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Free Classical Music Download!

Posted on: Feb 27, 2013 @ 10:03:20 am

This weeks free music download is Johannes Brahms's Double Concerto for Violin and Violoncello, Op. 102

Completed in 1887, this concerto is German composer Johannes Brahms’s (1833–1897) last orchestral work. Brahms wrote this work, referred to as a “double concerto” as it features two soloists rather than one, for violinist Joseph Joachim and Joachim’s quartet-mate, cellist Robert Hausmann. Joachim and Brahms had been very close friends for many years, insofar that Joachim’s first son was named after Brahms, but the two had a falling-out after Joachim’s divorce to mezzo-soprano Amalie Schneeweiss. The concerto’s first rehearsal was the first time they had spoken for seven years. Though their friendship was likely never has strong as it had been, the collaboration reestablished a relationship between the three musicians. Brahms eventually gave the manuscript to Joachim, inscribing “To him, for whom it was written.”

Brahms conducted the first performance in Cologne in October 1887, with Joachim and Hausmann as soloists. Its reception was only lukewarm. As the tides of tonality were changing in the late 19th century, the Double Concerto is decidedly Romantic and old-fashioned. The Double Concerto is more highly regarded today, but is still the least-performed of any of Brahms’s concertos; this is likely due to the impracticality of securing two virtuosic soloists rather than any disdain for the work.

This recording is performed by Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine under the direction of Alain Lombard.

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