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Brahms: 21 Hungarian Dances

Johannes Brahms was asked to tour with Hungarian violinist Eduard Hoffman. So it came as little surprise when he created two volumes of Hungarian dances.

At the age of 18, Johannes Brahms was asked to tour with renowned Hungarian violinist Eduard Hoffman . Brahms was drawn to the music which Hoffman played, a combination of gypsy music and traditional “classical music.  So it came as little surprise when he created two volumes of Hungarian dances, first for solo piano, then taking advantage of the four-hands technique.  The Kantorski-Pope Duo performs all 21 of these Hungarian Dances.

The Peabody Institutes’ Dean of Academic Affairs, Paul Matthews, put it well when he wrote:

“By not giving this work an opus number, Brahms himself may have inadvertently suggested that these dances are less serious. Only fifty years after their publication, one would-be wit suggested the Hungarian Dances were only good for a showy display of technique. Fortunately, the Kantorski-Pope Duo takes a more reverential approach in their presentation. Their playing suggests the communal and mutually respectful playing Brahms imagined when he performed the work with Clara Schumann. Moreover, the keen sense for motion mediates some of the extremes of earlier recordings and the sensibilities of the modern listener. In all and in sum, this is a serious presentation of serious music and long overdue.”

Our quick pick this week is The White Election a cycle of 32 songs by Gordon Getty on the poems of Emily Dickinson.  Soprano Lisa Delan performs with pianist Fritz Steinegger on the PentaTone Classics label

Music Heard On This Episode

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897): No. 5 in F minor
Kantorski-Pope Duo — Brahms: 21 Hungarian Dances (whaling city sound, 2009)
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Johannes Brahms (1833-1897): No. 5 in F minor
Kantorski-Pope Duo — Brahms: 21 Hungarian Dances (whaling city sound, 2009)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897): No. 14 in D minor
Kantorski-Pope Duo — Brahms: 21 Hungarian Dances (whaling city sound, 2009)
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album cover
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897): No. 14 in E Minor
Kantorski-Pope Duo — Brahms: 21 Hungarian Dances (whaling city sound, 2009)
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Gordon Getty (b. 1933): After a hundred years
Lisa Delan, soprano; Fritz Steinegger, piano — The White Election (PentaTone Classics, 2009)
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Gordon Getty (b. 1933): I like to see it lap the miles
Lisa Delan, soprano; Fritz Steinegger, piano — The White Election (PentaTone Classics, 2009)
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David Wood

Originally from Leavenworth, Kansas, David Wood moved to Bloomington in 2005. He received his Bachelor of Music from Kansas State University, and his Master of Music from the University of North Texas. He studied ensemble direction at the Jacobs School of Music's Early Music Institute and joined WFIU in 2006 as an announcer. In 2008 he became WFIU's Music Director and also served as Art Bureau Chief from 2008-2013. David’s interests include Irish music and language (particularly traditional singing), music and religion, running, the outdoors, and, of course, classical music!

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