IMF Kutná Hora 2017

12th IMF KH programme – 4th concert

Monday / June 3 / 7:30 p.m. / Jesuit College – GASK



Johannes Brahms: Six Piano Pieces, Op. 118
  • Intermezzo A minor
  • Intermezzo A major
  • Balada G minor
  • Intermezzo F minor
  • Romance F major
  • Intermezzo E flat minor
Johannes Brahms: Two Rhapsodies, Op. 79
  • Rhapsody B minor
  • Rhapsody G minor
Johannes Brahms: Four Piano Pieces, Op. 119 – Rhapsody
  • Rhapsody E flat major

——— interval ———

Johannes Brahms: Piano Trio No. 1 in B major, Op. 8
  • Allegro con brio
  • Scherzo
  • Adagio
  • Finale: Allegro


Konstantin Lifschitz – piano, Corinne Chapelle – violin, Jiří Bárta – cello

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The chamber and piano output of Johannes Brahms, a towering 19th-century symphonist who started his career as primarily a virtuoso piano player, is characterized by an imposing emotional charge. Youthful passion of his early years is amply documented by a composition Brahms wrote as a twenty-year-old: the Trio in B major, Op. 8. It is his first chamber piece which passed the young composer´s own uncompromising scrutiny and was submitted for publication. It should be noted that the version presented here tonight is the result of a much later revision by an already experienced and fully mature Brahms. That said, it should be pointed out that he did not abandon the trio´s first version outright, not least in view of the encrypted yet explicit message embedded in its score addressed to the composer´s unattainable love, Clara Schumann.

The Four Pieces for Piano, Op. 118, and Four Pieces, Op. 119, are dedicated to the same lady, the wife of the composer, Robert Schumann, and herself a disginguished pianist whose art and judgment Brahms immensely valued. These compositions, to which the composer assigned intentionally vague names such as Intermezzo, Romance, or Rhapsody, are not strictly confined within the boundaries of their declared form, offering the composer greater freedom of imagination. The individual pieces stand out for their charm, slight melancholy, and harmonic opulence. Of course, all of this is further embellished by the key elements of Brahms´ compositional technique: namely, octaves, as well as robust and multinote chords.

In its turn, the Three Rhapsodies, Op. 79 is dedicated to Elisabeth von Herzogenberg. She and her husband belonged in the close circle of the composer´s friends whom he would engage in erudite debates over his works in progress. These three pieces, mature, elaborate and powerful, into whose music Brahms most tastefully embedded his creative energy and passion, nowadays rank among the best-loved parts of his solo instrumental output.     

Dita Hradecká / translation: Ivan Vomáčka