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A Pianoforte Recital


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Brahms excelled in the Variation form of composition, to which he was greatly attracted, particularly in his earlier days when he was experimenting in the writing of pianoforte music. Later in life he reverted to this form in his wonderful orchestral set of variations on a theme of Haydn.
The pianoforte variations include sets on themes by Handel, Paganini, and Schumann, and at least two of these sets are as fine as has been written by any composer.
They are all extremely difficult, particularly this set on the Handel theme, and it was some time before they established themselves in the solo pianist's repertory.
There are twenty-five comparatively short variations, concluding with a Fugue of greater length in this set. Brahms rings the changes rather by rhythmic differences than by harmonic complications, and though the theme is not always present in its complete form, it is indicated in every variation by some salient feature. The construction is masterly, and Brahms's emotional sense of architecture is displayed throughout, markedly in his alternate use of tension and relief.


Unknown: Frank Mannheimer

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Feedback about A Pianoforte Recital, National Programme Daventry, 19.30, 2 September 1934
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