Johannes Brahms began to manifest a keen interest in the genre of the violin sonata at an early age. In fall 1853 he offered the Leipzig publisher a violin sonata in a minor. The work was turned down, however, and the self-critical Brahms must have destroyed it himself later. He ultimately wrote his three major sonatas during his years of maturity: op. 78 in the summers of 1878/79, opp. 100 and 108 in the summer of 1886.
The Scherzo in c minor was Brahms’ contribution to the violin sonata which he composed jointly with Robert Schumann and Albert Dietrich in 1853 as a surprise gift for the violinist Joseph Joachim, and which is known under the name “F. A. E. Sonata.” With its sharp contrasts between the furious Allegro and emotional Più moderato sections, the Scherzo piece is a beloved bravura showcase.
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This volume, newly checked, contains Brahms’s three sonatas for violin and piano with the Scherzo WoO 2 contributed by him as the third movement of a joint work for Joseph Joachim; Schumann composed the 2nd and 4th movements, his pupil Albert Dietrich the 1st. The completed Sonata bore the initial letters of Joachim’s motto, F.A.E. (“Frei, aber einsam” = free but … 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.|