Intermezzo Op 118 no 2 - Johannes Brahms

This piece is one of the most popular diploma piece. It has a very delicate melody. Although the texture is rather thick and complicated, with inner voices come and go, the overall melody line seems simple and straight forward. It is one of my favourite piece for sure.

Intermezzo op 118 no 2 - Brahms
The Six Pieces for Piano, Op. 118, are some of the most beloved items that the composer Johannes Brahms wrote for the solo instrument. Completed in 1893 and dedicated to Clara Schumann, the collection was the second to last composition to be published during Brahms' lifetime. It was also his second to last work composed for piano solo.
Like Brahms' other late keyboard works, Op. 118 is overall more introspective than his earlier piano pieces, which tend to be more virtuosic in character. (source: wiki)
 Tips on practicing this piece:

1. First try to grab the main melody line, which is build upon a short simple motif. This simple motif is used by Brahms throughout the entire work.
2. Listen to how others play this piece so that you have a clear idea which is the important melody line that you need to highlight. This is very important especially in the middle part where you have two melody lines that communicate with each other.
3. This piece has a complex texture, so is the dynamic. Listen to the different sections of the piece, as each of them has its own dynamic implication. I especially like when the motif was inverted. I highlight this event by slowing down and make the dynamic become softer. Change in tone color is necessary.
4. If you want me to discuss further about this tips. Leave a comment below and ask me questions regarding what you need to know.

The sheet music can be found here.
My video can be viewed here.

By Erik Tjahja


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By Erik Tjahja, BMus, MEd (Mus)

My Music @CD BABY

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Erik Tjahja has a Bachelor of Music degree from The University of Melbourne, Australia, and also a Master of Education (Music) from National Institute of Education/ Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. to connect with him and receive the latest update on this blog.