Happy Birthday Johannes Brahms! – Practising the Piano

Today is Johannes Brahms’s birthday! Born 189 years ago on 7th of May, his oeuvre includes some of the most beloved pieces in the piano repertoire. In celebration of his birthday, we’ve compiled a selection of videos and links to various resources featuring some of his piano works.

Happy Birthday Johannes Brahms

Intermezzo in E Major (Op. 116 No. 6)

In this excerpt from his video walk-through for this work, Graham Fitch explores ways in which to approach the opening phrases:

Intermezzo in E-Flat Major (Op. 117 No. 1)

This set of pieces was described by Brahms as  “lullabies to my sorrows” and the first of the set of three certainly conveys a sense of a rocking motion. In this video, Graham Fitch demonstrates how to bring out the melody in the inner (middle) voices of this piece:

Intermezzo in A Major (Op. 118 No. 2)

The six pieces for the piano that make up Brahms’s Op. 118 were dedicated to Clara Schumann with whom Brahms shared a longstanding and intimate friendship. This video is the first of a set of seven exploring a narrative for this work, starting with a little background to Brahms’ relationship with Robert and Clara Schumann.

Intermezzo in B Minor (Op. 119 No. 1)

In this video excerpt, Graham Fitch reveals an example of the many hidden treasures within Brahms’s late piano works:  

Other Resources

The following is a listing of resources  for Brahms’ music on the Practising the Piano Online Academy (they are all available with an annual subscription or in some instances as as separate products for once-off purchase – click here to find out more about the Online Academy or click here to subscribe):

  • Intermezzo in A Minor (Op. 76 No. 7) – Click here for annotated study edition and video walk-through
  • Intermezzo in E Major (Op. 116 No. 6) – Click here for video walk-through
  • Intermezzo in A Major (Op. 118 No. 2) – Click here for fantasy analysis videos or click here for walk-through and annotated study edition
  • Intermezzo in B Minor (Op. 119 No. 1) – Click here for video walk-through