WSMR Quarterly Issue Reports - Q1 2020

Evening Masterwork: the Brahms Double Concerto

Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897) c. 1890

Concerto for Violin and Cello in a-minor “Double Concerto” by Johannes Brahms

Evening Masterwork for July 22, 2019 – 7:00 PM on Classical WSMR 89.1 and 103.9

When hearing the Double Concerto by Johannes Brahms, you almost have to consider the violin and cello not as separate instruments, but as a single, “super” instrument. Much of this music would not make sense, or even be possible, by either string alone. The work was composed for violinist Joseph Joachim and cellist Robert Hausmann (who played in Joachim’s quartet). Joachim had been one of Brahms’ closest musical allies, but through some dramatic personal issues the two had a falling out. The work actually served as a peace offering in some ways, and Brahms was able to get Joachim on board in the end.