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2011 Through Brahms: Disc 5

Just as the music of his forebears was his guiding light, so did Brahms serve as the artistic conscience for several composers of the twentieth century. Disc V explores these influences, beginning with the composer whom Brahms revered above all others, Johann Sebastian Bach. Brahms obsessively pored over Bach’s manuscripts and was keenly aware of the Baroque master’s cello suites when composing his own forward-looking cello sonatas. In the twentieth century, the structural rigor of Schoenberg’s Opus 47 Phantasy extends the impeccable craftsmanship of Brahms’s final scores, while Ravel’s rhapsodic Tzigane draws inspiration from the Gypsy influences that had a marked impact on Brahms’s output. The disc closes with the Piano Quintet by the contemporary American composer John Harbison, a work audibly haunted by Brahms’s Opus 34 Piano Quintet.

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