CUUC

CUUC

2018-09-17

Music: Sun Sep 23


When does a composer “let go” of a creation? When are “visions and revisions” at an end, and the piece belongs to the ages? The assiduous work habits of Johannes Brahms prompt such speculation. Brahms labored over his scores, spending nearly twenty years working on his first symphony. An indefatigable perfectionist, Brahms couldn’t bear to leave behind evidence of his struggles: he is reported to have destroyed some 150 compositions, before allowing his Opus 1 to stand. In some instances, the composer returned to works he had completed early in his career as much as 40 years after they’d been published, preparing revised versions reflective of his autumnal maturity. Posterity is left with few clues about Brahms’s creative processes: only the finished products, which met with his unsurpassed scrutiny, survive.

Sunday morning’s musical selections include several of Brahms’s short piano works from various stages of his career. The moody Four Ballades, Op. 10 are early works, and the first one reflects Brahms’s interest in an ancient Scottish legend of parricide. His final solo piano works---his opuses 116-119--are represented by several poignant, introspective Intermezzi. By contrast, a lighter side to the composer’s character is evident in the boisterous Waltzes, Op. 39. Read on for programming details.

Prelude: Adam Kent, piano
Waltzes, Op. 39, Nos. 1-4
Intermezzo in A Major, Op. 118, No. 2

Opening Music:
Intermezzo in B Minor, Op. 119, No. 1

Offertory:
Intermezzo in Eb Major, Op. 117, No. 1

Interlude:
Ballade in D Minor, Op. 10, No. 1 “Edward”

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