Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center, Chicago, IL
Emanuel Ax, piano /
I. Engelsflügel 1
III. Engelsflügel 2
Hommage à Brahms was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association; Symphony Center Presents, Chicago; Cal Performances, University of California, Berkeley and Carnegie Hall.
The pieces can be played as a set of three (with a total duration of 8-9 minutes) or placed - still as a set of three - within a selection of my other "Homage Etudes".
Ideally however they are conceived as interludes to be played between Johannes Brahms’ four final solo piano pieces of op.119 (1893).
Hommage à Brahms pays homage to Brahms the composer and the man. With these pieces, I drew particular inspiration from accompanying textures and figurations as found in Brahms’ duo sonatas and lieder. Taking into account aspects of Brahms personal life, and specifically the long and complicated relationship he had with Clara Schumann, these homage-pieces emerge out of the idea of a line or part that's absent, the person not by his side. It is music that grows out of accompanying figurations yet takes on a life of its own, shining a light on Brahms’ poignantly melancholic op.119 pieces.
I refer to it as Hommage à Brahms although it's also part of my larger and ongoing Homage-Etude cycle of solo piano pieces, the others being Hommage à Bach (Prelude and Chorale); Hommage à Janacek and Hommage à Kurtag.
It is dedicated "to Manny in admiration".
© Brett Dean, 2014