Joseph Joachim (Hungarian: Joachim József, 28 June 1831 – 15 August 1907) was a Hungarian violinist, conductor, composer and teacher. A close collaborator of Johannes Brahms, he is widely regarded as one of the most significant violinists of the 19th century.
Joseph Joachim was born in Köpcsény, Moson County, Kingdom of Hungary (present-day Kittsee in Burgenland, Austria). He was the seventh of eight children born to Julius, a wool merchant, and Fanny Joachim, who were of Hungarian Jewish origin. His infancy was spent as a member of the Kittsee Kehilla (Jewish community), one of Hungary's prominent Siebengemeinden ('Seven Communities') under the protectorate of the Esterházy family. He was a first cousin of Fanny Wittgenstein, née Figdor, the mother of Karl Wittgenstein and the grandmother of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein and the pianist Paul Wittgenstein.
In 1833 his family moved to Pest, which in 1873 was united with Buda and Óbuda to form Budapest. There from 1836 (age 5) he studied violin with the Polish violinist Stanisław Serwaczyński, the concertmaster of the opera in Pest, said to be the best violinist in Pest. Although Joachim's parents were "not particularly well off", they had been well advised to choose not just an "ordinary" violin teacher. Joachim's first public performance was 17 March 1839 when he was of age 7. (Serwaczyński later moved back to Lublin, Poland, where he taught Wieniawski.) In 1839, Joachim continued his studies at the Vienna Conservatory (briefly with Miska Hauser and Georg Hellmesberger, Sr.; finally – and most significantly – with Joseph Böhm, who introduced him to the world of chamber music). In 1843 he was taken by his cousin, Fanny Figdor, who later married "a Leipzig merchant" named Wittgenstein, to live and study in Leipzig. In the journal Neue Zeitschrift fůr Musik Robert Schumann was highly enthusiastic about Felix Mendelssohn, on which Moser writes "Only in Haydn's admiration for Mozart does the history of music know a parallel case of such ungrudging veneration of one great artist for his equal." in 1835, Mendelssohn had become director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestra. In 1843 Joachim became a protégé of Mendelssohn, who arranged for him to study theory and composition with Moritz Hauptmann at the Leipzig Conservatory. In his début performance in the Gewandhaus Joachim played the Otello Fantasy by Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst.
On 27 May 1844 Joachim, at the age not quite 13, in his London debut with Mendelssohn conducting at a concert of the Philharmonic Society, played the solo part in Beethoven's violin concerto. This was a triumph in several respects, as described by R. W. Eshbach. The Philharmonic had a policy against performers so young, but an exception was made after auditions persuaded gatherings of distinguished musicians and music lovers that Joachim had mature capabilities. Despite Beethoven's recognition as one of the greatest composers, and the ranking nowadays of his violin concerto as among the greatest few, it was far from being so ranked before Joachim's performance. Ludwig Spohr had harshly criticized it, and after the London premiere by violinist Edward Eliason, a critic had said it "might have been written by any third or fourth rate composer." But Joachim was very well prepared to play Beethoven's concerto, having written his own cadenzas for it and memorized the piece. The audience anticipated great things, having got word from the rehearsal, and so, Mendelssohn wrote, "frenetic applause began" as soon as Joachim stepped in front of the orchestra. The beginning was applauded still more, and "cheers of the audience accompanied every ... part of the concerto." Reviewers also had high praise. One for 'The Musical World' wrote "The greatest violinists hold this concerto in awe ... Young Joachim ... attacked it with the vigour and determination of the most accomplished artist ... no master could have read it better," and the two cadenzas, written by Joachim, were "tremendous feats ... ingeniously composed". Another reviewer, for the 'Illustrated London News', wrote that Joachim "is perhaps the first violin player, not only of his age, but of his siècle" [century]. "He performed Beethoven's solitary concerto, which we have heard all the great performers of the last twenty years attempt, and invariably fail in ... its performance was an eloquent vindication of the master-spirit who imagined it." A third reviewer, for the 'Morning Post', wrote that the concerto "has been generally regarded by violin-players as not a proper and effective development of the powers of their instrument" but that Joachim's performance "is beyond all praise, and defies all description" and "was altogether unprecedented." Joachim remained a favorite with the English public for the rest of his career. He visited England in each year 1858, 1859, 1862, and for several decades thereafter.
