English Blog

Music in a Difficult Time. Brahms: Drei Intermezzi Op. 117

March 17, 2020

We suddenly live in a very difficult time. The things we had before are out of reach. Worries, concerns, anxieties… But it won’t be forever. We have to live through and will go back to a better time.

After dealing with so many changes and making decisions (I am still doing it), I play music. First piece came to my mind is Brahms: Op. 117. This piece has a special place in my heart. Sweetness, tenderness, melancholy, affections, timelessness… I play Op. 117 every day, and explore voicing, phrasing, color, or just play it. Brahms quotes a poem at the beginning (English Translation):

Sleep soft my child,

Sleep soft and lovely.

I feel sadness when you weep.

Brahms’ lifelong soul mate, Clara Schumann, was delighted to receive the copy of Op. 117. She was loving it. They did not see each other often toward the end of their lives, but they were inseparable each other in their hearts. Brahms died not too long after Clara’s passing.

I will play No. 1 of Op. 117 as a part of a recorded service this coming Sunday (http://fumcpasadena.org) at 10am Los Angeles Time. (I will record at my house and it will be played toward the middle of the service.) Please stay safe and well, and take care.