Recorded on 05/12/2010, uploaded on 09/02/2010
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
Johannes Brahms composed the Scherzo
for violin and piano in April 1853. The work originated from an idea
that a "surprise" composition should be given to the famous violinist Joseph
Joachim when he came to Düsseldorf to give the premiere performance of another
composer, Robert Schumann's Fantasy, Op. 131. Schumann himself wrote an
intermezzo and finale, Albert Dietrich offered the first movement and Brahms
supplied the scherzo movement. The composers dubbed the project F. A. E.
Sonata; after the phrase that Joachim had taken as his personal motto: Frei
aber einsam ("Free but alone").
Scherzo is written in a traditional three-part form. The opening section is of
stormy character where short rhythmic elements are combined with emotional and
chromatic legato lines. The middle section is based on a beautiful lyrical
theme in C Major. After the return to the first section, the Scherzo ends with
a grand and majestic coda. Although Brahms was only twenty years old when he
wrote this piece, the music already bore many of the characteristics that appeared
in his mature works: rich harmonic vocabularies, insistent rhythmic vitality, a
clear sense of the development of the motive, and use of full textures. Korbinian Altenberger
Courtesy of International Music Foundation.
This is an excellent movement. Like the synopsis indicates above, the music is pure Brahms, and we hear those aspects of composition (a mixture of Romanticism with Classical structure) which the composer will use throughout his career.Altenberger and Shi do a wonderful job of interpreting the scherzo, and I glad they have shared the performance.
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