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'Sinfonia in B' is Joseph Swensen’s orchestration of the little-known original version of Brahms’ B major piano trio. In Swensen’s own words: “Completed in 1854, it is the largest and arguably the most important of Brahms’ published early works, yet it remains nearly unknown to most musicians and music-lovers alike … The original Opus 8 is, for me, intriguing for many reasons. Not only is it a work of extraordinary quality and emotional depth, written by a composer just 21 years of age, but it is a quintessential example of Brahms’ ultra-romantic and forward looking early style.”
This disc also explores the young Brahms’ connection with Robert and Clara Schumann, with orchestrations and performances (as a violin soloist) by Swensen of miniature works by both composers – as well as extracts from the ‘F-A-E’ sonata, a joint composition by Brahms, Robert Schumann and Joseph Joachim based on the motto ‘Frei aber einsam’ / ‘free but lonely’ – Joachim’s personal motto.
Brahms: Sinfonia in B
i) Allegro con moto
ii) Scherzo - allegro molto
iii) Adagio non troppo
iv) Finale - Allegro molto agitato
Schumann, Clara: Romances (3), Op. 22
i) Andante molto
iii) Leidenschaftlich Schnell
Schumann: Sonata F.A.E. for Violin and Piano in A minor
Brahms: Sonata F.A.E. for Violin and Piano in A minor
“Clear-textured orchestrations by Swensen, whose violin playing is terrific. Intriguing: the Brahms Trio's early version contains the Beethoven quote that Schumann used in his Fantasie in C.”
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