Orchestration as a Means of the Synthesis of Classical and Romantic Approaches in Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto


  • Vadim Rakochi Mykola Lysenko Lviv National Music Academy, Ukraine




Brahms, Second Piano Concerto, orchestration, synthesis of Classical and Romantic approaches


The synthesis of ‘Classical’ and ‘Romantic’ concepts in the orchestration of Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto is discussed. The composer rethinks ways of presenting musical material in the orchestra by conceptualising both the ‘Classical’ orchestral structure (the size, the approach to the brass section) and the Romantic-like treatment of solos, alternations, etc. as unified domains.


Download data is not yet available.


Anisimov, Aleksandr. “Vzaimodeystviye solista i orkestru v zapadnoyevropeyskom skripichnom kontserte XVII–XIX vekov.” [“Interaction of a soloist and an orchestra in a West European violin concerto of the 17th-19th centuries.”] PhD dissertation abstract, Magnítogorsk State Conservatory, 2011. Accessed May 5, 2020. http://cheloveknauka.com/vzaimodeystvie-solista-i-orkestra-v-zapadnoevropeyskom-skripichnom-kontserte-xvii-xix-vekov.

Berger, Arthur. Reflections on an American Composer. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.

Borstlap, John. “Brahms the progressive?” John Borstlap (blog), May 30, 2014. Accessed November 29, 2020. http://johnborstlap.com/brahms-the-progressive/.

Botstein, Leon. “Brahms and Nineteenth-Century Painting.” 19th-Century Music 14, no. 2. (1990): 154–168. https://doi.org/10.2307/746200.

Blagodatov, Georgiy. Istoriya simfonicheskogo orchestra. [The History of the Symphonic Orchestra.] Leningrad: Muzyka, 1969.

Burkholder, J. Peter. “Brahms and Twentieth-Century Classical Music.” 19th-Century Music 8, no. 1 (1984): 75–83. https://doi.org/10.2307/746255.

Carse, Adam. The History of Orchestration. New York, NY: Dover, 1964.

Chissell, Joan. “The symphonic Concerto: Schumann, Brahms and Dvořák.” In A Companion to the Concerto, edited by Robert Layton, 152–176. New York: Schirmer Books, 1988.

Gál, Hans. Johannes Brahms: His Work and Personality. Translated by Josef Stein. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1963.

Goulbault, Christian. Histoire de l’instrumentation et de l’orchestration: Du baroque à l’électronique. Paris: Minerve, 2017.

Grimes, Nicole. “The Schoenberg/Brahms Critical Tradition Reconsidered.” Music Analysis 31, no. 2 (2012): 127–175. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2249.2012.00342.x.

Grimes, Nicole. The Poetics of Loss in Nineteenth-Century German Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019.

Gurevich, Leonid. Istoriya orkestrovykh stiley. [The History of Orchestral Styles.] Moskva: Kompozitor, 1997.

Faux, Jeffrey J., and David C. Rayl. “Giving Patient Hope to the Exile: Rethinking Brahms’ ‘Requiem’.” The Choral Journal 54, no. 11 (2014): 18–31.

Frisch, Walter. “The ‘Brahms Fog’: On Analysing Brahmsian Influence At Fin de Siècle.” In Brahms and His World, edited by Walter Frisch, 117–136. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990. https://doi.org/10.1515/9781400833627.117.

Frisch, Walter. Brahms. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2004.

Fortunatov, Yuriy. Lektsii po istorii orkestrovkh stiley [Lectures on the History of Orchestral Styles], edited by Yelena Gordina and Olga Loseva. Moskva: MGK im. P. I. Tchay­kovskogo, 2004.

Fuller-Maitland, John A. “Brahms’ Orchestral Music.” The Musical Times 74, no. 1083 (1933): 401–406.

Haas, Michael. Forbidden Music: The Jewish Composers Banned by the Nazis. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013.

Horton, Julian. Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto, Op. 83: Analytical and Contextual Studies. Analysis in Context: Leuven Studies in Musicology, vol. 4. Leuven: Peeters, 2017.

Jacobson, Bernard. The Music of Johannes Brahms. London: Tantivy Press; Rutherford, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1977.

