Piano Quartet No. 3 in C Minor, Movement 1 - Piano Score

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As well as using four performers and instruments, a quartet is composed of four movements. The quartet is set in the musical key of G minor, and this is where it starts in the first movement, which is a sonata. Sonatas were the favoured form for a lot of music from the 18th to midth century, and were generally structured around three parts.

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Sonatas change between musical keys to develop contrasting sounds and create tension. However she strongly approved of the second movement of the quartet see clip below. Both of these titles simply refer to the speed, range and mood of the movement. Brahms did so, and thereafter would frequently use this genre title in his large output of short piano solo compositions. Here, the cello plays middle C more than 50 times while the other strings move around with great melodic freedom. The opening melody in C minor by the violin and viola is undoubtedly a direct personal reference to Schumann.

Borrowing a device from her beloved but recently deceased husband Robert, Brahms spells her first name within the melody.

Since Brahms had chosen to place the quicker inner movement second, his third movement needed to be more melodic and sonorous. Here the strings shine with long-breathed phrases, supported by a wide ranging piano part in the bass register. As the tension builds within this slow movement, a taut march-like rhythm emerges, which eventually builds into a massive climax.

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It is not too far-fetched to suggest that Brahms is here emulating Beethoven. His setting is however closer to contemporary styles. Viennese audiences were naturally captivated by this quartet thanks to its finale. Its other qualities were also widely recognised by his musical colleagues.

Schoenberg later also arranged the quartet for full orchestra. A combination of artistic innovation with popular appeal gave Brahms his first major public success. His close friend and mentor Robert Schumann had died the previous year and Brahms, deeply saddened and affected by his death, continued to maintain along friendship with his widow, the pianist Clara Schumann. She became an emotional focus for Brahms, one that would last throughout his life, and the nature of their relationship became the subject of much speculation.

The piano quartet was performed in Hamburg in November of , with Clara at the piano and a select ensemble including the distinguished Hamburg violinist John Boie. Brahms' opening Allegro movement is powerful and passionate as he stretches the boundaries of the sonata form with his length, expansion and reshuffling of themes. In the concluding Rondo alla Zingarese, Brahms alludes to his love and interest in Hungarian music as he saturates the vibrant finale with quick episodes and sudden tempo shifts, extending a musical tradition of 'gypsy' finales that goes back to the days of Haydn.

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Allegro non troppo 6. Scherzo: Allegro 7. Andante 8. Finale: Allegro comodo Piano Quartet No. He worked on the piece between and , during a tumultuous season in the lives of the Schumanns.


Piano Quartet No. 3 in C minor, Op. 60 ("Werther")

In Robert Schumann attempted suicide by throwing himself off a bridge into a river and soon after being rescued, he asked to be taken to an insane asylum. Back Programs. Back Plan Your Trip. Back Dine. Back The Venues. National Symphony Orchestra. Washington National Opera. Back Community Programs. Back Governance. Board of Directors National Trustees. Back History. Company Description History Past Productions. Back Administration.

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Back Rentals. Back American Opera Initiative. Program Information Past Commissions Apply. Piano Quartet No. Mozart had left two such works, whose excellence may have daunted subsequent composers.

Johannes Brahms - Piano Quartet No.3 in C minor Op.60 (w/score)

Beethoven composed a set of three in his early teens which he never published they are codified collectively as WoO