Album: Arcanto Quartet, Brahms: String Quartet No 1, Op 51; Piano Quintet, Op 34 (Harmonia Mundi)
Friday 27 March 2009
Brahms was apparently so petrified of comparisons with Beethoven's achievements in the form that he destroyed the 20 or so string quartets he composed as a youth before finally, having turned 40, conquering his fears with the String Quartet No 1, Op 51, whose fastidious melancholy is expertly realised here.
The first section is engrossing – Schoenberg thought it revolutionary – in the way it stated the theme but also began the variations in the same movement. The Piano Quintet, Op 34, was string quintet, then piano sonata, before Brahms settled on this compromise, extending its timbral reach while retaining its intimacy.
Download this: 'String Quartet No 1, Op 51'
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 2 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 3 Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who ran away after argument with her parents
- 5 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
Game of Thrones season 6: George RR Martin doing 'anything he can' to get new book The Winds of Winter out before next HBO series airs
Game of Thrones, Battle of Hardhome: 20-minute Wildlings versus White Walkers battle took a 'solid month' to film
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 9, The Dance of Dragons: Jon Snow returns to The Wall after epic Battle of Hardhome
Touch-screen Teletubbies say hello: Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po are back, now with smart technology
Black Angel: Long lost Star Wars precursor to be made into crowdfunded feature film
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers