Brahms - Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann – arr. for Piano & Winds

SOMERVILLE, Mass. - Oct. 16, 2022 - PRLog -- Noteworthy Sheet Music, LLC (NSM) is an online sheet music publisher with a catalog of over 200 editions. They offer original works by distinguished contemporary composers, re-notated versions or facsimiles of rare historical scores, and unique transcriptions and arrangements of pieces from the classical repertoire. Selected NSM publications are offered as professionally-printed hard copy editions, while most are available as convenient PDF downloads from the NSM website.

NSM has just published a new arrangement of Brahms's Variationen über ein Thema von Robert Schumann for piano and wind quartet.  Here are excerpts from arranger John W. Pratt's foreword to the edition, reproduced with permission:

— Brahms's Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann, op.23, for piano, four hands, are "based on a theme that Schumann, in his final delirium, imagined had been dictated to him by Schubert and Mendelssohn.  This profound and poetic set of variations was Brahms's personal tribute to his friend.  With its rich harmonic and melodic variety and its frequent references to orchestral effects, it is one of the great masterpieces of the 4H literature." (Cameron McGraw, Piano Duet Repertoire, Indiana U. Press, 1981.)  Yet how often have you heard it, in any form? Arranging it as a quintet for piano and woodwinds allows realization of the orchestral effects and incorporation of contrasting and beautiful woodwind sonorities while preserving its many special piano sonorities and its personal, chamber-music qualities and will, I hope, encourage performance.

Brahms's op.23 variations are extremely varied, ranging from delicately decorative to spectral to warmly Brahmsian to bravura and even perhaps witty.  The final variation is an amazing valedictory, a funeral march which becomes combined with the theme and is suffused throughout with sadness, solemnity, resignation, and reaffirmation, by turns and even simultaneously.  Especially apt contributions by the woodwinds in the arrangement here include, to mention two, the appreciative chuckles accompanying the rollicking theme of Var. V and the chorale effect at the end of Var. X.  At the same time, the arrangement allows the piano to fulfill its usual roles in chamber ensembles and to contribute some special pianistic colorings. —

For additional information, to see a preview page of the score and listen to an audio sample, visit Browse NSM's complete catalogs for sheet music and CDs at
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