Brahms Experience

Episodes

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01Radio 3 Live In Concert20141006

Tom Service presents the first in a week of events, in association with St. George's Bristol, for Radio 3's Brahms Experience.

Over the next five evenings, Tom introduces live performances from Daniel Hope (violin), Stephen Kovacevich (piano), the Skampa Quartet, BBC Singers and BBC National Orchestra of Wales. During the intervals, Tom discusses aspects of Brahms's life and music with performers and experts. Plus, there are more fascinating insights into Brahms's world in Radio 3's The Essay, delivered in front of our live Bristol audience and recorded for broadcast after the concerts.

The Brahms Experience continues across Radio 3, all this week, in Essential Classics, Composer of the Week, Afternoon on 3 and Through the Night.

Tonight, the Skampa Quartet pair Brahms's second quartet, whose tragic overtones are offset by its vigorous gypsy influences, with Dvorak's ebullient 'American' Quartet. After the interval, they are joined by Robert Plane in Brahms's late masterwork for clarinet and strings.

Brahms: String Quartet No 2 in A minor, op.51 no.2

Dvorak: String Quartet No.12 in F, op.96 'American'

8.25pm INTERVAL

Robert Plane discusses Brahms's relationship with the clarinettist Richard Mühlfeld, whose playing inspired the composer to emerge from retirement.

They examine what it was about Mühlfeld's musicianship that so appealed to Brahms, how Mühlfeld's performance style influenced the works Brahms composed for him, and the lasting legacy they had on each other's lives.

8.45 PART 2

Brahms: Clarinet Quintet in B minor, op.115

Skampa Quartet

Robert Plane (Clarinet).

01Radio 3 Live In Concert20141006

Tom Service presents the first in a week of events, in association with St. George's Bristol, for Radio 3's Brahms Experience.

Over the next five evenings, Tom introduces live performances from Daniel Hope (violin), Stephen Kovacevich (piano), the Skampa Quartet, BBC Singers and BBC National Orchestra of Wales. During the intervals, Tom discusses aspects of Brahms's life and music with performers and experts. Plus, there are more fascinating insights into Brahms's world in Radio 3's The Essay, delivered in front of our live Bristol audience and recorded for broadcast after the concerts.

The Brahms Experience continues across Radio 3, all this week, in Essential Classics, Composer of the Week, Afternoon on 3 and Through the Night.

Tonight, the Skampa Quartet pair Brahms's second quartet, whose tragic overtones are offset by its vigorous gypsy influences, with Dvorak's ebullient 'American' Quartet. After the interval, they are joined by Robert Plane in Brahms's late masterwork for clarinet and strings.

Brahms: String Quartet No 2 in A minor, op.51 no.2

Dvorak: String Quartet No.12 in F, op.96 'American'

8.25pm INTERVAL

Robert Plane discusses Brahms's relationship with the clarinettist Richard Mühlfeld, whose playing inspired the composer to emerge from retirement.

They examine what it was about Mühlfeld's musicianship that so appealed to Brahms, how Mühlfeld's performance style influenced the works Brahms composed for him, and the lasting legacy they had on each other's lives.

8.45 PART 2

Brahms: Clarinet Quintet in B minor, op.115

Skampa Quartet

Robert Plane (Clarinet).

02Radio 3 Live In Concert20141007

Tom Service welcomes us back to St. George's Bristol for the second of this week's Brahms Experience concerts.

Daniel Hope (violin) and Sebastian Knauer (piano) present Brahms alongside two of his most significant champions: Joseph Joachim and Clara Schumann, with whom Brahms's life became so deeply intertwined.

Brahms: Scherzo from the F.A.E Sonata

Clara Schumann: Romance, op.22 no.1

Brahms: Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor, op 108

8.10pm INTERVAL

Tom Service talks to tonight's soloist, Daniel Hope, about Brahms's relationship with Joseph Joachim and how their early partnership developed into an enduring friendship.

Brahms found a musical soul-mate in the Hungarian violin virtuoso, Joachim, who was just two years his elder. Tom and Daniel discuss how they collaborated and influenced each other's creative pursuits, and how Joachim remained an unstinting champion of Brahms despite their more troubled association in later years.

