Evening Masterwork: the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2

Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897) c. 1890

Piano Concerto No. 2 in Bb by Johannes Brahms

Evening Masterwork for August 14, 2019 – 7:00 PM on Classical WSMR 89.1 and 103.9

In his own words, Brahms described his Second Piano concerto as “very small,” featuring a “very small and pretty scherzo.” “Very small” is a bit off the mark – Johannes Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2 is anything but small. It’s a giant work – nearly an hour – and it even features four movements rather than the usual three.  At the time, Brahms was at the height of his fame in Europe, and he had a habit of cutely referring to his giant works as “miniatures.” And the Scherzo, also uncommon for a concerto, is the most dramatic movement of the work, once again anything but small.