Brahms by Arrangement, Volume Two: Orchestrations by Robin Holloway

Catalogue No: TOCC0450
EAN/UPC: 5060113444509
Release Date: 2023-05-05
Composer: Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann, Robin Holloway
Artists: BBC Symphony Orchestra, Paul Mann

Composers who orchestrate the music of earlier colleagues often serve them best when they add something of themselves to the work in hand. These three orchestrations by the English composer Robin Holloway (b. 1943) demonstrate his profound understanding of and affection for two of the most important Romantic composers – and his re-imagining of Brahms’ Sonata for Two Pianos (which Brahms himself recast as his Piano Quintet) as a symphony gives one of the greatest of all compositions a wild and thrilling energy, making it also a masterpiece of our own age.

BBC Symphony Orchestra
Cellerina Park, leader
Paul Mann, conductor

Listen To This Recording:


    Variations on a Theme of Schumann, Op. 23, for piano duet (1861; orch. 2016)

  1. Theme: Andante, Leise und innig
  2. Variation 1: Pochino più mosso, delicato
  3. Variation 2: Più mosso –
  4. Variation 3: A tempo, grazioso –
  5. Variation 4: Misterioso
  6. Variation 5: Grazioso con moto –
  7. Variation 6: Alla marcia
  8. Variation 7: Allegro leggiero
  9. Variation 8: Andante con moto ardente
  10. Variation 9: Maestoso –
  11. Variation 10: Alla marcia, poco lento
  12. Epilogue

    Six Canonic Studies, Op. 56 (1845; arr. for two pianos by Debussy, 1891; orch. 2011)

  14. No. 1: Con moto egual’e dolce
  15. No. 2: Gently lilting, flowing
  16. No. 3: A tempo, andantino piacevole teneramente
  17. No. 4: Con moto amabile: supple and airy
  18. No. 5: Vivace
  19. No. 6: Andante serioso
  20. BRAHMS

    Symphony in F minor, Op. 34 (1864; orch. 2008) (after the Sonata for Two Pianos, Op. 34a)

  21. I Allegro non troppo
  22. II Andante
  23. III Scherzo: Allegro – Trio
  24. IV Finale. Poco sostenuto – Allegro commodo


1 review for Brahms by Arrangement, Volume Two: Orchestrations by Robin Holloway

  1. :

    ‘This is the main work here [Symphony in F minor after the Sonata for Two Pianos Op. 34a] and I want to say straightaway that, like the Schoenberg orchestration, it sounds marvellous. […] All the power and passion of the work come across.

    Here he [Paul Mann] leads the BBC Symphony Orchestra, whose expertise with unfamiliar scores needs no stressing. The recording is good and the sleeve note, from which I have drawn, helpful. Brahmsians who are not averse to transcriptions should explore this.’

    —Stephen Barber, MusicWeb International

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