8.30pm PART 2

Mendelssohn: Two songs: Auf Flugeln des Gesanges; Hexenlied

Joachim: Romanze in C

Brahms: Violin Sonata No.1 in G, op 78

Daniel Hope (violin)

Sebastian Knauer (piano)

The Brahms Experience continues across Radio 3 all this week in Essential Classics, Composer of the Week, Afternoon on 3 and Through the Night.

02Radio 3 Live In Concert20141007

Tom Service welcomes us back to St. George's Bristol for the second of this week's Brahms Experience concerts.

Daniel Hope (violin) and Sebastian Knauer (piano) present Brahms alongside two of his most significant champions: Joseph Joachim and Clara Schumann, with whom Brahms's life became so deeply intertwined.

Brahms: Scherzo from the F.A.E Sonata

Clara Schumann: Romance, op.22 no.1

Brahms: Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor, op 108

8.10pm INTERVAL

Tom Service talks to tonight's soloist, Daniel Hope, about Brahms's relationship with Joseph Joachim and how their early partnership developed into an enduring friendship.

Brahms found a musical soul-mate in the Hungarian violin virtuoso, Joachim, who was just two years his elder. Tom and Daniel discuss how they collaborated and influenced each other's creative pursuits, and how Joachim remained an unstinting champion of Brahms despite their more troubled association in later years.

8.30pm PART 2

Mendelssohn: Two songs: Auf Flugeln des Gesanges; Hexenlied

Joachim: Romanze in C

Brahms: Violin Sonata No.1 in G, op 78

Daniel Hope (violin)

Sebastian Knauer (piano)

The Brahms Experience continues across Radio 3 all this week in Essential Classics, Composer of the Week, Afternoon on 3 and Through the Night.

03Radio 3 Live In Concert20141008

Live from Colston Hall, Bristol

Presented by Tom Service

The BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Conductor Laureate Tadaaki Otaka perform great orchestral works by Brahms, as part of Radio 3's Brahms Experience in Bristol.

The Academic Festival Overture is a musical thank-you to a university that gave Brahms an honorary degree, but the piece is far from dry academia: Brahms described it as a 'boisterous potpourri of student songs'. Violinist Veronika Eberle and cellist Andreas Brantelid join the orchestra in the Double Concerto, Brahms's last orchestral composition, written as a gesture of reconciliation to violinist Joseph Joachim, who had once been the composer's closest friend but who had shunned his acquaintance. The concert ends with Symphony No 1, the work that builds on the foundations of Beethoven while allowing Brahms' distinct symphonic voice to emerge.

Brahms: Academic Festival Overture

Brahms: Concerto in A minor for violin, cello and orchestra

8.20 Interval: Tom Service discusses Brahms's musical manifesto

Brahms: Symphony No 1 in C minor

Veronika Eberle (violin)

Andreas Brantelid (cello)

BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Tadaaki Otaka (conductor).

03Radio 3 Live In Concert20141008

Live from Colston Hall, Bristol

Presented by Tom Service

The BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Conductor Laureate Tadaaki Otaka perform great orchestral works by Brahms, as part of Radio 3's Brahms Experience in Bristol.

The Academic Festival Overture is a musical thank-you to a university that gave Brahms an honorary degree, but the piece is far from dry academia: Brahms described it as a 'boisterous potpourri of student songs'. Violinist Veronika Eberle and cellist Andreas Brantelid join the orchestra in the Double Concerto, Brahms's last orchestral composition, written as a gesture of reconciliation to violinist Joseph Joachim, who had once been the composer's closest friend but who had shunned his acquaintance. The concert ends with Symphony No 1, the work that builds on the foundations of Beethoven while allowing Brahms' distinct symphonic voice to emerge.

Brahms: Academic Festival Overture

Brahms: Concerto in A minor for violin, cello and orchestra

8.20 Interval: Tom Service discusses Brahms's musical manifesto

Brahms: Symphony No 1 in C minor

Veronika Eberle (violin)

Andreas Brantelid (cello)

BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Tadaaki Otaka (conductor).

04Radio 3 Live In Concert20141009

Live from St George's Hall, Bristol

Presented by Tom Service

The BBC Singers, conducted by David Hill, perform Brahms' German Requiem and his beautiful

Geistliches Lied, with the famous set of Variations on a theme by Haydn completing the programme.

