Johannes Brahms’s Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 25 was dedicated to Baron Reinhard von Dalwigk. Today, no doubt, that name means little even to connoisseurs of the output of the most Classical of Romantic composers, as Brahms is sometimes described. The baron, a steward at the court of Prince Oldenburg, was a great fan of Brahms’s music, so this dedication should come as no surprise. The Quintet was acknowledged as an exceptional work by the outstanding violinist Josef Hellmesberger. After leading a run-through of the work a vista, he gave Brahms a friendly embrace and declared: ‘Here is the heir to Beethoven!’ Let us not forget that the fate of the Quintet was closely followed by Clara Schumann. Brahms and his music occupied a special place in her heart.
Simply... Philharmonic! Project 4:
At least several of the works in this cycle’s concerts may be regarded as prime examples of their composers’ talents. In Chopin’s Variations, Op. 2, Robert Schumann easily discerned a spark of genius. After leading a performance of Brahms’s Quartet in G minor, Op. 25, Joseph Hellmesberger was left in no doubt: ‘This is the heir to Beethoven!’ Moreover, Clara Schumann was extremely anxious about the fortunes of this work, as it was very close to her heart. Liszt bows down, in his own inimitable way, before the mastery of Schubert, Busoni acknowledges the greatness of Bach. There is also the strand of more personal feelings, a play of subtle sensuousness – in Schumann (Romances), Chopin (Barcarolle) and even in Beethoven’s last Piano Sonata in C minor.