Johannes Brahms

Intermezzo for piano in A major, Op. 118/2

    Description by Robert Cummings

    Brahms' Opp. 116 through 119 are all devoted to the solo piano realm and are made up of 20 pieces, his last forays in the genre. This Intermezzo in A major is one of his longer and more profound efforts from these sets. It is also one of the loveliest piano pieces Brahms produced from any period.

    It begins with one of those quirky Brahmsian melodies: while one might well assert its flowing lyricism and serene manner would be equally at home in the lieder genre, its harmonic quirkiness -- masterly quirkiness, albeit -- would strongly test that contention, and the graceful but peculiar leap that comes on the sixth note of the main theme is clearly better suited to the keyboard realm. That said, the music, especially in the outer sections, is still songful and lushly Romantic, its main lines flowing and stately, its harmonies warm in their shifting and ever-imaginative turns. The middle section features another lovely theme, but its mood divulges a measure of tension, if not agitation, as it progresses less assuredly. Yet, before the music can erupt or turn darker, it yields back to the lovely main theme. This six-minute work will have appeal even to listeners whose tastes generally stand outside the borders of Romantic and post-Romantic music.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 A Life of Music Records
    2016 Centaur Records CRC 3457
    2016 Aca Digital CM 20125
    2016 Blue Griffin Recording BG 387
    2016 Skylark Music SKY 0702
    2015 DG Deutsche Grammophon 4794350
    2015 Somerset 63266
    2015 Sony Classical 88875032222
    2015 MSR Classics MS 1502
    2015 ABC Classics 4811633
    2015 Soundset SR 1058
    2015 Steinway & Sons STNS 30051
    2015 ABC Classics ABC 4812222
    2015 ABC Classics ABC 4812226
    2014 Eigenart 10480
    2014 Estonian Record Productions ERP 7513
    2014 Denon Records
    2014 SLG Records
    2014 Calliope CAL 1418
    2014 ABC Classics ABC 4810773
    2014 Sounds True JL 03974D
    2014 Innova 889
    2013 Dux Records DUX 0902
    2013 Lifescapes Music 61028
    2013 K-Tel 86624
    2013 Sounds True 820605
    2012 Berlin Classics 0300344BC
    2012 Sony Classical 88725412902
    2012 Chandos CHAN 10716
    2012 Decca
    2012 Decca B001752902
    2011 Universal Classics & Jazz
    2011 RCA Red Seal 886919369120
    2011 Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler 9063
    2011 Sony Music 88697915022
    2011 Foghorn Classics CD 2006
    2010 Delta / Zebralution
    2010 Pauline Park
    2010 Sony Classics / Sony Music Distribution 61878
    2010 Champs Hill Records 11
    2010 Naxos 8578075-76
    2010 Green Hill / Spring Hill Music 5719
    2010 Denon Records
    2010 ABC Classics 4764072
    2010 ABC Classics 4764025
    2009 Regis Records 1302
    2009 Sony Classical Essential Classics 7572992
    2009 Brilliant Classics 8909
    2009 Connoisseur Society 4260
    2008 Sounds True 351324
    2008 The Gift of Music 1193
    2008 Denon Records 17683
    2008 Radiance Records 17681
    2008 Claves 2713/18
    2007 Bridge 9226
    2007 Pacific Music Marketing 184
    2007 Sony Classical / Sony/BMG Classics 88697147602
    2007 RCA Victor Red Seal / RCA Red Seal 11322
    2007 Rca Red Seal 17051
    2007 RCA Victor Red Seal / RCA Red Seal 17052
    2007 Jim Hendricks
    2007 Classic Mania 93320
    2007 Delta Distribution 18254
    2007 Decca / Universal Distribution 174927
    2007 Decca 000991002
    2007 Vista Vera 72
    2007 Decca
    2006 Brilliant Classics 92230
    2006 Jeff Vidov 2006-01
    2006 Brilliant Classics 92235
    2006 Classical Masterworks 105524
    2006 Sony Music Distribution 82849
    2006 DG Deutsche Grammophon 2894776156
    2005 Capitol/Liberty / Liberty 34410
    2005 Direct Source / Direct Source Special 63966
    2005 K-Tel Distribution 3963
    2005 Direct Source 12002
    2005 Direct Source 3962
    2005 Denon Records 17460
    2005 Naxos 8558155-56
    2005 Direct Source 4437
    2005 CD Baby / Stephanie Trick 3740
    2005 Delta Distribution 16322
    2005 Style Records 45022
    2005 Direct Source / Direct Source Special 44332
    2005 Resonance R202
    2004 EMI Music Distribution 585837-2
    2004 Radiance 2 / SLG Records 17417
    2004 Brilliant 92365
    2004 Brilliant 92397
    2003 Sony Classical 90538
    2003 Direct Source 1645
    2003 Delta Distribution 40023
    2003 Delta Distribution 40040
    2003 BMG 82876571402
    2002 Sony Music Distribution 87859
    2002 Arabesque 6761
    2001 Direct Source / Direct Source Special 61132
    2001 Centaur Records 2813
    2001 Direct Source 9065
    2001 Aca Digital 20061
    2001 Garden City Music 34587
    2001 Brilliant Classics 99382
    2001 Spring Hill Music 025
    2001 Rca Red Seal 63010
    2001 Rca Red Seal 63064
    2001 Direct Source 60641
    2001 Laserlight 24998
    2001 DG Deutsche Grammophon
    2000 Delos 1618
    2000 Direct Source 3441
    2000 Pamplin Music 2098
    2000 Classicworks 6610
    2000 Direct Source 6618
    2000 Direct Source 6245
    2000 Capriccio Records 491736
    2000 RCA 63674
    2000 Direct Source 30692
    2000 RCA 51366
    2000 Direct Source 6604
    2000 Direct Source 6180
    1999 RCA Victor Red Seal 63566
    1999 RCA Red Seal 63000
    1999 Pearl 9385
    1998 VAI Audio 1156
    1998 Eroica Distribution 3008
    1998 Music & Arts 1031
    1997 Aca Digital 20059
    1997 Delos 3230
    1997 ABC Classics 456366
    1996 Philips 454149
    1996 Four Winds 3002
    1996 Laserlight 15844
    1996 Laserlight 14227
    1996 Classic Digital 1002
    1995 Windham Hill Records 11171
    1994 DG Deutsche Grammophon 445771
    1994 Pure & Simple 9009
    1992 DG Deutsche Grammophon 437460
    1992 Chandos 8467
    1988 London 417751
    Royal Over-Seas League 2005
    Horacio Nuguid
    Spice Rack Records 10101
    IMP Classics 1041
    Direct Source 13322
    Capriccio Records 491750
    Direct Source 16342
    Time/Life Music 13614
    The Gift of Music 1188
    Eroica Classical Recordings 3443
    VenCap International 40516
    Hanna Song
    Blipswitch Digital
    No Labels
    Pearl 0105
    Laserlight 35601
    Direct Source 16412
    Music & Arts 1070
    Teldec Classics 246007
    Intersound 1428
    Town Hall 29
    Laserlight 14681
    Sanctuary 3001
    Susan Rose 027682
    Susan Rose 000
    ABC Classics 4763384
    CBS Masterworks 42107
    The Gift of Music 1009
    Hangar 21
    Decca 467439
    Liana Lam Loo