Moser (p. 28 ff.) writes "After the appearance of the six String Quartets (Op. 18) Beethoven had complete command of the field of chamber-music", although in the later quartets he "makes many exacting demands" of string players. Moser (p. 29) further writes that "at the time of Beethoven's death", such people as Spohr and Hauptmann did not necessarily esteem the late quartets above the earliest ones. Moser, p. 30 writes that in Vienna "the public showed a marked hostility toward" the late quartets. But Joachim's teacher Bohm had an appreciation of the late quartets, which he communicated to Joachim. At the age of 18, "in the whole of Germany" Joachim had no equal, either in the rendering of Bach or in the concertos of Beethoven and Mendelssohn; while as quartet player, "he had no cause to fear rivalry."
Following Mendelssohn's death in 1847, Joachim stayed briefly in Leipzig, teaching at the Conservatorium and playing on the first desk of the Gewandhaus Orchestra with Ferdinand David, whom Mendelssohn had appointed as concertmaster on taking up the conductorship in 1835.
In 1848, the pianist and composer Franz Liszt took up residence in Weimar, where Goethe and Schiller had lived. Liszt was determined to re-establish the town's reputation as the Athens of Germany. There, he gathered a circle of young avant-garde disciples, vocally opposed to the conservatism of the Leipzig circle. Joachim was amongst the first of these. He served Liszt as concertmaster, and for several years enthusiastically embraced the new "psychological music," as he called it. In 1852 he moved to Hanover, at the same time dissociating himself from the musical ideals of the 'New German School' (Liszt, Richard Wagner, Hector Berlioz, and their followers, as defined by journalist Franz Brendel). "The worship of Wagner's music permeating musical taste in Weimar was to Joachim inordinate and unacceptable." Joachim's break with Liszt became final in August 1857, when he wrote to his former mentor: "I am completely out of sympathy with your music; it contradicts everything which from early youth I have taken as mental nourishment from the spirit of our great masters." Hanover "was then an independent kingdom, later to be absorbed in the German empire." King Georg of Hanover was totally blind and very fond of music; he paid Joachim a good salary and gave him considerable freedom. Joachim's duties in Hanover included playing the main violin part in opera performances and that or conducting state concerts. He had five summer months off, in which he made concert tours around Europe. In March 1853 he sent to Liszt a copy of the Overture to Hamlet he had recently composed.
Also in 1853, a committee headed by Schumann invited Joachim to the Lower Rhine Music Festival. At the Festival, Joachim again soloed in the Beethoven violin concerto. His success made him, it is said, "the most renowned artist of Germany". Robert Schumann and his wife Clara were deeply impressed, and formed a "close connection" with Joachim. Joachim met the then publicly unknown 20-year-old Brahms, and wrote of him that his playing "shows the intense fire...which predicts the artist" and "his compositions already betoken such power as I have seen in no other musician of his age". Joachim strongly recommended Brahms to Robert. Brahms was received by the Schumanns with great enthusiasm. After Robert's mental breakdown in 1854 and death in 1856, Joachim, Clara, and Brahms remained lifelong friends and shared musical views. Joachim's performing style with the violin, like Clara's at the piano, is said to have been "restrained, pure, antivirtuosic, expressing the music rather than the performer."
In December 1854, Joachim visited Robert at the Endenich asylum where he had been since February, Joachim being his first visitor. Early on, Brahms already played and composed for the piano, which "he had mastered in a supreme fashion", but he felt deficient in orchestration. In 1854 he began composing what was to become his first piano concerto, his first orchestral piece. He sent a score of the first movement to Joachim, requesting his advice. After getting Joachim's response, Brahms wrote to him "A thousand thanks for having studied the first movement in such a sympathetic and careful manner. I have learned a great deal from your remarks. As a musician I really have no greater wish than to have more talent so that I can learn still more from such a friend." Later in the composition of the concerto, which took four years, Brahms wrote to Joachim "I am sending you the rondo once more. And just like the last time, I beg for some really severe criticism." The final manuscript of the concerto "shows many alterations in the handwriting of Joachim".
Joachim's time in Hanover was his most prolific period of composition. Then and during the rest of his career, he frequently performed with Clara Schumann. For example, in October–November 1857 they took a recital tour together to Dresden, Leipzig, and Munich. St. James's Hall, London, which opened in 1858, hosted a series of "Popular Concerts" of chamber music, of which programmes from 1867 through 1904 are preserved. Joachim appears a great many times. He visited London each year from 1866 on. In March 1898 and in 1901–1904 Joachim appeared in his own quartet of players, but otherwise far more often he appeared with resident Popular Concerts artists Louis Ries, second violin, J. B. Zerbini, first viola, and Alfredo Piatti, first cello, reputed to be "one of the most celebrated cellists" of the time. George Bernard Shaw wrote that the Popular Concerts had helped greatly to spread and enlighten musical taste in England. Joachim had been a mainstay of the chamber music Popular Concerts.
