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Donald Macleod explores Brahms's expressive First Violin Sonata - inspired by thoughts of his lost love Clara Schumann in the rain - and his rarely-performed String Quartet No 1.

Everyone knows that Brahms struggled with his First Symphony for years - terrified of failing to live up to the great Beethoven. Much less well-known is that he tore his hair out over the other great genre dominated by his hero - the String Quartet - quite literally wallpapering his bedroom with his failed attempts.

In the third programme of this series Donald Macleod takes us through two movements from Brahms's rarely-performed and oft-maligned First String Quartet, as well as a complete performance of his beautiful and lyrical first Violin Sonata, inspired by thoughts of his great lost love, Clara Schumann, among the falling rain.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Johannes Brahms

    String Quartet no.1 in C Minor, Op.51 no.1 [extract]

    Performer: Alban Berg Quartet

    • EMI CDS 7548292.
    • 1 to 2.
  • Johannes Brahms

    Piano Quartet no.3 in C Minor, Op.60

    Performer: II. Scherzo: Allegro Performer: Emanuel Ax (piano), Isaac Stern (violin), Jaime Laredo (viola), Yo-Yo Ma (cello)

    • SONY CLASSICAL 2K45846.
    • 6.
  • Johannes Brahms

    "Regenlied" from Eight Songs, Op.59

    Performer: Olaf Baer (baritone), Geoffrey Parsons (piano)

    • EMI CDC7497232.
    • 28.
  • Johannes Brahms

    Sonata no.1 for violin and piano, Op.78

    Performer: Anne-Sofie Mutter (violin), Alexis Weissenberg (piano)

    • EMI CDC7492992.
    • 1 to 3.

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