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Brahms Piano Sonata No.3 in F Minor 3/5 Jonathan Plowright

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Uploaded on Mar 12, 2009

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Piano Sonata No.3 in F Minor Op.5, played by Jonathan Plowright.

II Andante espressivo (2nd part)

This is the third part of Brahms piano sonata No. 3 in F minor (Op. 5) played by British virtuoso Jonathan Plowright. It was recorded live at the Wigmore Hall, London on Saturday 15th November 2008.

Ed Keohane writes: Johannes Brahms was born in Hamburg in 1833. He excelled at the piano from an early age he also played cello and the horn and was taught free of charge by Eduard Marxsen, a leading Hamburg pianist and composer, who instilled in the young Brahms a lifelong love of Bach and the Viennese Classical composers. Indeed his first solo piano recitals, in 1848 and 1849, featured works by Bach and Beethoven.

Brahms completed his third and final piano sonata in October 1853, the year that he became friends with the violinist Joseph Joachim and first met Robert and Clara Schumann. Brahmss music made a huge impression on Schumann, who wrote that each work was so different from the others that it seemed to stream from its own individual source. He also remarked how, at Brahmss hand, the piano became an orchestra of lamenting and loudly jubilant voices and his sonatas veiled symphonies.

The genial and demonic sides to Brahmss personality are both evident in this colossal five-movement work. The spectacular opening gives way to a beautiful slow movement, above which Brahms wrote a verse by the poet Sternau:

Der Abend dämmert, das Mondlicht scheint
Da sind zwei Herzen in Liebe vereint
Und halten sich selig umfangen.

Evening grows dark, the moonlight shines,
Two hearts are united in love
And hold themselves in blissful embrace.

The contrast between this movement — described by pianist Alfred Cortot as the greatest love song in all of music — and the following demonic scherzo could not be greater. An intermezzo cleans the palate before the energetic finale, which ends in a triumphal coda in F major.

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