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A Beard And A Baby

This episode explores Joachim settling down into domestic bliss, and Brahms growing a beard - a disguise that would from then on become part of his mythology.

Donald Macleod explores the lifelong friendship between Brahms and the great violin virtuoso Joseph Joachim - and the music of genius that resulted.

Throughout his life, Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) enjoyed the close friendship of two kindred musical spirits: the pianist Clara Schumann and the violinist Joseph Joachim. Yet whilst his relationship with the former is much-pored over - friends, colleagues, maybe lovers? - his deep musical connection with Joachim is often passed over. This week, Donald Macleod explores the adventures, trials and tribulations that Brahms and Joachim encountered through their four decade-long association and the musical masterpieces for violin that resulted. Donald presents the three movements of the Violin Concerto across three days in three utterly beguiling, and very different, recordings by Vadim Gluzman, David Oistrakh and Janine Jansen; plus, Friday brings a complete performance of the often-overlooked Double Concerto for Violin and Cello. In between, we'll hear all three violin sonatas in their entirety and a host of jewels from Brahms' chamber output - plus a rare piano-duet performance of his First Symphony by the Duo Crommelynck, and on Friday, a guest appearance from Brahms and Joachim themselves.

The partying days were over. Today's episode tells of Joachim's settling down into domestic bliss, and Brahms...growing a beard - a disguise that would from then on become part of his mythology. Donald Macleod presents the much-loved "Geistliches Wiegenlied", plus a rare piano duet arrangement of Brahms' famous First Symphony.

Geistliches Wiegenlied, Op 91 No 2
Alice Coote, mezzo
Maxim Rysanov, viola
Ashley Wass, piano

Symphony No 1 (4th mvt) (original version for piano 4 hands)
Duo Crommelynck, piano duet

Violin Concerto in D Major, Op 77 (2nd mvt)
David Oistrakh, violin
Staatskapelle Dresden
Franz Konwitschny, conductor

Violin Sonata No 2 in A, Op 100
Isabelle Faust, violin
Alexander Melnikov, piano

Produced by Steven Rajam for BBC Wales.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Johannes Brahms

    Geistliches Wiegenlied, Op 92 No 2

    Performer: Ashley Wass. Performer: Maxim Rysanov. Singer: Alice Coote.
  • Johannes Brahms

    Symphony No.1

    Ensemble: Crommelynck Duo.
    • Brahms Symphonies No 4 and 1.
    • CLAVES.
    • 8.
  • Johannes Brahms

    Concerto In D Major Op.77

    Performer: David Oistrakh. Orchestra: Staatskapelle Dresden. Conductor: Franz Konwitschny.
    • Violin Concertos.
    • DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON.
    • 2.
  • Johannes Brahms

    Sonata No. 2 In A Major Op.100

    Performer: Isabelle Faust. Performer: Alexander Melnikov.
    • Brahms Violin Sonatas.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
    • 8.

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