In a letter to a close friend regarding a new composition, the Double Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Orchestra (Opus 102), he referred to it as his latest "folly." He explained that this word described any piece that was not intended to be performed or heard by others. He went on to say that he had no intention of submitting the work to any authority for approval before publishing it.
Brahms wrote the double concerto in 1826 when he was twenty-one years old. It is one of his most popular works and has been frequently revised since its first publication. The work takes about an hour to perform and includes many variations on a theme.
Brahms said himself that the double concerto was written as a challenge to himself, since he knew how well it was received by audiences. However, he also stated that he would never have submitted the work for approval from an authority because he wanted to see what people thought of it first. This shows that despite being a respected composer, he was not afraid to break with convention.
He called the double concerto his "latest folly" because at the time he was aware that it was not very serious music. However, over time he grew more and more attached to it and eventually decided to publish it after all.
Johann Sebastian Bach composed his fifth Brandenburg Concerto, BWV 1050.2 (previously 1050), for harpsichord, flute, and violin as soloists, with strings and continuo as an orchestral accompaniment.
|Brandenburg Concerto No. 5|
|Composed||1721 or earlier|
|Scoring||harpsichord flute violin strings continuo|
One of Bach's most renowned pieces is the Concerto for Two Violins. It showcases Bach's mastery of fugal imitation and counterpoint, as well as nuanced interaction of the violins. The work has two movements: a fast movement and a slow one.
Bach began composing the concerto in 1720 when he was only 19 years old. He continued to revise it over time, adding more notes, changing some passages, and removing others. The final version was published in 1744. Although Bach did not write any words for the concerto, it is usually referred to by its first word: "Concerto".
Bach intended the concerto to be played after the French term "concerte", which means "concert" or "orchestra". He wrote in the manuscript: "Concerto for 2 Violins, with Articulations and Cadenzas."
The work starts off with a lively allegro con spirito, meaning "with spirit", or "in a spirited manner". This shows that even though this is a serious piece, it does not take itself too seriously. The second movement is a largamente, which means "slowly" or "gradually". This shows that even though there is a lot going on in both movements, it does not feel overwhelming.
Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56, is a composition for two pianos that was later composed in an orchestral form by Johannes Brahms. Brahms and his great friend Clara Schumann premiered the two-piano version of the piece in August 1873 at a private gathering in Bonn, Germany. The work has been described as "a real tour de force for its time". It is estimated that more than 100 performers have played the variations during their lifetime.
Brahms began writing the variations in 1872 when he was 30 years old. He had just returned from a study trip to Vienna where he had become friends with the young piano virtuoso Franz Liszt. They often spent hours playing duets together and this experience must have greatly influenced Brahms's own development as a pianist. During these years he also became good friends with another young musician named Carl Reinecke who lived in Bonn and shared many interests with Brahms including musicology and music performance. The two men went on several trips together to visit musicians in other towns so that they could learn more about classical music styles from other countries.
In the summer of 1873, Brahms traveled to Venice where he met up again with Liszt. They stayed in the same hotel and it was there that Brahms first heard some of his future collaborator's new pieces.
The Prelude to Bach's First Suite is possibly the most well-known cello work in existence. For decades, it has been heard in films, advertising, and music halls. Even if you don't know what it's called, you've probably heard of it. The prelude was written for an absent friend who had become a professional cellist in Leipzig. They had been friends since their days as boys at the cathedral school where they both won scholarships. Now that Peter was becoming successful, he didn't want to be bothered by Johann with petty questions about technique or philosophy. So he asked Bach to write something that would help him forget his problems for a few minutes every day.
Bach took this opportunity to show off his skills as a composer. He started with a simple theme that could be played over and over again, then added variations on this theme. The result is a short suite - three movements called "allegros" (an old name for pieces with a fast tempo) - that you can listen to here: http://bach.cafebabeling.com/music/CelloPrelude_to_Suite_1._Allegro.mp3. You can also find information about the other two movements below the video.