7 Amazing Things You Didn’t Know About Brahms
Sure, he’s known for lullabies, but Johannes Brahms is responsible for some of the most passionate works in classical music. 92Y Concerts will present the Jerusalem Quartet and friends on October 23, 25, and 29 in an exploration of the German composer’s most beloved chamber pieces. From porn-star nicknames to an epic love triangle, here are 7 awesome facts about the composer.
1. Brahms had friends in high places. As a 12-year-old prodigy, he performed with Felix Mendelssohn, was a house guest of Franz Liszt, and was mentored by Robert Schumann.
2. Brahms was a sexy man! We’re used to seeing a portly image of the composer in his later years, but he could have donned the cover of a 19th century People magazine when he was younger. Things may have been different if Bud Light was around back then.
7 Amazing Things You Didn’t Know About Brahms
Talk about music breeding unity! Turns out heavy metal fans and classical music lovers have a lot in common! Check out this fascinating article from Mic, then go head-bang to Brahms!
My very favorite Brahms piece is the Op. 91 two songs for mezzo, viola and piano. Whenever I play it, it feels like no one could have written anything better suited for the viola. It is certainly some of the most intimate and personal musical language we have.
Hsin-Yun Huang, viola
Huang will be the guest artist during Jerusalem Quartet’s Intimate Brahms concert on October 25. Come experience the passion of Brahms!
The Clarinet Quintet is my absolute favorite piece by Brahms. This piece contains the world in a nutshell; where beauty and sorrow, life and death are expressed throughout.
Sharon Kam, clarinet
Kam will be the special guest during our Jerusalem Quartet concert on October 23. She’ll even be playing the Clarinet Quintet live during the event! Don’t miss the passion of Brahms!
The masterful Christian Tetzlaff opened the 92Y Concerts season with one of the monuments of Western music—the complete Bach Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin. “Hearing all six of these works in [a single performance],” wrote The New York Times, “is a kind of classical music nirvana.”
Guests agreed. A “monumental performance,” wrote @jo on Twitter. “The fall’s first spiritual peak,” said @BruceHodgesNY.
Read more about this marathon achievement:
Tetzlaff Plays Bach: By the Numbers.
Christian Tetzlaff on the Chaconne.
5 Great Pop Culture Marathons.
7 Facts about Bach’s Sonatas & Partitas That Will Amaze You.
Photos: Christian Tetzlaff, Viloin; Opening Night 2014—Tetzlaff Plays Bach; Complete Bach Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin; concert photographed: Thursday, September 18, 2014; 7:00 PM; Kaufmann Concert Hall; 92nd Street Y; New York, NY.
Photograph: © 2014 Richard Termine (for 92nd Street Y).
PHOTO CREDIT - Richard Termine for 92nd Street Y © 2014 Richard Termine
Tetzlaff Plays Bach: By the Numbers
When you attend an artistic performance, the audience rarely knows the nitty gritty details of all that went into presenting it. For 92Y Concerts’ opening night on September 18, we are breaking down Christian Tetzlaff’s solo performance by the numbers. The German violinist will be performing Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas in full—a marathon achievement. Here’s how the evening stacks up!
2412 bars of music (without repeats).
2400 seconds of intermission.
1800 eyes on stage.
900 glasses of champagne served at intermission.
380 calories burned (approx.) by Tetzlaff.
212 years since the Sonatas and Partitas were published.
130 minutes on stage to perform.
64 variations in the famous Chaconne.
17 years for Bach to compose.
12 years old—the age when Tetzlaff first started learning the pieces.
You’ve seen the numbers, now hear the music on September 18!
On September 19, Christian Tetzlaff opens the 92Y Concerts season with a performance of the complete Bach Sonatas and Partitas—one of the monuments of Western music.
While the six individual sonatas and partitas are regularly performed, Christian Tetzlaff is one of only a few artists who present the complete cycle as in a single epic program. In the following Q&A with 92Y, he discusses his thoughts and experience with Bach and the cycle.
So the entire cycle turns on the Chaconne? Yes, it is such a devastating piece of music. It is thirteen minutes long and connected to the other movements in the partita, and yet it towers above everything else. And then after such music—where could one possibly go? Even Bach doesn’t know. In his manuscript, the Chaconne stops and then the next sonata—which is supposed to be in C major—starts directly on the next line in the same register, same rhythm, same tempo, and even by the fifth measure, in the same key—D minor.
7 Facts about Bach’s Sonatas & Partitas That Will Amaze You
For one musician to perform all six of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas in a single concert is an incredible feat. Violinist Christian Tetzlaff will perform them at 92Y Concert’s opening night on September 18 in a performance that the New York Times calls “a kind of classical music nirvana.” To prep for this big event, here are seven facts about the complete Bach Sonatas and Partitas that will amaze you.
1. Nobody knows why J.S. Bach wrote these six works for solo violin. The pieces were not dedicated to anyone and there is no record of them being performed in Bach’s lifetime. They were probably not ever intended for public performance.
#MusicMonday: Is this the sound of genius?
Behold the Andalusian Cadence. Never heard of it? Perhaps, but you sure have heard it! It’s a simple sequence of four notes—in the key of A major, it would be A, G, F, E—and it’s been used from the Renaissance to Rihanna, with Beethoven, Mozart, the Beatles, Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan and Green Day in between.
Listen to 50 different examples of Andalusian Cadence from our friends at WNYC Radio.
Is that genius? We think so. #thatsgenius