Following the publication of the 16 Waltzes for piano four hands, Brahms’ publisher succeeded in persuading the composer to do a version for piano solo. After initially hesitating, Brahms suggested two versions, one for “clever hands and one – perhaps for the more beautiful ones”. Both versions were published in 1867. The simplified one, which Brahms also called the “version for children”, not only thins out some of the full chords but also transposes complicated keys. Thus no. 6 is no longer in C sharp major but in the easier key of C major instead. G. Henle Publishers is now issuing this simplified version of the popular op. 39 based on the revised musical text of the new Brahms Complete Edition.
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- Waltzes op. 39
The 16 Waltzes op. 39 number among those works that Johannes Brahms (1833 – 97) prepared in versions for different scorings. Originally conceived and published for piano four-hands, it also appeared in a version for piano twohands as well as in the present simplified two-hand version. The composer, moreover, made a version for two pianos four-hands that primarily … 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.|
About the authors
All but one of the page turns occur at the end of a piece, and the music is laid out with Henle's characteristic clarity. Brahms's fingerings have been supplemented by those of Rolf Koenen. (...) you can't fault the quality of these editions.
La présente parution est en tout point parfaite.