Ether Game

Brahms: Piano Pieces

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: just good friends…

Unlike many composers who successfully balance work and family, Brahms was a lifelong bachelor. He did have several romantic relationships, but none was as long-lasting as his attachment to Clara Schumann. After Robert Schumann’s nervous breakdown, Brahms stepped in and, for several years, helped Clara run the household. Although the two eventually went their separate ways, they remained lifelong friends. Today, Brahms is known as one of the “Three B’s.” When this phrase was first coined in the 1850s by critic Peter Cornelius, its purpose was to elevate Berlioz to the status of the two earlier masters! It was the conductor Hans von Bulow who would later substitute Brahms into the formula, tipping the triad not just towards the Germanic, but also away from the married Bach and Berlioz and towards the bachelor Beethoven and Brahms!

Music Heard On This Episode

Johannes Brahms: Six Piano Pieces, op. 118, Intermezzo
Hélèn Grimaud, piano — Hélèn Grimaud: Brahms Piano Pieces, opp. 116-119 (Erato, 1996)
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album cover
Johannes Brahms: Six Piano Pieces, op. 118, Intermezzo
Hélèn Grimaud, piano — Hélèn Grimaud: Brahms Piano Pieces, opp. 116-119 (Erato, 1996)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

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