Analysis of Brahms, Double Concerto, Op. 102

From: Max Kalbeck, Johannes Brahms. Bd. 4,1 (1886-91) (Berlin: Deutsche Brahms-Gesellschaft, 1914, 2nd ed.), 61-67. This is the handout for my talk, “The Problem of Genre and the Power of Narrative: the Case of the Double Concerto” for the conference “The Intellectual Worlds of Johannes Brahms,” UC Irvine, 1-3 February 2019. First Movement The plummeting […]

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When did virtuosos stop playing their own concertos?

In the nineteenth century, it was common for virtuosos to also compose works for themselves to play. At the beginning of the twentieth century, it was less common, but there are still plenty of impressive examples. Pianist Eugen d’Albert not only composed for himself but also wrote operas and other works in almost every genre. […]

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The “standard” of three concertos on a concert

One feature of concert life in 1907 Berlin was the standard of three concertos for a concert given by a soloist. This would be unthinkable today because of the stamina required for both the performer and the audience, and because the lack of variety would be unappealing. After backtracking concerts by the Berlin Philharmonic to […]

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What does all this information tell us?

After my last post on the music of February 1907, my interlocutor Nicholas wondered why I compile all this information. There are many reasons, but I will point out two things I’ve learned here. I started documenting the music of 1907 as a way to investigate claims made after Joachim’s death that he was out […]

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Concerts in February 1907

Highlights There were 114 concerts this month. 38 were solo vocal, 25 solo piano, 10 chamber and 8 solo violin.  Noteworthy events besides the two concerts by Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler on the same day and the terrible ship wreck that involved the German Opera Company, included again a phenomenal number of historic personalities […]

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The infamous Mr. Arthur M. Abell of the Musical Courier

  Arthur M. Abell (1868-1958) lived in Europe from 1890 to 1918. Starting in 1893 he was a Berlin correspondent for the Musical Courier. After the War he returned to New York and wrote for the New York Times and other outlets. Abell’s musical credentials included his training as a violinist. In 1895 he advertised for […]

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The Second Violinist

In her book Muss es sein?: Leben im Quartett, Sonia Simmenauer, a concert agent who managed many famous quartet ensembles, described the second violinist as the most problematic of the four players: three–a triangle–is more stable. With two violinists, the relationship between the two is always in question.  Karl Halir (1859-1909) was fated to have […]

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