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Johannes Brahms was a German composer and pianist, and one of the leading musicians of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria, where he was a leader of the musical scene...
' String Sextet No. 2
in G major, Opus 36 was composed during the years of 1864-1865 and published by the firm of Fritz Simrock
Friedrich August Simrock, better known as Fritz Simrock was a German music publisher who inherited a publishing firm from his grandfather Nicolaus Simrock...
It was first performed in Boston, Massachusetts on October 11, 1866.
The work is scored for two violin
The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....
s, two viola
The viola is a bowed string instrument. It is the middle voice of the violin family, between the violin and the cello.- Form :The viola is similar in material and construction to the violin. A full-size viola's body is between and longer than the body of a full-size violin , with an average...
s, and two celli
The cello is a bowed string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is a member of the violin family of musical instruments, which also includes the violin, viola, and double bass. Old forms of the instrument in the Baroque era are baryton and viol .A person who plays a cello is...
, and has four movements:
- Allegro non troppo
- Scherzo - Allegro non troppo - Presto giocoso
- Poco allegro
Brahms did most of the composition in the comfortable country surroundings of Lichtental, near Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden is a spa town in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is located on the western foothills of the Black Forest, on the banks of the Oos River, in the region of Karlsruhe...
. According to Brahms' biographer Karl Geiringer
Karl Geiringer was a musicologist, educator, and biographer of composers. He was educated in Vienna but at the beginning of the Nazi years he emigrated to England and ultimately the United States, where he had a lengthy and distinguished career at several universities. He was a noted authority...
, it conceals a reference to the first name of Agathe von Siebold (with whom he was infatuated at the time) in the first movement, bars 162-168, with the notes a-g-a-d-h-e
Swedish composer Kurt Atterberg
Kurt Magnus Atterberg was a Swedish composer. He is best known for his symphonies, operas and ballets. Atterberg once said that: "The Russians, Brahms, Reger were my ideals." His music combines their influences with Swedish folk tunes.-Biography:Atterberg was born in Gothenburg as the son of the...
arranged the sextet for String orchestra in 1939.
- http://cdn2.libsyn.com/gardnermuseum/brahms_o36.mp3Recording by the Borromeo String Quartet
The Borromeo String Quartet is an American string quartet, in residence at the New England Conservatory since 1992. They have performed throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia, at numerous festivals and in many distinguished chamber music series...
with violist Liz Freivogel and cellist Daniel McDonough] from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum or Fenway Court, as the museum was known during Isabella Stewart Gardner's lifetime, is a museum in the Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, located within walking distance of the Museum of Fine Arts and near the Back Bay Fens...
MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III, more commonly referred to as MP3, is a patented digital audio encoding format using a form of lossy data compression...