93. Finding A Voice
- Webern: Two Early Pieces for Cello and Piano
- Brahms: Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34
Today’s podcast pairs two composers who seem rather different: Anton Webern and Johannes Brahms. Webern’s Two Early Pieces was written in 1899, when the composer was just 15 years old, and is believed to be his very first composition. But the pair of slow movements sound not at all like Webern’s sparsely orchestrated, mostly atonal later works. Brahms had a bit more experience under his belt when he wrote his Piano Quintet in F minor, but it’s still considered a relatively early work. Clara Schumann consulted with Brahms on the many drafts of this piece, which began its life first as a string quartet and then as a two-piano sonata. The result still preserves a sort of satisfying youthful impetuousness, with passionate themes and bold harmonic transitions, if not as much of the formal structure and counterpoint that would characterize Brahms’s later work.