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Classics Explained: BRAHMS - Piano Concerto No. 2 (Siepmann)

    
      

 

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Classics Explained: BRAHMS - Piano Concerto No. 2 (Siepmann)

Classics Explained
An Introduction to... BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 2

Author and Narrator: Jeremy Siepmann
2 CDs, including the complete work
142-page booklet
Naxos 8.558030-31
ISBN: 1-84379-095-5

There is perhaps no great piano concerto grander than the Brahms B flat. With the spaciousness of a symphony, the drama of an opera, the intimacy of a lullaby and the intertwining raptures of the greatest love songs, it touches on almost every emotion with extraordinary immediacy and power. Its virtuosity is spell-binding, yet always substantial. But how is it made? How does it grow? What holds it together? Here we explore the music from the inside out, and learn how it develops into a masterpiece.

Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat was written in 1881 - more than two decades after his first. It contains some of the most horrendously difficult music ever written for a pianist, according to Jeremy Siepmann, yet it opens in carefree, buoyant mode. This accessible analysis allows the listener to get to grips with the massive work in its totality. And, as always, in the comprehensive booklet Siepmann sets the background to the composer, the work, the period and the form.


Disc 1

Brahms, Johannes

  An Introduction to ... BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 2
1.   Play with flash player Introduction; opening horn call and piano's answer 00:01:50
2.   Play with flash player Rising three - note scalewise pattern 00:00:25
3.   Play with flash player Quicker, descending six - note 'answer' 00:00:18
4.   Play with flash player Second, answering phrase 00:00:32
5.   Play with flash player First Main Theme completed by orchestra 00:00:50
6.   Play with flash player Peace shattered as piano bursts back in like a tiger 00:01:24
7.   Play with flash player Variant of opening horn call in bass 00:00:19
8.   Play with flash player Orchestra returns; beginning of Exposition proper 00:02:25
9.   Play with flash player Big, 'singing' theme in orchestra; piano 'forgotten' 00:00:41
10.   Play with flash player Call to arms by strings; marshalling of orchestral forces 00:01:03
11.   Play with flash player Piano re - enters fry with massive expansion of opening figure 00:00:48
12.   Play with flash player Piano 'explores' two main facets of opening theme 00:00:45
13.   Play with flash player Transition. sense of key weakened. Piano and orchestra come together 00:01:07
14.   Play with flash player Piano and orchestra 'argue' over speed of thematic three - note rise 00:00:41
15.   Play with flash player Piano and orchestra in friendly dialogue before piano falls away 00:01:28
16.   Play with flash player 'Winged' harmonic shadow of pure pianistic tone - colour 00:00:45
17.   Play with flash player New 'transitional' theme from orchestra developed by piano 00:01:51
18.   Play with flash player After indecision and discussion, the mood suddenly turns playful 00:00:26
19.   Play with flash player Reminder of Second Main Theme in its original form 00:00:43
20.   Play with flash player Ttransfomation of Second Main Theme by piano 00:00:40
21.   Play with flash player Piano hijacks orchestra's 'call to arms' 00:00:43
22.   Play with flash player Piano and orchestra, now allies, explore theme, but with piano leading 00:01:08
23.   Play with flash player Dramatic eruption of orchestra leads to the Development section 00:01:13
24.   Play with flash player Pianistic 'tiger' replaced by gentle reflective, soft - spoken poet 00:00:30
25.   Play with flash player Transformed 'tiger' theme amicably shared by piano and orchestra 00:00:44
26.   Play with flash player An apparently new theme - but Battlle Hymn of the Republic 00:00:41
27.   Play with flash player Brief, downward - driving section prepares for the Recapitulation 00:00:54
28.   Play with flash player On the threshold of the Recapitulation 00:00:54
29.   Play with flash player Recapitulation: The Magical Return 00:01:06
30.   Play with flash player From Gate - crashing Tiger to Celestial Tenderness - and a surprise 00:01:17
31.   Play with flash player And unexpected and portentus change of mood, suggesting tragedy 00:01:01
32.   Play with flash player Summation 00:00:30
33.   Play with flash player First Movement (Complete) 00:17:16
34.   Play with flash player Second Movement: The upward - driving opening gambit, piano alone 00:00:13
35.   Play with flash player Downward - driving answer from lower strings 00:00:27
36.   Play with flash player Theme vs Melody 00:00:58
37.   Play with flash player Eerie, unharmonised, 'white' sound of Second Theme 00:00:45
38.   Play with flash player Second Theme taken up and developed by piano 00:01:25
39.   Play with flash player Expectation and surprise; harmonic fluidity and intensifying drama 00:01:40
40.   Play with flash player Return (and transformation) of Theme Two 00:00:41
41.   Play with flash player Theme One returns in orchestra; Theme Three emerges in major mode 00:01:00
42.   Play with flash player Sequence of fragmentary episodes begins with unexpected fanfare 00:00:58
43.   Play with flash player Variant of Theme Three in piano 00:00:36
44.   Play with flash player Rescored variant of 'fanfare' theme; from grandeur to solemnity 00:00:21
45.   Play with flash player Rhapsodic variant of fanfare, this time for piano alone 00:00:24
46.   Play with flash player Recapitulation of opening, with piano and orchestra reversing roles 00:01:07
47.   Play with flash player Theme Two transformed by new instrumentation 00:00:36
48.   Play with flash player Cue and Second Movement (Complete) 00:09:23