At 18 of the Popular Concerts at least, Clara Schumann performed along with Joachim, Zerbini and Piatti, presumably playing piano quartets (without second violin), or sometimes piano trios (for piano, violin, and cello). (The programs of those concerts very likely also included string quartets in which she of course did not play, as Ries is also listed.) A favorite piece of Clara's was Brahms's Piano Quartet in A major. She wrote to Brahms 27 February 1882 from London that the piece had received "much applause". About a performance of it in Liverpool 11 February she had written in her diary that it was "warmly received, much to my surprise as the public here is far less receptive than that in London." In January 1867 there had been a tour to Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland, by Joachim, Clara, her oldest daughter Marie, Ries, Zerbini, Piatti, two English sisters "Miss Pyne," one a singer, and a Mr. Saunders who managed all the arrangements. Marie Schumann wrote home from Manchester that in Edinburgh Clara "was received with tempestuous applause and had to give an encore, so had Joachim. Piatti, too, is always tremendously liked."
Joachim had extensive correspondence with both Clara and Brahms, as Brahms greatly valued Joachim's opinion of his new compositions. In 1860 Brahms and Joachim jointly wrote a manifesto against the "progressive" music of the 'New German' School, in reaction to the polemics of Brendel's Neue Zeitschrift für Musik. This manifesto, a volley in the War of the Romantics, had originally few (four) signers (more later) and met with a mixed reception, being heavily derided by followers of Wagner.
On 10 May 1863 Joachim married the contralto Amalie Schneeweiss (stage name: Amalie Weiss) (1839–99). Amalie gave up her own promising career as an opera singer and gave birth to six children. She continued to perform in oratorios and to give lieder recitals. In 1865 Joachim quit the service of the King of Hanover in protest, when the Intendant (artistic director) of the Opera refused to advance one of the orchestral players (Jakob Grün) because of the latter's Jewish birth. In 1866, as a result of the Austro-Prussian war, in which Prussia and its capital Berlin became the dominant German state and city, Joachim moved to Berlin, where he was invited to help found, and to become the first director of, a new department of the Royal Academy of Music, concerned with musical performance and called the Hochschule für ausübende Tonkunst.
On Good Friday, 10 April 1868, Joachim and his wife joined their friend, Johannes Brahms, in the celebration of one of Brahms' greatest triumphs, the first complete performance of his German Requiem at the Bremen Cathedral. Amalie Joachim sang "I Know that My Redeemer Liveth" and Joseph Joachim played Robert Schumann's Abendlied. It was a glorious occasion, after which about 100 of the composer's friends, the Joachims, Clara Schumann, Albert Dietrich and his wife, Max Bruch and others gathered at the Bremen Rathskeller.
In 1869, the Joachim String Quartet was formed, which quickly gained a reputation as Europe's finest. It continued to perform until Joachim's death in 1907. Other members of the Quartet were, Karel Halíř (2nd violin) from 1897 on; Emanuel Wirth (viola) from 1877 on; and Robert Hausmann (cello), from 1879 on. In 1878 while writing his violin concerto, Brahms consulted Joachim, who "freely gave him encouragement and technical advice". Brahms asked Joachim to write the cadenza for the concerto, as he did.
In 1884, Joachim and his wife separated after he became convinced that she was having an affair with the publisher Fritz Simrock. Brahms, certain that Joachim's suspicions were groundless, wrote a sympathetic letter to Amalie, which she later produced as evidence in Joachim's divorce proceeding against her. This led to a cooling of Brahms' and Joachim's friendship, which was not restored until some years later, when Brahms composed the Double Concerto in A minor for violin and cello, Op. 102, 1887, as a peace offering to his old friend. It was co-dedicated to the first performers, Joachim and Robert Hausmann.
In late 1895 both Brahms and Joachim were present at the opening of the new Tonhalle at Zürich, Switzerland; Brahms conducted and Joachim was assistant conductor. But in April, two years later, Joachim was to lose forever this revered friend, as Johannes Brahms died at the age of 64 at Vienna. At Meiningen, in December 1899, it was Joachim who made the speech when a statue to Brahms was unveiled.
