Classics Explained: Brahms - Piano Concerto No. 2

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Classics Explained: Brahms - Piano Concerto No. 2



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1 hour 44 minutes


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Classics Explained: Brahms - Piano Concerto No. 2

An exploration of Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 narrated by Jeremy Siepman

CD - 2 discs


(also available to download from $14.00)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

Johannes Brahms: An Introduction to … BRAHMS

Introduction; opening horn call and piano's answer

Rising three-note scalewise pattern

Quicker, descending six-note 'answer'

Second, answering phrase

First Main Theme completed by orchestra

Peace shattered as piano bursts back in like a tiger

Variant of opening horn call in bass

Orchestra returns; beginning of Exposition proper

Big, 'singing' theme in orchestra; piano 'forgotten'

Call to arms by strings; marshalling of orchestral forces

Piano re-enters fry with massive expansion of opening figure

Piano 'explores' two main facets of opening theme

Transition. sense of key weakened. Piano and orchestra come together

Piano and orchestra 'argue' over speed of thematic three-note rise

Piano and orchestra in friendly dialogue before piano falls away

'Winged' harmonic shadow of pure pianistic tone-colour

New 'transitional' theme from orchestra developed by piano

After indecision and discussion, the mood suddenly turns playful

Reminder of Second Main Theme in its original form

Ttransfomation of Second Main Theme by piano

Piano hijacks orchestra's 'call to arms'

Piano and orchestra, now allies, explore theme, but with piano leading

Dramatic eruption of orchestra leads to the Development section

Pianistic 'tiger' replaced by gentle reflective, soft-spoken poet

Transformed 'tiger' theme amicably shared by piano and orchestra

An apparently new theme - but Battlle Hymn of the Republic?

Brief, downward-driving section prepares for the Recapitulation

On the threshold of the Recapitulation

Recapitulation: The Magical Return

From Gate-crashing Tiger to Celestial Tenderness - and a surprise

And unexpected and portentus change of mood, suggesting tragedy


First Movement (Complete)

Second Movement: The upward-driving opening gambit, piano alone

Downward-driving answer from lower strings

Theme vs Melody

Eerie, unharmonised, 'white' sound of Second Theme

Second Theme taken up and developed by piano

Expectation and surprise; harmonic fluidity and intensifying drama

Return (and transformation) of Theme Two

Theme One returns in orchestra; Theme Three emerges in major mode

Sequence of fragmentary episodes begins with unexpected fanfare

Variant of Theme Three in piano

Rescored variant of 'fanfare' theme; from grandeur to solemnity

Rhapsodic variant of fanfare, this time for piano alone

Recapitulation of opening, with piano and orchestra reversing roles

Theme Two transformed by new instrumentation

Cue and Second Movement (Complete)

Introduction, cue and First Main Theme

Theme One taken up by strings and solo oboe; piano's entry

Complex variant of Theme One with very different speed and rhythm

Orchestra and piano in mixed variants of Theme One, now intensified

Theme Two, hushed and 'tuneless', with piano, clarinets and strings

Oboe Theme returns, now delicately embroidered by the piano

Cue and Third Movement (Complete)

Finale: Introduction, cue and Main Theme

Violins take up tune, with winds and piano accompanying

Piano introduces Part 2 of the main theme

Part 3 of the theme, led by piano, in 'fiercely' self-confident mood

First Episode, Part 1

First Episode, Part 2

Piano hands theme over to clarinets and bassoons

First Episode, Part 3, in piano, first; then flutes and oboes

Strings and flutes take theme, with bubbling commentary from piano

Tipsy dancers (piano and winds) return, tiring; strings take over

In the central Episode, the orchestra throws down a dramatic challenge

... to which the piano duly responds with a stormy outburst

Piano kick-starts run-up to final section in a variant of the main theme

Orchestra sets off on jaunty march, later joined by the piano

Piano propels orchestra into final section

Summation and cue to the movement as a whole

Finale (Complete)

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