mhurshell 
Member since Mar 23, 2013


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Posted by THE SYSTEM on June 20, 2018 at 2:50 AM

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Re: “A Piano Apart

Brahms B flat concerto may, in your words, be "a monster" - but its length is by no means "nearly 4,500 measures." A little under 1,400 measures, which is indeed a long concerto. As for Mr. Marshall´s questions regarding the "why" of the cello soli in the Andante, I don´t believe it´s very mysterious. This concerto is regarded by most who perform it (esp. the conductors) as a symphony with a magnificent piano obbligato (as Mr. Feltsman correctly remarks). Traditionally, it´s perfectly legitimate to have smaller obbligati (exposed solos who for a moment or more carry the melody or other significant elements) for other instruments; the cello has the most celebrated "other solo" in this work (and the first oboe joins it in an operatic duet in bar 13 of the 2nd movement), but there is also the famous 1st movement opening by the 1st horn (later in the movement, the 3rd horn); the last movement theme (begun by the piano) is picked up by various woodwinds while the piano plays variations, etc. Brahms, who had such a deep understanding of the innate qualities of all the instruments, gave soli to whatever voice suited the musical idea best. (Perhaps the cello´s great solo is simply part of a meditative conversation - the pianist and cellist expound different views, finding perfect agreement in the final 3 bars of the movement.)

Posted by mhurshell on 10/21/2010 at 11:58 PM

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