In March 1877, Joachim received an honorary Doctorate of Music from Cambridge University. For the occasion he presented his Overture in honor of Kleist, Op. 13. Near the 50th anniversary of Joachim's debut recital, he was honored by "friends and admirers in England" on 16 April 1889 who presented him with "an exceptionally fine" violin made in 1715 by Antonio Stradivari, called "Il Cremonese". About ten years later, for the sixtieth jubilee, a concert in honor of Joachim was given by his former students of violin and viola playing and cellists who had studied quartet playing with him, on 22 April 1899. The total of some 140 string players was impressive, as were their instruments (made by Stradivari, Guarneri, Bergonzi, Amati, etc.). An honor such as that concert "had been accorded to no other musician during his lifetime".
In Berlin, on 17 August 1903, Joachim recorded five sides for The Gramophone & Typewriter Ltd (G&T), which remain a fascinating and valuable source of information about 19th-century styles of violin playing. He is the earliest violinist of distinction known to have recorded, only to be followed soon thereafter when Sarasate made some recordings the following year.
Joachim's portrait was twice painted by Philip de László. A portrait of Joachim was painted by John Singer Sargent and presented to him at the 1904 "Diamond Jubilee" celebration of his sixtieth anniversary of his first appearance in London. Joachim remained in Berlin until his death in 1907.
At his 75th birthday observance in June 1906, Joachim said
The Germans have four violin concertos. The greatest, most uncompromising is Beethoven's. The one by Brahms vies with it in seriousness. The richest, the most seductive, was written by Max Bruch. But the most inward, the heart's jewel, is Mendelssohn's.
Among the most notable of Joachim's achievements were his revival of Beethoven's violin concerto already mentioned, the revival of Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, BWV 1001–1006, especially the Chaconne from the Partita No. 2, BWV 1004, and of Beethoven's late string quartets. Joachim was the second violinist, after Ferdinand David, to play Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor, which he studied with the composer. Joachim played a pivotal role in the career of Brahms, and remained a tireless advocate of Brahms's compositions through all the vicissitudes of their friendship. He conducted the English premiere of Brahms's Symphony No. 1 in C minor at Cambridge on 8 March 1877, on the same day that he received a D. Mus. degree there (Brahms had declined an invitation to go to England himself).
A number of Joachim's composer colleagues, including Schumann, Brahms, Bruch, and Dvořák, composed concerti with Joachim in mind, many of which entered the standard repertory. Nevertheless, Joachim's solo repertoire remained relatively restricted. He never performed Schumann's Violin Concerto in D minor, which Schumann wrote especially for him, or Dvořák's Violin Concerto in A minor, although Dvořák had earnestly solicited his advice about the piece, dedicated it to him, and would have liked him to premiere it. The most unusual work written for Joachim was the F-A-E Sonata, a collaboration between Schumann, Brahms, and Albert Dietrich, based upon the initials of Joachim's motto, Frei aber Einsam (which can be translated as "free but lonely", "free but alone", or "free but solitary"). Although the sonata is rarely performed in its entirety, the third movement, the Scherzo in C minor, composed by Brahms, is still frequently played today.
Joachim's own compositions are less well known. He gave opus numbers to 14 compositions and composed about an equal number of pieces without opus numbers. Among his compositions are various works for the violin (including three concerti) and overtures to Shakespeare's Hamlet and Henry IV. He also wrote cadenzas for a number of other composers' concerti (including the Beethoven and Brahms concerti). His most highly regarded composition is his Hungarian concerto (Violin Concerto No 2 in D minor, Op. 11).
Fuller-Maitland, p. 56, lists the 14 pieces with opus numbers, not necessarily with the same details as below. On p. 57 he lists 6 of the 14 pieces given here as WoO, plus the orchestration of the Schubert Grand Duo and the Beethoven and Brahms concerto cadenzas.
Original pressings are single-sided and have a flat red G&T label. Later reeditions have a black G&T label (or, from 1909, a label showing the 'His Master's Voice' trade-mark), and those made for the German market are double-sided.
A letter preserved in the EMI archives records the stringent conditions Joachim expected for the publicity for his recordings: sensational adverts were to be avoided, with no comparisons between his art and that of other violinists. The letter also stated that "it was only with the greatest difficulty that Professor Joachim was induced to play".
Other pupils may be mentioned by Wilhelm Joseph von Wasielewski in his "Die Violine und Ihre Meister."
Most, but not all, of the many violins (and two violas) Joachim is said to have had during his career are shown on the website of Tarisio Auctions, cozio.com. Further information, in German, is in the article by Kamlah (2013).
