Johannes Brahms


Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor


The Piano Concerto No. 1 is considered to be one of Brahms’s greatest works, and one with a very complex history. It began life as a sonata for two pianos and then morphed into a four-movement symphony, but ultimately  Brahms decided to make the work a concerto for piano, his favored instrument (of course!). The composer gave the work’s public debut in Hanover in 1859. It was his first-performed orchestral work. Brahms only kept the original material from the work’s first movement; the remaining movements were discarded and two new ones were composed. The work was not awarded plaudits by the critics: in the words of one critic, “The work, with all its serious striving, its rejection of triviality, its skilled instrumentation, seemed difficult to understand, even dry, and in parts eminently fatiguing”. We offer here the Finale third movement Rondo. 

Brahms at the piano at the time of the Piano Concerto No. 1