Thursday, March 27, 2008

Brahms's Ballades Op.10

Dr. Williams played four Chopin’s ballades in the second half of her recital last week. This is my first time listen the four Chopin ballades together, it seems a little too much for the audience. Chopin’s four ballades are individual piece, and they were composed in different year. Brahms’ ballades are not famous as Chopin's, but they are as a whole set. They were composed in 1854, and had one Opus number. Brahms’ ballades Op.10 are arranged in two pairs of two, the member of each pair being in parallel keys—(d, D, b, B). The first ballade was inspired by a Scottish poem “Edward”. It has a ternary structure accompanied by Andante-Allegro-Andante. The second ballade is also in Andante with a major key. It sounds more pastoral. The third one is an intermezzo. It is the only contrast fast section within the four ballades. The last ballade is one of those mysterious and introspective pieces. It does not have the virtuosic flashiness as his third ballade. Brahms wrote the ballades when he was only 21. To see inside that young man’s mind… The mystery deepens!