Albert Hermann Dietrich (28 August 1829 – 20 November 1908), was a German composer and conductor, remembered less for his own achievements than for his friendship with Johannes Brahms.
Dietrich was born at Golk, near Meissen. From 1851 he studied composition with Robert Schumann in Düsseldorf, where in October 1853 he first met Brahms and collaborated with Schumann and Brahms on the 'F-A-E' Sonata for Joseph Joachim (Dietrich composed the substantial first movement). From 1861 until 1890 he was the musical director at the court of Oldenburg, where Brahms often visited him and where he introduced many of Brahms’s works. It was in Dietrich’s library that Brahms discovered the volume of poetry by Hölderlin that furnished him with the text for his Schicksalslied, which he began composing while visiting Wilhelmshaven dockyard in Dietrich’s company. Dietrich was also instrumental in arranging for the premiere of Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem at Bremen in 1868. Dietrich’s own works include an opera Robin Hood, a Symphony in D minor (1869, dedicated to Brahms), a Violin Concerto in the same key (composed for Joseph Joachim but premiered in 1874 by Johann Lauterbach), a Cello Concerto, Horn Concerto, choral works and several chamber compositions including two piano trios.
Dietrich's Recollections of Brahms, published in Leipzig in 1898, was translated into English the following year and remains an important biographical source. The Brahms scholar David Brodbeck has theorized (The Cambridge Companion to Brahms, 1999) that Dietrich is the most likely author of the anonymous Piano Trio in A major, discovered in 1924, which some scholars have attributed to Brahms; but Malcolm MacDonald (Brahms, 2nd ed, 2001) has maintained that, if any specific composer is to be sought for this work, Brahms remains the more likely candidate on balance of stylistic probabilities.
Albert Dietrich died in Berlin. One of his students was Ernst Eduard Taubert.Amalie Joachim
Amalie Joachim, née Schneeweiss (10 May 1839 – 3 February 1899) was an Austrian-German contralto, working in opera and concert and as voice teacher. She was the wife of the violinist Joseph Joachim, and a friend of Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms, with whom she made international tours.Beethoven Quartet Society
The Beethoven Quartet Society was a musical society established in 1845 in London, England dedicated to the String quartets of Ludwig van Beethoven.
The society was established by Thomas Massa Alsager (1779–1846). Its establishment was encouraged by Alsager's "Queen Square Select Society" and John Ella's Musical Union. The Beethoven Quartet Society was based at the Beethoven Rooms at 76 Harley Street, London. Concerts were given under the title "Honour to Beethoven", and included works by other composers. One of its express aims was to study the late quartets from score. After Alsager's death in 1846 French cellist Scipion Rousselot directed the society. Violist Henry Hill (1837–1856) undertook writing the programme notes.
The society were the first to present a performance of the complete cycle of the Beethoven string quartets, running from April 21, 1845 and June 16, 1845, with Camillo Sivori, Prosper Sainton, Henry Hill and Scipion Rousselot.
Other musicians, who played at the society's concerts, include Joseph Joachim, Henryk Wieniawski (both as violinist and violist), Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst, Alfredo Piatti, Louis Ries, William Sterndale Bennett and Ludwig Strauss.
One particular line-up during the 1850s was noted by Joachim's biographer Andreas Moser with Joachim and Ernst playing the violin, Wieniawski the viola, and Piatti the cello. This, however, is highly unlikely since Wieniawski first visited England in 1859 and Ernst's last stay dates from 1858 or even 1856.Hector Berlioz attended at least one of the society's concerts at the "New Beethoven Room" (at the building at 27 Queen Anne Street, where Berlioz lived) and this made enough of an impression to mention it in his book Evenings with the Orchestra.Brahms-Institut
Brahms-Institut acquired the largest private collection of Johannes Brahms engravings, manuscripts and first and early prints in 1990. In addition to Brahms, the focus is on Robert and Clara Schumann, Theodor Kirchner, Joseph Joachim, and some lesser known performers and composers of the era. In addition to music manuscripts, the collection also includes correspondence, photos, and drawings.Cello Sonata No. 2 (Brahms)
The Cello Sonata No. 2 in F major, Op. 99, was written by Johannes Brahms in 1886, more than twenty years after completing his Sonata No. 1. It was first published in 1887. It was written for, dedicated to and first performed by Robert Hausmann, who had popularised the First Sonata, and who would the following year be given the honour of premiering the Double Concerto in A minor with Joseph Joachim.Clara Schumann
Clara Schumann (; née Clara Josephine Wieck; 13 September 1819 – 20 May 1896) was a German musician and composer, considered one of the most distinguished composers and pianists of the Romantic era. She exerted her influence over a 61-year concert career, changing the format and repertoire of the piano recital, while also having composed a body of work including various piano concertos, chamber works, and choral pieces. She was married to composer Robert Schumann, and together they encouraged and maintained a close relationship with Johannes Brahms. She was the first to perform publicly any work by Brahms, notably the Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel. She was also an influential piano educator at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt.F-A-E Sonata
The F-A-E Sonata, a four-movement work for violin and piano, is a collaborative musical work by three composers: Robert Schumann, the young Johannes Brahms, and Schumann's pupil Albert Dietrich. It was composed in Düsseldorf in October 1853.