Johannes Brahms: Geistliches Lied (op 30)

Johannes Brahms: Variations on a Theme by J. Haydn (op 56a)

7.55 Interval:

Brahms' "Requiem" examined: Tom Service and Canon Rosie Harper explore the theological, spiritual and musical landscape of the piece its composer wanted to call "A Human Requiem" and consider its meaning for listeners today.

8.15:

Johannes Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem (op 45)

Helen Neeves (soprano)

Jamie W Hall (baritone)

Charles Owen and Katya Apekisheva (pianos)

BBC Singers

David Hill (conductor)

Johannes Brahms' German Requiem has often been described as a requiem for the living, rather than a liturgy for the dead. In tonight's concert for Radio 3's week of live Brahms performances from Bristol, the BBC Singers perform the work in the version accompanied by piano duet - a transcription which, through its gentle intimacy, sheds new light on a much-loved choral masterwork. Alongside it, a tiny sacred song which is an intricate gem of musical ingenuity, and the famous set of variations on a theme by Haydn - sometimes known as the 'St Anthony' variations - played in Brahms' adaptation of the work for two pianos.

04Radio 3 Live In Concert20141009

Live from St George's Hall, Bristol

Presented by Tom Service

The BBC Singers, conducted by David Hill, perform Brahms' German Requiem and his beautiful

Geistliches Lied, with the famous set of Variations on a theme by Haydn completing the programme.

Johannes Brahms: Geistliches Lied (op 30)

Johannes Brahms: Variations on a Theme by J. Haydn (op 56a)

7.55 Interval:

Brahms' "Requiem" examined: Tom Service and Canon Rosie Harper explore the theological, spiritual and musical landscape of the piece its composer wanted to call "A Human Requiem" and consider its meaning for listeners today.

8.15:

Johannes Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem (op 45)

Helen Neeves (soprano)

Jamie W Hall (baritone)

Charles Owen and Katya Apekisheva (pianos)

BBC Singers

David Hill (conductor)

Johannes Brahms' German Requiem has often been described as a requiem for the living, rather than a liturgy for the dead. In tonight's concert for Radio 3's week of live Brahms performances from Bristol, the BBC Singers perform the work in the version accompanied by piano duet - a transcription which, through its gentle intimacy, sheds new light on a much-loved choral masterwork. Alongside it, a tiny sacred song which is an intricate gem of musical ingenuity, and the famous set of variations on a theme by Haydn - sometimes known as the 'St Anthony' variations - played in Brahms' adaptation of the work for two pianos.

05 LASTRadio 3 Live In Concert20141010

Stephen Kovacevich (piano) rounds off The Brahms Experience's week of concerts from St George's, Bristol. In the interval, presenter Tom Service will be debating YOUR thoughts, queries and ideas about Brahms and his music in: "The Trouble With Brahms?". Your can tweet your comments to @bbcradio3 - Tom and his panel of experts will be reading out and exploring the best of your comments live on air.

Bach: Partita No 4 in D, BWV.828

Brahms: Ballade No.1 in D minor, Op.10 No.1

Brahms: Intermezzo in A flat, Op.76 No.3

Brahms: Intermezzo in A minor, Op.76 No.7

Brahms: Capriccio in D minor, Op.116 No.7

8.10pm Interval: The Trouble With Brahms?

Tom Service is joined live by Caroline Rae and Katy Hamilton to examine why some people just don't get on with Brahms's music. They'll be discussing listener responses to Radio 3's Brahms Experience and suggesting ways for Brahms sceptics to discover his music afresh. Join the debate by emailing troublewithbrahms@bbc.co.uk and tell us whether you love Brahms or loathe him! Or tweet us @BBCRadio3 to share your #brahmsexperience.

8.30pm Part 2

Brahms: Ballade No.4 in B major, Op.10 No.4

Brahms: Intermezzo in B minor, Op.119, No.1

Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.31 in A flat, Op.110

Stephen Kovacevich (piano).

05 LASTRadio 3 Live In Concert20141010

Stephen Kovacevich (piano) rounds off The Brahms Experience's week of concerts from St George's, Bristol. In the interval, presenter Tom Service will be debating YOUR thoughts, queries and ideas about Brahms and his music in: "The Trouble With Brahms?". Your can tweet your comments to @bbcradio3 - Tom and his panel of experts will be reading out and exploring the best of your comments live on air.

