The Brahms Ensemble Berlin Musik, founded in 2010 by six string players of the Berliner Philharmoniker, has on this concert programmed music by the composer after whom the ensemble was named: the Piano Trio No. 1 and the Piano Quintet in F minor. Pianist Martin Helmchen, who is by no means unknown in his native city of Berlin, where he has performed as soloist at concerts of the Berliner Philharmoniker and as chamber musician in the Philharmonie, will take on the piano part.
Piano Trio No. 1 in B major (1889 Version)
Piano Quintet in F minor
Introduction: 7:00 pm
Six string players from the Berliner Philharmoniker founded the Brahms Ensemble Berlin in 2010, and they have placed on their programme music by the composer after whom the ensemble was named. Johannes Brahms composed his Piano Trio in B major op. 8 at the age of 21. The promising young composer – on whom the hopes for German music were pinned – was not entirely satisfied with this work; it was solely for want of money that he sold the score to the Leipzig publishing house Breitkopf & Härtel in 1854. Brahms’s “problem child”? In any case, when 34 years later Berlin publisher Fritz Simrock reprinted all of Brahms’s compositions published until then, the composer took the opportunity to subject the trio to a thorough revision.
The Piano Quintet in F minor op. 34 also had a long journey before its premiere in 1866: the roots of this work were to be found in plans for a string quintet that had been on his mind five years earlier. His level-headed working process, not infrequently accompanied by artistic self-doubt, did not harm the piano quintet either. Because of its thematic diversity, Clara Schumann once called the piece music “like from a cornucopia”. The Brahms Ensemble, which performs in flexible groupings, has invited the young pianist Martin Helmchen to interpret the two works. He is by no means unknown in his native city of Berlin, where he has performed as soloist at concerts of the Berliner Philharmoniker and as chamber musician in the Philharmonie.