BRAHMS: Don’t miss this, we suggest

Donald Macleod explores the lifelong friendship between Brahms and the 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 week begins with a knock at the door. Brahms meets the titan of German music, Robert Schumann; an encounter set up by Joseph Joachim. Music, song and more than a little drinking was to follow.

Scherzo in C Minor ("FAE" Sonata)
Isabelle Faust, violin
Alexandre Tharaud, piano

Hymn To The Veneration Of The Great Joachim!
Philippe Graffin, violin
Hebe Mensinga, violin
Szymon Marciniak, double bass

Scherzo in E Flat Minor, Op 4
Jonathan Plowright, piano

Piano Sonata No 3 (2nd mvt: Andante espressivo)
Nelson Freire, piano

Violin Concerto D Major, Op 77 (1st mvt)
Vadim Gluzman, violin
Lucerne Symphony Orchestra
James Gaffigan, conductor

Produced by Steven Rajam for BBC Wales.

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