In 1869 Johannes Brahms created a musically rich set of pieces out of two popular trends in music at the time: waltzes, and vocal pieces on the subject of love. While the music demonstrates sophistication, such as variation of themes instead of simple repetition as in much popular music, the pieces were planned to appeal to popular tastes for music with a folk feel that could be played by amateurs on piano duet and sung in home settings. The texts were from the poet Georg Friedrich Daumer in translations of love poems and folk songs on facets of love to which anyone could relate such as longing, joy, denial, sadness and so on. Brahms' original version was for a piano duet (one piano, two players) and vocal quartet but with a note that the voices could be omitted as the music incorporates the vocal lines.
His set of 18 "Liebeslieder Waltzes" (love song waltzes) proved so popular and playable that Brahms (and others) set them into a variety of arrangements utilizing voices or not, piano duet or solo, small orchestra or strings only. They were so popular, in fact, that these Waltzes alone brought Brahms a great share of his wealth. A string arrangement of the Brahms "Liebeslieder Waltzes" is today's Midday Masterpiece at 2:00 pm on CapRadio Music.
November 8, 2021