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Fantasies op. 116

About the Composer

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Johannes Brahms

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.

1833Born 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.
1853Concert 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.
1854–57Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15.
1857–59Choir director, pianist, and teacher at the royal court in Detmold.
1859–61Director of the Hamburg Women’s Choir.
1860Manifesto against the New Germans around Liszt.
1863Cantata “Rinaldo,” Op. 50.
1863–64Director of the Wiener Singakademie.
1868Partial performance in Vienna of “A German Requiem,” Op. 45 (the complete work premiered in Leipzig in 1869)
1871–74Artistic director of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde (Society of Friends of Music) in Vienna.
1873Haydn Variations, Op. 56a, for orchestra.
from 1877His 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 1878Travels in Italy.
1878Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77, for Joseph Joachim.
1881Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 83, with a scherzo movement.
1886Honorary president of Vienna’s Tonkünstlerverein (Association of Musicians).
1897Four Serious Songs, Op. 121. Dies in Vienna on April 3.

© 2003, 2010 Philipp Reclam jun. GmbH & Co. KG, Stuttgart

Of all the volumes reviewed here, this is the only one which comes within shooting distance of the Holy Grail for facsimiles: photographic clarity. Readers can easily sustain the illusion that they are holding Brahms's actual score, a feat that earns further laurels for its publisher, already one of the leading producers of facsimile editions on the international marketplace.

Notes, 2004

Die Faksimile-Ausgabe ist vorbildlich ausgestattet. Der Verlag hat alle Mühe darauf verwandt, dass die Farbe des Papiers wie auch der Schrift des Autographs und der nachträglichen Einträge des Komponisten täuschend ähnlich nachgebildet wurden.

Die Musikforschung

Eine echte Kostbarkeit -- in drucktechnisch eigentlich nicht mehr überbietbarer Wiedergabequalität -- sind die für Liebhaber gleichermaßen wie für Musikwissenschaftler und Interpreten bedeutsamen Faksimilia Johannes Brahms, Fantasien op. 116 ...Ausgezeichnet mit dem Deutschen Musikeditionspreis 1997 in der Kategorie Faksimiles ... originalgetreu und mit hohem farbtechnischem Aufwand (Fünffarbendruck) reproduziert.

Buchhändler heute

Durch Fünffarbendruck konnte man das Manuskript ... originalgetreu reproduzieren. Auf diese Weise ist es möglich, die einzelnen Arbeitsgänge, die mit Tinte und Bleistift ausgeführt sind, exakt nachzuvollziehen und sozusagen dem Komponisten bei der Arbeit über die Schulter zu schauen.

Neue Musikzeitung

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