Bach: Partita No 4 in D, BWV.828

Brahms: Ballade No.1 in D minor, Op.10 No.1

Brahms: Intermezzo in A flat, Op.76 No.3

Brahms: Intermezzo in A minor, Op.76 No.7

Brahms: Capriccio in D minor, Op.116 No.7

8.10pm Interval: The Trouble With Brahms?

Tom Service is joined live by Caroline Rae and Katy Hamilton to examine why some people just don't get on with Brahms's music. They'll be discussing listener responses to Radio 3's Brahms Experience and suggesting ways for Brahms sceptics to discover his music afresh. Join the debate by emailing troublewithbrahms@bbc.co.uk and tell us whether you love Brahms or loathe him! Or tweet us @BBCRadio3 to share your #brahmsexperience.

8.30pm Part 2

Brahms: Ballade No.4 in B major, Op.10 No.4

Brahms: Intermezzo in B minor, Op.119, No.1

Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.31 in A flat, Op.110

Stephen Kovacevich (piano).

01Public Brahms, Private Brahms20141006

Five Essays about the 19th-century German composer Johannes Brahms. Part 1 of 5.

Recorded in front of an audience at St. Georges, Bristol, as part of BBC Radio 3's Brahms Experience - a week-long exploration of Brahms' life and music.

To this day Brahms has a reputation as a rather terse, fearsome personality who wrote dark, serious music. But his tender, intimate chamber music gives a clue to how he behaved behind closed doors and among friends.

Pianist and writer Natasha Loges looks at what lies behind Brahms' famously gruff public persona, and discovers his tender, private side. She offers an invitation into Brahms' inner circle: music making at home, coffee and conversation with friends, the food he enjoyed, and the women he flirted with.

Producer: Melvin Rickarby.

01Public Brahms, Private Brahms20141006

Five Essays about the 19th-century German composer Johannes Brahms. Part 1 of 5.

Recorded in front of an audience at St. Georges, Bristol, as part of BBC Radio 3's Brahms Experience - a week-long exploration of Brahms' life and music.

To this day Brahms has a reputation as a rather terse, fearsome personality who wrote dark, serious music. But his tender, intimate chamber music gives a clue to how he behaved behind closed doors and among friends.

Pianist and writer Natasha Loges looks at what lies behind Brahms' famously gruff public persona, and discovers his tender, private side. She offers an invitation into Brahms' inner circle: music making at home, coffee and conversation with friends, the food he enjoyed, and the women he flirted with.

Producer: Melvin Rickarby.

02Brahms And Nature20141007

Five Essays about the 19th century German composer Johannes Brahms. Part 2 of 5.

Recorded in front of an audience at St. Georges, Bristol, as part of BBC Radio 3's Brahms Experience - a week long exploration of Brahms' life and music.

Interaction with nature is one of the cornerstones of 19th century Romantic music. Writer Lesley Chamberlain offers a chance to join Brahms for a creative ramble and sets his work in the climate of German ideas about nature.

In the German Romantic tradition Nature is Art's rival and the artist's consolation. Brahms's love of nature, which came to him in hours of shared and solitary walking, intensified the demands he made on himself as a composer.

Producer: Melvin Rickarby.

02Brahms And Nature20141007

Five Essays about the 19th century German composer Johannes Brahms. Part 2 of 5.

Recorded in front of an audience at St. Georges, Bristol, as part of BBC Radio 3's Brahms Experience - a week long exploration of Brahms' life and music.

Interaction with nature is one of the cornerstones of 19th century Romantic music. Writer Lesley Chamberlain offers a chance to join Brahms for a creative ramble and sets his work in the climate of German ideas about nature.

In the German Romantic tradition Nature is Art's rival and the artist's consolation. Brahms's love of nature, which came to him in hours of shared and solitary walking, intensified the demands he made on himself as a composer.

Producer: Melvin Rickarby.

03Brahms And Germany20141008

Five Essays about the 19th-century German composer Johannes Brahms. Part 3 of 5.

Recorded in front of an audience at St. Georges, Bristol, as part of BBC Radio 3's Brahms Experience - a week-long exploration of Brahms' life and music.

Brahms lived in a time of great political change. In his late thirties he saw the birth of a unified German nation under the 'Iron Chancellor' Otto von Bismarck. The question of what this Germany was to be became one of the great issues of the day.

