Brahms Trilogy/ op. 118

Written by arranger Ann Cameron Pearce:


"Upon the invitation of Peter Sheridan (flutist extraordinaire in Melbourne, Australia) to arrange flute choir works from Brahms' op. 118 piano compositions, I embarked on yet another musical adventure.  I selected the three movements of the six that I thought would adapt the best to flute choir instrumentation. With Peter's encouragement to include more members of the lower flute family, I ultimately transcribed all the parts for lower flutes.  So here is a nice challenge to others who support that unique tonal blend! (Of course, it is still an amazing flute choir piece for 2 C flutes, 2 altos, 1 bass flute and 1 contrabass flute too!)

Not all piano music adapts well to other instruments, but this is a brilliant example of a success!  Three of the six movements from op. 118 for solo piano have found a new home in the flute choir world.  Intermezzo, Ballade, and Romance may stand alone or combine for a grand expression of the genius of Johannes Brahms.

Late in his career, Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) wrote six piano pieces under his op. 118 that became some of his most beloved works. Completed in 1893 and dedicated to Clara Schumann, they are excellent examples of Romantic Era music and were the second to last of his compositions to be published in his lifetime.

Intermezzo (No. 2, op. 118)

Largely a Nocturne in three sections, this movement is deeply lyrical and moving, and is one of the most often performed works of this opus.  The center section is a canon that takes on a refreshing new key.

Ballade (No. 3, op. 118)

This actually could be named "Capriccio," a word that would better predict its energetic style.  It is a tightly organized piece that has no hint of narration but that still manages to exhibit unpredictable passion.

Romance (No. 5, op. 118)

Shining with the melody, the inner voices present a certain charm within the chorale beginning and ending sections.  A Berceuse style central section suggests a lullaby with its melody over an ostinato accompaniment.

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