Selected Works: Johannes Brahms and Robert Schumann
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Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) and Robert Schumann (1810-1856) were two major figures of the Romantic period due to their overall compositional output, as well as being extremely prolific composers for the piano. Though each was unique in compositional style, there was a great admiration between the two composers and many similarities in style. Schumann and Brahms, in their piano writing, show their understanding of the possibilities of the piano as an orchestra. Both were masters of large and small forms and expounded upon pre-existing forms such as theme and variation, fantasy, et al. Both explored the idiom of the Romantic character piece. This recorded project consists of opuses that show the compositional styles of both, and where possible, juxtaposes works of similar genre and character.
The first disc of this recorded project presents character pieces by each composer: for Schumann, the Novelette in F major, op. 21; for Brahms, the Two Rhapsodies, op. 79. The disc then continues with Fantasy Pieces: the Fantasiestücke, op. 12 of Schumann and the Fantasien, op. 116 of Brahms. Both are collections of smaller pieces that could be performed separately, but are best performed as a whole. The second disc represents the "symphonic" piano writing of each composer, as highlighted in Schumann's Symphonic Etudes, op. 13, and Brahms' Trio for Horn, Violin and Piano, op. 40,
This selection of works represents an accessible cross section of these composers' compositional output, highlighting their respective strengths and aesthetic traits as composers for the piano. Through this project, I have gained a greater understanding of the compositional styles of Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms that will benefit me greatly as I continue pursuing a career as a performer and pedagogue.
This project was recorded in the Dekelboum Concert Hall at the University of Maryland, College Park.