The Sextet in B-flat major was already judged to be “one of the most beautiful works by this young composer” after its initial performances in early 1861. It was popular with both public and press, and has retained this status to the present day. The publisher Simrock was so impressed by it that he accepted Brahms’s suggestion that he should publish a score of it alongside the individual parts – something that was by no means usual at the time. The numerous differences between these two first editions of 1861 continue to present problems to Brahms researchers today. Brahms specialist Katrin Eich has already taken on the task of editing the work for the Brahms Complete Edition, and this new Urtext edition provides the best possible musical text for performance. Naturally, it is available in both score and parts.
- Streichsextett Nr. 1 B flat major op. 18
The String Sextet op. 18 was the second chamber music work published by the young Johannes Brahms (1833 – 97), his first having been the Piano Trio op. 8. To the best of our knowledge he first mentioned the Sextet on 9 November 1859, in a letter to Clara Schumann from Detmold. In it he announced “at least the 1st movement of a sextet for string instruments” to his … more
About the composer
His significant output comprises chamber music, piano works, numerous choral compositions and songs (including settings of folk-song lyrics), as well as large-scale orchestral works in the 1870s and 1880s. His compositions are characterized by the process of developing variation. He is considered an antithesis to the New German School around Liszt, and an advocate of “absolute” music.
|1833||Born in Hamburg on May 7, the son of a musician. His first piano instruction with Willibald Cossel at age seven, then with Eduard Marxen; first public performances from 1843.|
|1853||Concert tour through German cities; he meets Schumann, who announces him as the next great composer in his essay “Neue Bahnen” (“New Paths”). A lifelong, intimate friendship develops with Clara Schumann.|
|1854–57||Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15.|
|1857–59||Choir director, pianist, and teacher at the royal court in Detmold.|
|1859–61||Director of the Hamburg Women’s Choir.|
|1860||Manifesto against the New Germans around Liszt.|
|1863||Cantata “Rinaldo,” Op. 50.|
|1863–64||Director of the Wiener Singakademie.|
|1868||Partial performance in Vienna of “A German Requiem,” Op. 45 (the complete work premiered in Leipzig in 1869)|
|1871–74||Artistic director of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde (Society of Friends of Music) in Vienna.|
|1873||Haydn Variations, Op. 56a, for orchestra.|
|from 1877||His symphonic output begins with the Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68 (begun 1862); composition of the Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73; the Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90 (1883); and Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98 (1884–85): cantabile themes, chamber-music-like style.|
|from 1878||Travels in Italy.|
|1878||Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77, for Joseph Joachim.|
|1881||Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 83, with a scherzo movement.|
|1886||Honorary president of Vienna’s Tonkünstlerverein (Association of Musicians).|
|1897||Four Serious Songs, Op. 121. Dies in Vienna on April 3.|
Henle publie aujourd’hui en édition séparée l’Urtext paru en 2017 dans la Neue Ausgabe, pour lequel la musicologue Katrin Eich propose des solutions en s’appuyant sur l’exemplaire personnel de Brahms de la première éditions et sur différentes sources manuscrites. On ne saurait mieux faire.
With their usual meticulous research of composers’, players’ and printed sources, the editors at Henle have produced another fine Urtext edition that is highly readable.