Johannes Brahms (Austrian, 1833-1897): Serenade No. 1, 1st movement
The composers Johannes Brahms and Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky share a birthday today. Both wrote brilliant and canonical violin concertos; I decided, however, to share a Serenade by each. “Serenade” has no official definition, but it usually lighter than a symphony, written more to entertain than to “educate” or be “profound.” Brahms wrote serenades because after Beethoven’s famous Ninth Symphony, he felt so inadequate writing his own “serious” symphonies that the first one took him 21 years to finish! (History has judged him to have been more than equal to the task.) In the meantime, he wrote in other “symphonic” genres, including concertos and serenades.
Philharmonia and Nic McGegan:
A great live performance by De Nieuwe Philharmonie Utrecht and Johannes Leertouwer
We will hear from Tchaikovsky tomorrow….
In May 2017 I challenged my students to practice every day for 30 days in a row. In addition, I asked them to listen to 30 bite-sized musical selections I emailed daily. I collected my picks in this blog for posterity. So these are works I find particularly fun, interesting, or important, including a handful by composers who were born or who died in May. Please enjoy!