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Brahms: String Sextets Nos. 1 & 2 / Jean Paul Trio


Notes & Reviews:

I was truly relieved to learn that you seem to be not entirely unsatisfied with my arrangement of your sextets. Indeed I put much work into them, but it is always a delicate matter when one senses the author's fine nose lurking in the background. You went through the proofs meticulously, as it seems, and it will thus be hard for me to find further printing errors. There are quite a few in the score (of the sextets)! Ah, well, even fools should find some enjoyment when they deal with them one hundred years from now. In my opinion, trio players will regard these two works as a welcome gift. That last 'prophetic' sentence by Theodor Kirchner - in an 1883 letter thanking Brahms for having praised his arrangements of his sextets - was unfortunately not fulfilled: these trio arrangements of all kinds: according ot general opinion, they are at odds with the current demand for 'historical authenticity'. Anyone who sets out to arrange a musical masterpiece is undoubtedly assuming an immense artistic responsibility. In the best of cases, an arrangement should not only permit other instruments to perform the original in a new setting, but it should illuminate certain aspects in a way the original could not. A truly well-achieved arrangement is thus also an act of interpretation that transforms its model to a certain extent. We, the two string players in the Jean Paul Trio, obviously knew an dloved Brahms's two string sextets from practical experience, having performed them frequently in their original scoring - how much greater was our surprise and fascination when all three of us discovered Theodor Kirchner's arrangements for piano trio! Not mere adaptations for a Hausmusik setting, they represent so much more: in our opinion, these are thoroughly ingenious elucidations of Brahms's string sextets..."


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