Writer and pianist Natasha Loges explores the nationalist elements of Brahms' music. She examines his famous feud with the more openly patriotic Richard Wagner, and the ways in which Brahms' 'German' image was manipulated in the next century by the Nazis.

Producer: Melvin Rickarby.

03Brahms And Germany20141008

Five Essays about the 19th-century German composer Johannes Brahms. Part 3 of 5.

Recorded in front of an audience at St. Georges, Bristol, as part of BBC Radio 3's Brahms Experience - a week-long exploration of Brahms' life and music.

Brahms lived in a time of great political change. In his late thirties he saw the birth of a unified German nation under the 'Iron Chancellor' Otto von Bismarck. The question of what this Germany was to be became one of the great issues of the day.

Writer and pianist Natasha Loges explores the nationalist elements of Brahms' music. She examines his famous feud with the more openly patriotic Richard Wagner, and the ways in which Brahms' 'German' image was manipulated in the next century by the Nazis.

Producer: Melvin Rickarby.

04Brahms And Freud20141009

Five Essays about the 19th-century German composer Johannes Brahms. Part 4 of 5.

Recorded in front of an audience at St. Georges, Bristol, as part of BBC Radio 3's Brahms Experience - a week-long exploration of Brahms' life and music.

Brahms and and Freud co-existed in Vienna, as psychoanalysis was being born. But they belong to two vastly different epochs: what can we learn by setting them side by side?

Often at a loss for words, frequently gruff and spiky, Brahms was a man with complex personal traits. Devastated by his parents' disintegrating marriage, he found relationships exceptionally difficult.

A question Freud once asked of us all might help us understand the hidden personality of Johannes Brahms: what is the sublimation of sexual desire, and how much unfulfilled libido can we bear?

Writer Lesley Chamberlain takes us back to the Vienna of the 1890s, where Brahms was composing his late masterpieces and Freud was carrying out his groundbreaking early work.

Producer: Melvin Rickarby.

04Brahms And Freud20141009

Five Essays about the 19th-century German composer Johannes Brahms. Part 4 of 5.

Recorded in front of an audience at St. Georges, Bristol, as part of BBC Radio 3's Brahms Experience - a week-long exploration of Brahms' life and music.

Brahms and and Freud co-existed in Vienna, as psychoanalysis was being born. But they belong to two vastly different epochs: what can we learn by setting them side by side?

Often at a loss for words, frequently gruff and spiky, Brahms was a man with complex personal traits. Devastated by his parents' disintegrating marriage, he found relationships exceptionally difficult.

A question Freud once asked of us all might help us understand the hidden personality of Johannes Brahms: what is the sublimation of sexual desire, and how much unfulfilled libido can we bear?

Writer Lesley Chamberlain takes us back to the Vienna of the 1890s, where Brahms was composing his late masterpieces and Freud was carrying out his groundbreaking early work.

Producer: Melvin Rickarby.

05 LASTBrahms And The Future20141010

Five Essays about the 19th-century German composer Johannes Brahms. Part 5 of 5.

Recorded in front of an audience at St. Georges, Bristol, as part of BBC Radio 3's Brahms Experience - a week-long exploration of Brahms' life and music.

Brahms lived in a time of tremendous change. The idea of the 'future' was never far from peoples' minds: new technology was emerging, the political map of Europe redrawn, and long-cherished ideas of art and culture overturned.

But how did Brahms, a composer who mined the music of the past for inspiration, fit in with a world where progress was king?

Pianist and writer Natasha Loges looks at Brahms' views on the future: recording technology, piano design - and his own place in the future of music.

Producer: Melvin Rickarby.

05 LASTBrahms And The Future20141010

Five Essays about the 19th-century German composer Johannes Brahms. Part 5 of 5.

Recorded in front of an audience at St. Georges, Bristol, as part of BBC Radio 3's Brahms Experience - a week-long exploration of Brahms' life and music.

Brahms lived in a time of tremendous change. The idea of the 'future' was never far from peoples' minds: new technology was emerging, the political map of Europe redrawn, and long-cherished ideas of art and culture overturned.

But how did Brahms, a composer who mined the music of the past for inspiration, fit in with a world where progress was king?

Pianist and writer Natasha Loges looks at Brahms' views on the future: recording technology, piano design - and his own place in the future of music.

Producer: Melvin Rickarby.