Dear friend

Johannes Brahms. The Romantic era composer who is one of the “Three B’s” of the musical lexicon: Bach, Beethoven, Brahms. I don’t pretend to know enough about music history nor theory to write anything that has not been written about these icons of music. I just love listening and having their notes pull the strings of my soul and imprint themselves into my heart.
The Sonata in F minor is one of the beloved pieces for many of the duos Dranoff has worked with over the years; it has been a required piece is many of the past competitions, and become a part of their concert repertoire.

It was originally drafted as a string quintet, but after the harsh criticism it received from his friend and virtuoso violinist Joseph Joachim, the composer defiantly scrapped his first attempt and reworked the Sonata for four hands.

Today I would like to present to you the first movement of that very sonata, performed by Martha Argerich together with Lilya Zilberstein with whom she has an over 20 year piano partnership, as well as in the quintet version. Rudolf Serkin and the Budapest String Quartet recorded it in 1963. In between a sorbet - a poem by Rilke.

I hope your heart and soul feel lighter for having spent some time with this inimitable music and these brilliant performers.

Happy Monday!


Gabriele Fiorentino 
The Dranoff 2 Piano Foundation
Piano Slam

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Sonata in F minor for two pianos, Op. 34b

Performed by Martha Argerich and Lilyia Zilberstein, piano


Do you still remember: falling stars,
how they leapt slantwise through the sky
like horses over suddenly held-out hurdles
of our wishes — did we have so many?—
for stars, innumerable, leapt everywhere;
almost every gaze upward became
wedded to the swift hazard of their play,
and our heart felt like a single thing
beneath that vast disintegration of their brilliance —
and was whole, as if it would survive them!

Johannes Brahms
Quintet for Piano and Strings in f minor op. 34

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