Recorded on 04/09/2009, uploaded on 06/16/2009
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
Brahms's 16 Waltzes
for piano duet are one of the three groups of dances he published during the
1860s; the other three being the first ten Hungarian Dances, also for piano
duet, and the 18 Liebeslieder-Walzer,
op. 52 for piano duet and vocal quartet. All three were composed in a "popular"
style and were largely responsible for Brahms's growing reputation among the
general public as well as a significant source of his personal fortune.
The Waltzes have much in common with those of Franz Schubert
and are in no way like the grand episodic waltzes of Brahms's contemporary and
friend Johann Strauss II. Brahms's usual complex compositional traits are not
in the forefront here and the sole focus seems to be nothing more than melodic
charm (although, no. 16 does manage to slip in a passage in double
counterpoint). Despite this, Brahms thought well enough of these miniatures
and, as mentioned above, they were quite successful. He later published two
arrangements for piano solo-one in keeping with the original duet version and a
simplified version for pianists of lesser skill.
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