Classical Music | Violin Music

Johannes Brahms

Scherzo for Violin and Piano in c minor, WoO posth. 2 (from F.A.E. Sonata)  Play

Karisa Chiu Violin
Inah Chiu Piano

Recorded on 01/04/2017, uploaded on 08/04/2017

Musician's or Publisher's Notes

Brahms met the Schumanns in September 1853. Both Robert and Clara were profoundly impressed with Brahms' music and they welcomed him wholeheartedly into their home. He met with them nearly every day, performing music and accompanying them on walks. He also began a lifelong friendship with Robert Schuamann's pupil Albert Dietrich who spawned a strong interest for the visual arts in Brahms. For a very brief time in the Schumanns' home, Brahms lived in an artistic environment immensely conducive to his development as a musician.

The violinist Joseph Joachim, who was responsible for urging Brahms to meet Robert Schumann, was set to perform in Düsseldorf in October. For the event, Schumann had the idea of writing a composition for Joachim in collaboration with Brahms and Dietrich-each would contribute a different movement. Thus was born the "F-A-E" Sonata for violin and piano. Its title is based on the acronym for Joachim's personal motto Frei aber einsem (Free but lonely). Joachim was given the work on his arrival and played through the work with Clara Schumann accompanying. His task was to guess who had written which movement. Joachim had little difficulty in guessing the authorship of each of the movements. Schumann had given his best in the Intermezzo and Finale, which he latter incorporated into his own Violin Sonata No. 3. Dietrich had provided the expansive first movement. Brahms, on the other hand, contributed the most unique portion of the work-a scherzo. This scherzo, along with the Scherzo in E flat minor and those of his piano sonatas, is another example of the early mastery Brahms achieved in this particular idiom.

The work was surprisingly successful unlike most collaborative works. Joachim retained the original manuscript for himself however, and it was not until 1935 that the entire work was published. He did allow Brahms' scherzo movement, on the other hand, to be published in 1906, nearly ten years after Brahms' death.      Joseph DuBose