Wednesday Music: Double Concerto In A Minor By Brahms

It’s been a sufficient amount of time since I’ve featured a concerto for Wednesday Music. I love concertos. I love playing them and I love listening to them. (Not going to lie, when I practice them I sometimes pretend I’m a world-renowned soloist playing in one of the great concert halls of the world. Hey, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to motivate yourself to practice.) This week’s piece is a bit different from your typical concerto, as it features two soloists. Normally, a concerto consists of one solo instrument playing with an orchestra. However, Mozart and Beethoven both composed concertos for more than one instrument, as did Johannes Brahms, who wrote the Double Concerto in A minor, Op. 102, the piece featured this week. Here’s a bit about it.

  • Brahms’ Double Concerto is for violin, cello, and orchestra. He wrote it for two of his friends, one of whom played cello and the other violin. He had some anxiety over writing the piece because he was a pianist and didn’t play the violin or the cello.
  • Brahms write the concerto in 1887. It was his final work for orchestra and was first performed on October 18, 1887.
  • Brahms planned to write a second concerto for violin and cello but destroyed his notes for it when the Double Concerto in A minor was not well-received. Clara Schumann (wife of the composer Robert Schumann and an excellent musician in her own right) didn’t like it, and neither did a famous critic at the time named Richard Specht. I think it’s quite a good concerto and I’m sad Brahms never wrote a second one.


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