Johannes Brahms en Any Friend of Brahms... <p><strong>Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, Saturday March 1st at 5 pm</strong>...&nbsp;It would be disconcerting enough to be at a party with Johannes Brahms. The famous composer was famously grumpy; some of classical music’s great one-liners come from him. When told after the premiere of his first symphony that it sounded like Beethoven, he snapped, “Any ass can see that.” He told a young composer, showing him a new work inspired, he said, by Beethoven, “It’s a good thing Beethoven was not inspired by you.” And then there’s Brahms leaving a gathering: “If there is anyone here whom I have not insulted, I beg his pardon.”<br /><br />But imagine not only being at a party with Brahms, but being the host, being a composer yourself, and sitting next to him, playing a new Brahms work at the piano. If you can picture that, then you can picture being <strong>Ignaz Brüll</strong>.<br />&nbsp;</p><p>Brüll lived in Vienna, the musical capital of Europe, almost his entire life. Although his father was a successful businessman, both he and Brüll’s<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> mother were musicians, and encouraged their son’s musical gifts. He became a wonderful pianist, </span>concertized<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, composed, married, and threw parties at his house, which became a meeting-place for his good friend Brahms, Gustav Mahler, Carl </span>Goldmark<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, the critic </span>Eduard<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span>Hanslick<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, and many other powerful musicians and music-lovers. Whenever Brahms (a good but not great pianist) wanted to air out—piano four-hands—a new piece, he called on </span>Ignaz<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span>Brüll<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> to sit next to him.</span><br />&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">His biggest success was an opera, <em>The Golden Cross</em>, and he wrote a number of well-received works (Anton Rubinstein was a fan), including much piano music, three <em>Serenades</em>, and a Violin Concerto written for Johann Lauterbach (who has a “Lauterbach” Stradivarius named after him). The second <em>Serenade</em> was recorded using the score and parts in the Fleisher Collection. Fleisher also provided materials for the Violin Concerto project, but the story’s a bit more complicated.<br /><br />Michael Laus, the conductor on this recording, found the full score in the Fleisher Collection. No parts existed. He also had access to the composer’s manuscript, and the violin/piano version (a piano-with-solo edition of a concerto is often published so that the soloist may study or even perform the work without an orchestra).<br /><br />The challenge for Laus, though, was that the three sources sometimes disagreed. So he compared them, corrected obvious mistakes, and used the full and piano scores to illuminate confusing smudges in the manuscript. To make it even more interesting, Brüll had rewritten some of the solo for the piano version publication, so that was different. When all this was wrangled, Laus made a set of parts, and went to the recording studio.<br /><br />Why has the music languished up to now? Partly it’s because that, even though Brahms himself called Brüll “an exceptional melodist,” and though <em>The Golden Cross</em> enjoyed multiple performances into the 1920s, his other works never struck fire. And partly it’s because he suffered the fate of other Jewish composers under the Nazis. He died in 1907 but his music was banned in the 1930s.<br /><br />His fortunes, however, are changing now. These works and others are being recorded, thanks to Fleisher and the resourcefulness of dedicated musicians. Let’s imagine being at a party in Brüll’s house, with Brahms and all his other friends, enjoying each others’ company and music.<br /> Sat, 01 Mar 2014 12:29:06 +0000 Kile Smith 7040 at Any Friend of Brahms... Hélène Grimaud And The Piano Music Of Brahms <p></p><p>Animals and nature are as big a part of Hélène Grimaud’s world as playing concertos with the great orchestras of the world. For years, the concert pianist's earnings went into the creation of the Wolf Conservation Center for endangered species in upstate New York. Then, after seven years of living in Switzerland, she's living back in North Salem, New York where the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns befriended her German Shepherd Chico.</p><p></p> Fri, 06 Dec 2013 10:58:03 +0000 David Patrick Stearns 6749 at Hélène Grimaud And The Piano Music Of Brahms The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert On WRTI: Brahms' German Requiem and More! <p>It was an unforgettable performance! Re-live it on<strong> Sunday, September 22, 2 to 4 pm </strong>as then Music Director-Designate Yannick Nezet-Seguin took the podium in March, 2011 to conduct The Philadelphia Orchestra, Westminster Symphonic Choir, and soloists Dorothea Roeschmann and Matthias Goerne in a critically acclaimed performance of Johannes Brahms's humanistic and glorious <em>Ein Deutsches Requiem, A German Requiem - </em>a symphonic as well as a choral masterpiece.</p><p>The program also features one of the pillars of the classical repertory: Mozart's <em>Symphony No. 40. </em>Gregg Whiteside is host and producer.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>We hope you're enjoying our Philadelphia Orchestra broadcasts! Please keep WRTI going strong by becoming a member, renewing your membership, or making an additional gift in support of fabulous programming. Help us reach our $330,000 Member Drive goal. </strong></p><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Pledge here </a>or call 1-866-809-9784.</strong></p><p><strong>Intermission features:</strong></p><p>Yannick&nbsp;talks about his deep personal connection to Brahms's choral masterpiece.</p><p></p><p style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: normal;"><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>More information, including Program Notes, on The Philadelphia Orchestra website.</strong></a></p><p style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: normal;"><strong>Program:</strong></p><p style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: normal;"><strong>MOZART: Symphony No. 40</strong></p><p style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: normal;"><strong>INTERMISSION</strong></p><p style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: normal;"><strong>BRAHMS:<em>&nbsp; Ein Deutsches Requiem</em></strong></p><p style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: normal;">Dorothea&nbsp;Röschmann, soprano</p><p style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: normal;">Matthias&nbsp;Goerne, baritone</p><p style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: normal;">Yannick Nezet-Seguin, conductor</p><p style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: normal;"> Fri, 20 Sep 2013 04:13:31 +0000 Gregg Whiteside 6471 at The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert On WRTI: Brahms' German Requiem and More! 60th Anniversary Classical CD Highlight: Brahms, Tragic Overture <p>The <em>Tragic Overture</em> of Johannes Brahms, performed by the&nbsp;London Philharmonic Orchestra, Marin&nbsp;Alsop, conducting, is featured on&nbsp;<span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px; ">CD 1 in the WRTI 60th Anniversary Classical 3-CD set.</span></p><div>"One weeps, the other laughs." So Brahms remarked about his two, contrasting pair of concert overtures—the jovial <em>Academic Festival Overture</em> and the <em>Tragic Overture</em>. The complementary overtures are like the masks of the Greek dramas: Comedy facing one way, Tragedy the other.<br><br>Although Brahms read Sophocles, Shakespeare, and Goethe, in the musical tragedy he is not telling a specific story, but instead is invoking a mood, an emotional impression. Two hammer chords announce and reappear throughout the overture. It is a dark and stormy overture. &nbsp;&nbsp;</div><p> Mon, 09 Sep 2013 20:29:08 +0000 Rolf Charlston 6430 at 60th Anniversary Classical CD Highlight: Brahms, Tragic Overture