Disc 2

Brahms, Johannes

  An Introduction to ... BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 2
1.   Play with flash player Introduction, cue and First Main Theme 00:01:53
2.   Play with flash player Theme One taken up by strings and solo oboe; piano's entry 00:01:20
3.   Play with flash player Complex variant of Theme One with very different speed and rhythm 00:00:42
4.   Play with flash player Orchestra and piano in mixed variants of Theme One, now intensified 00:01:10
5.   Play with flash player Theme Two, hushed and 'tuneless', with piano, clarinets and strings 00:01:28
6.   Play with flash player Oboe Theme returns, now delicately embroidered by the piano 00:00:46
7.   Play with flash player Cue and Third Movement (Complete) 00:11:50
8.   Play with flash player Finale: Introduction, cue and Main Theme 00:00:57
9.   Play with flash player Violins take up tune, with winds and piano accompanying 00:00:24
10.   Play with flash player Piano introduces Part 2 of the main theme 00:00:37
11.   Play with flash player Part 3 of the theme, led by piano, in 'fiercely' self - confident mood 00:00:54
12.   Play with flash player First Episode, Part 1 00:00:47
13.   Play with flash player First Episode, Part 2 00:00:23
14.   Play with flash player Piano hands theme over to clarinets and bassoons 00:00:15
15.   Play with flash player First Episode, Part 3, in piano, first; then flutes and oboes 00:00:40
16.   Play with flash player Strings and flutes take theme, with bubbling commentary from piano 00:00:28
17.   Play with flash player Tipsy dancers (piano and winds) return, tiring; strings take over 00:00:38
18.   Play with flash player In the central Episode, the orchestra throws down a dramatic challenge 00:00:28
19.   Play with flash player ... to which the piano duly responds with a stormy outburst 00:00:10
20.   Play with flash player Piano kick - starts run - up to final section in a variant of the main theme 00:00:41
21.   Play with flash player Orchestra sets off on jaunty march, later joined by the piano 00:00:25
22.   Play with flash player Piano propels orchestra into final section 00:00:46
23.   Play with flash player Summation and cue to the movement as a whole 00:00:22
24.   Play with flash player Finale (Complete) 00:09:08

Total Playing Time: 01:44:44






Composer(s):
Brahms, Johannes

Reader(s):
Siepmann, Jeremy

Label: Naxos Educational

Genre: Music Education

Period: Romantic

Catalogue No: 8.558030-31

Barcode: 0636943803028

Release Date: 05/2001

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