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BRAHMS String Sextets Nos. 1 & 2. Renaud Capucon, Christoph Koncz, Gerard Causse, Marie Chilemme, Gautier Capucon, Clemens Hagen. Erato

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Brahms String Sextets Nos 1 And 2 Erato

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897)
String Sextet No.1 in B-flat major Op.18
(1860)
1 Allegro ma non troppo
2 Andante, ma moderato
3 Scherzo: Allegro molto
4 Rondo: Poco Allegretto e grazioso

String Sextet No.2 in G major Op.36 (1864-1865)
5 Allegro non troppo
6 Scherzo – Allegro non troppo – Presto giocoso
7 Adagio
8 Poco allegro

Renaud Capuçon, Christoph Koncz – violins
Gérard Caussé, Marie Chilemme – violas
Gautier Capuçon, Clemens Hagen – cellos

For the first time since their recording of Saint-Saëns La Muse et le Poète in 2013, the French brothers reunite for a recording of two of the great pillars of Romantic chamber music – Brahms’ string sextets. At the peak of the musical powers, they both appear regularly throughout the world on all the major concert hall platforms. Alongside their solo careers, performing chamber music with friends has always been an important part of their lives, and here they are joined by Austrian violinist Christoph Koncz, French violists Marie Chilemme and Gérard Caussé, and Austrian cellist Clemens Hagen. The album was recorded live at the Aix Easter Festival 2016.

The sextets are amongst the most joyful and skilfully-written works of the Romantic chamber music canon. While his own voice as a composer can clearly be heard, outside influences from the great Classical era composers such as Schubert and Beethoven are also in evidence.

The second sextet was written around the time Brahms became close to a young singer called Agathe von Siebold, so close in fact that many of their acquaintances thought they would eventually marry. Brahms however refused to be tied down and Agathe broke off the relationship. Near the end of the exposition of the first movement, the first and second violins together spell "Agathe" by playing the notes A-G-A-D-H-E, leading many to deem this work as dedicated to her. After completing the work Brahms wrote to a friend, "Here I have freed myself from my last love."

Erato 0190295888374

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