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Brahms 4 Hands

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Brahms composed only a small number of original works for piano four hands, but arranged almost all of his chamber music and orchestral works for this instrumentation. He played most of them immediately after their completion with Clara Schumann and greatly appreciated her opinion. In his Hungarian Dances Brahms brilliantly transformed original Hungarian melodies and rhythms into multi-coloured orchestral works. The Blüthner grand piano from 1867 shows how Brahms made perfect use of the entire keyboard in his writing for four hands. The various registers appear completely transparent and clear. It is not generally known that Brahms was a great admirer and friend of Johann Strauss. And he loved waltzes! Thus Brahms also created an instrumental version of his Liebeslieder-Walzer for piano four hands. Robert Schumann's last theme, which he wrote for his so-called Ghost Variations immediately before being admitted to a mental hospital, is used by Brahms in his homage to Schumann, which was written immediately after his death in 1856: the Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann op. 23 for piano four hands, which ends with an impressive funeral march.

For the piano duo Wyneke Jordans & Leo van Doeselaar it was an obvious choice to conclude their series with recordings of four-handed piano works by great German composers on period instruments with Brahms.

PAS 0189

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