Knox, Ronald. “Brahms and His Religion.” Il Saggiatore musicale 22, no. 2 (2015): 215–249.

Kerman, Joseph. Concerto Conversations. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999.

Leibowitz, René, and Jan Maguire. Thinking for Orchestra. New York: Schirmer, 1960.

Leibowitz, René. Le Compositeur et son double. Paris: Gallimard, 1971.

Leistra-Jones, Karen. “Improvisational Idyll: Joachim’s “Presence” and Brahms’ Violin Concerto, Op. 77.” 19th-Century Music 38, no. 3 (2015): 243–271. https://doi.org/10.1525/ncm.2015.38.3.243.

Louvier, Alain, and Pierre Albert Castanet. L’orchestre. Paris: Combre, 1997.

Moore, Hilarie Clark. “The Structural Role of Orchestration in Brahms’ Music: A Study of the Third Symphony.” PhD dissertation, Yale University, 1991.

Musgrave, Michael. “Brahms the Progressive: Another View.” The Musical Times 124, no. 1683 (1983): 291–294. https://doi.org/10.2307/962911.

Musgrave, Michael. The Music of Brahms. London and Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1985.

Niemann, Walter. Brahms. Translated by Catherine Alison Phillips. New York: Cooper Square Publisher, 1969.

Notley, Margaret. “Plagal Harmony as Other: Asymmetrical Dualism and Instrumental Music by Brahms.” The Journal of Musicology 22, no. 1 (2005): 90–130. https://doi.org/10.1525/jm.2005.22.1.90.

Plantard, Bruno Marc. “Johannes Brahms: Finale de la Quatrième Symphonie : Vers une cinétique de la trajectoire.” Musurgia 4, no. 1 (1997): 25–41.

Platt, Heather. “Probing the Meaning of Brahms’ Allusions to Haydn.” International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 42, no. 1 (2011): 33–58.

Rakochi, Vadim. “‘L’orchestration mouvante’ du Concerto pour piano de Schumann: genèse et perspectives.” Acta Musicologica 92, no. 2 (2020): 135–159.

Rosen, Charles. “Brahms: Influence, Plagiarism, and Inspiration.” In Critical Entertainments: Music Old and New. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000.

Rostand, Claude. Brahms. Paris: Fayard, 1978.

Schoenberg, Arnold. Style and Idea. New York, NY: Philosophical Library. 1950.

Sholes, Jacquelyn. Allusion as Narrative Premise in Brahms’ Instrumental Music. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2018.

Schubert, Giselher. “Themes and Double Themes: The Problem of the Symphonic in Brahms.” 19th-Century Music 18, no. 1 (1994): 10–23. https://doi.org/10.2307/746599.

Schumann, Robert. “Das Clavier-Concert.” Neue Zeitschrift für Musik 10, no. 2 (1839): 5–7.

Sevsay, Ertugrul. The Cambridge Guide to Orchestration. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Steetle, Kathryn E. “Orchestrational Markedness and Its Effect on Form.” PhD dissertation, Florida State University, 2007.

Tsariova, Ekaterina. Brahms. Moskva: Muzika, 1986.

Vaillancourt, Michael. “Brahms’ “Sinfonie-Serenade” and the Politics of Genre.” The Journal of Musicology 26, no. 3 (2009): 379–403. https://doi.org/10.1525/jm.2009.26.3.379.

Vaillancourt, Michael. “Brahms and the Historical Sublime.” International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 46, no. 1 (2015): 73–94.

Walton, Chris. “Neo-Classical Opera.” In The Cambridge Companion to Twentieth-Century Opera, edited by Mervyn Cooke, 105–122. Cambridge Companions to Music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL9780521780094.008.

Woodhouse, Edward L. A. “The Music of Johannes Brahms in Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century England and an Assessment of His Reception and Influence on the Chamber and Orchestral Works of Charles Hubert Hastings Parry and Charles Villiers Stanford.” PhD dissertation, Durham University, 2012.




How to Cite

Rakochi, V. (2021). Orchestration as a Means of the Synthesis of Classical and Romantic Approaches in Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto. Musicological Annual, 57(1), 25–63. https://doi.org/10.4312/mz.57.1.25-63