Johannes Brahms’ Intermezzo in A Major, Op. 118, No. 2 pulls us into a world of dreamy nostalgia, quiet longing, and majestic, serene beauty. It comes from the set of Six Piano Pieces (Klavierstücke), Op. 118 from Brahms’ “autumnal” late period.
Listen to the way those unlikely first three notes set the entire piece in motion. As it unfolds and develops, you may sense that the music is “searching” for a way forward, attempting to find just the “right” note. Around the 1:06 mark, you’ll hear the opening motive return in the bass. The expansive middle section offers new adventures. As this section fades away, listen to the magical way we find our way back home to the original music.
Here is Stephen Kovacevich’s 1981 recording:
- Brahms: Six Piano Pieces, Op. 118, Stephen Kovacevich iTunes