Composed in 1892-93, Brahms’s piano pieces opp. 116 to 119 are the last collections that he wrote for the instrument. Particularly noteworthy is his use of 'small forms' accompanied by a further increase in musical expression compared to his earlier works. In November 1892 Clara Schumann, probably the secret dedicatee of these pieces, confided to her diary that they were 'a true source of enjoyment, everything, poetry, passion, rapture, intimacy, full of the most marvellous effects [...]. In these pieces I at last feel musical life re-enter my soul, and I play once more with true devotion.'
Like the op. 116 Fantasies (BA 9628), the Three Intermezzos op. 117 were composed in the Austrian resort of Bad Ischl in summer 1892. Brahms sent them to Clara as 'a little continuation' of the previous volume. The first of the pieces achieved great popularity. Brahms prefaced it with the lines 'Sleep softly, my child, sleep softly and deep! / How much it hurts to see you weep' from Herder's folk poetry collection Stimmen der Völker. He turned down the attempt of his Bonn publisher Simrock to issue the piece separately as a 'cradle song or lullaby'.
- Scholarly-critical Urtext edition for performers
- Reliable musical text incorporating all available sources
- Spacious layout on the page with practical page turns
- Ideal for lessons with advanced learners
- Added fingering
- Informative bilingual introduction (Eng/Ger)
Christian Köhn teaches piano at the Musikhochschule in Detmold. One of his specialties is the piano music of Johannes Brahms. Together with his duet partner Silke-Thora Matthies, he is a prize-winner of the Munich Competition and has released the world's first complete recording of Brahms's works for piano duet. In addition to the Serenades for piano four-hands, opp. 11 and 16 (BA 6570 and 6571), he has already edited many of Brahms's solo piano works for Bärenreiter.