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Johannes Brahms: Piano Works



Johannes Brahms (1833-1896) absorbed and integrated the musical legacy of his time, as did J.S. Bach before him. The music of Brahms is intimately connected to and rooted in the German-Austrian tradition that he inherited. For Brahms, this tradition was very much alive and relevant; he constantly measured his own efforts against the achievements of Bach, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, trying to live up to and continue their legacy. He was not looking back to the past, but “progressing” (to use the terminology of Schoenberg’s essay “Brahms the Progressive”) towards a past that was yet to be fulfilled.

There is a precious sense of inevitability in great art, as if every masterpiece was meant to be created exactly as it is. The works of Brahms are amazingly organic, meticulously calculated and very human at the same time. This fusion of intellect and feeling, sincerity and reserve, heartfelt emotion and impeccable taste is unique to Brahms. It makes his music inevitable and indispensable. Vladimir Feltsman

Johannes Brahms: Piano Works