FT



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#2205334 - 12/30/13 10:06 PM Re: What intermediate Brahms piece would you recommend? [Re: Boira]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2496
Loc: Virginia, USA
Magrath ("Pianist's Guide to Standard Teaching and Performance Literature") says
Quote:
Almost all of Brahms' music is for mature pianists with accomplished technique and advanced musicianship.


However, she does list many pieces (almost all at the highest end of the range she covers) - like the intermezzos and waltzes already mentioned.


Edited by Andy Platt (12/30/13 10:06 PM)
_________________________
  • Debussy - Le Petit Nègre, L. 114
  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

Kawai K3

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#2205382 - 12/30/13 11:27 PM Re: What intermediate Brahms piece would you recommend? [Re: hreichgott]
IanW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/09
Posts: 58
Loc: Adelaide, South Australia
Multiple listings on the Piano Syllabus website means that a piece appears on multiple music board syllabuses. You can check which ones by clicking on the View Details link. The different gradings show the extent to which the experts disagree on the difficulty of the piece.

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#2205400 - 12/30/13 11:54 PM Re: What intermediate Brahms piece would you recommend? [Re: Boira]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6441
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
I recommend the waltzes too.
_________________________



Music is my best friend.
“Haters don't really hate you. They hate themselves because you are a reflection of what they wish to be.” ― Yaira N


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#2205570 - 12/31/13 07:27 AM Re: What intermediate Brahms piece would you recommend? [Re: Boira]
jdw Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 1480
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
So I guess I should feel prouder of playing 118 no. 2. I love it and have a great time with it, but still won't go around calling myself advanced smile. Too many other great things I wouldn't dare approach!
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Scarlatti, Sonata K. 146
Gershwin, Prelude, Melody No. 17
Brahms, Waltzes Op. 39
Chopin, Minute Waltz, Op. 64 no. 1
Haydn, Sonata Hob. XVI: 19

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#2205603 - 12/31/13 10:01 AM Re: What intermediate Brahms piece would you recommend? [Re: Boira]
Boira Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/09/07
Posts: 472
Loc: Barcelona
Thank you, thank you very much for all your input, it's been most helpful!

I'll definitely take a look at the waltzes.
The sheet music for Op. 118 n.2 looks quite daunting to me, I'm afraid it's out of my reach at the moment. But with time, patience (and practice!) maybe somewhere in the [distant] future will give it a go.

Now it's time to treat myself with some new Brahms sheet music (Waltzes, here I come!) grin

Again, thank you for all your recommendations!


Edited by Boira (12/31/13 10:05 AM)

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