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Piano Concerto no. 2 B flat major op. 83
9 difficult

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.

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About the Authors

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Johannes Umbreit (Piano reduction)

Prof. Johannes Umbreit studied the piano at the Musikhochschule in Munich. From 1987 onwards he was a regular accompanist at courses given by Wolfgang Schneiderhan, Thomas Brandis, Ljerko Spiller, Igor Ozim, Olga Woitowa, Ernő Sebestyén, Walter Nothas, F. Andrejevsky, Denis Zsigmondy and Zakhar Bron amongst others. He has appeared in numerous radio and TV broadcasts and plays chamber music with members of the Bavarian State Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

He is on the jury of different international competitions and has been invited to several international music festivals. Umbreit was a teacher for almost ten years at the Musikhochschule in Munich and at the same time a lecturer for chamber music and piano accompaniment at the Richard Strauss Conservatory. Since 2008 he has been a lecturer at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München. As the long-serving managing director of the Richard-Strauss-Gesellschaft, he was made an honorary member of the board in 2009. In May 2011, the Bavarian Minister of Culture appointed Johannes Umbreit an honorary professor of the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München on the suggestion of its academic senate.

Lars Vogt (Fingering)

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