The sonata was Schumann's idea as a gift and tribute to violinist Joseph Joachim, whom the three composers had recently befriended. Joachim had adopted the Romantic German phrase "Frei aber einsam" ("free but lonely") as his personal motto. The composition's movements are all based on the musical notes F-A-E, the motto's initials, as a musical cryptogram.
Schumann assigned each movement to one of the composers. Dietrich wrote the substantial first movement in sonata form. Schumann followed with a short Intermezzo as the second movement. The Scherzo was by Brahms, who had already proven himself a master of this form in his E flat minor Scherzo for piano and the scherzi in his first two piano sonatas. Schumann provided the finale.
Schumann penned the following dedication on the original score: "F.A.E.: In Erwartung der Ankunft des verehrten und geliebten Freundes JOSEPH JOACHIM schrieben diese Sonate R.S., J.B., A.D." ("F.A.E.: In expectation of the arrival of their revered and beloved friend, Joseph Joachim, this sonata was written by R.S., J.B., A.D.").The composers presented the score to Joachim on 28 October at a soirée in the Schumann household, which Bettina von Arnim and her daughter Gisela also attended. The composers challenged Joachim to determine who composed each movement. Joachim played the work that evening, with Clara Schumann at the piano. Joachim identified each movement's author with ease.The complete work was not published during the composers' lifetimes. Schumann incorporated his two movements into his Violin Sonata No. 3. Joachim retained the original manuscript, from which he allowed only Brahms's Scherzo to be published in 1906, nearly ten years after Brahms's death. Whether Dietrich made any further use of his sonata-allegro is not known. The complete sonata was first published in 1935.
All three composers also wrote violin concerti for Joachim. Schumann's was completed on 3 October 1853, just before the F-A-E Sonata was begun. Joachim never performed it, unlike the concertos of Brahms and Dietrich.
Steven Isserlis, the English cellist and Schumann aficionado, has transcribed the F-A-E Sonata for cello and piano.Jenő Hubay
Jenő Hubay, Jenő Hubay von Szalatna, Hungarian: szalatnai Hubay Jenő (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈjɛnøː ˈhubɒi]; 15 September 1858 – 12 March 1937), also known by his German name Eugen Huber (pronounced [ˈɔʏɡeːn ˈhuːbɐ]), was a Hungarian violinist, composer and music teacher.Joachim Raff
Joseph Joachim Raff (27 May 1822 – 24 or 25 June 1882) was a German-Swiss composer, teacher and pianist.Leopold Auer
Leopold von Auer (Hungarian: 'Auer Lipót'; June 7, 1845 – July 15, 1930) was a Hungarian violinist, academic, conductor and composer, best known as an outstanding violin teacher.Maud Powell
Minnie "Maud" Powell (August 22, 1867 – January 8, 1920) was an American violinist who gained international acclaim for her skill and virtuosity.Piano Sonata No. 1 (Brahms)
The Piano Sonata No. 1 in C major, Op. 1, of Johannes Brahms was written in Hamburg in 1853, and published later that year. Despite being his first published work, he had actually composed his Piano Sonata No. 2 first, but chose this work to be his first published opus because he felt that it was of higher quality. The piece was sent along with his second sonata to Breitkopf & Härtel with a letter of recommendation from Robert Schumann. Schumann had already praised Brahms enthusiastically, and the sonata shows signs of an effort to impress in its technical demands and dramatic character. It was dedicated to Joseph Joachim.
The sonata is in four movements:
The first movement is in conventional sonata form with a repeated exposition. The opening of the first theme resembles the opening of Beethoven's "Hammerklavier" Sonata. The second movement is a theme and variations inspired by the song Verstohlen geht der Mond auf. Brahms was to rewrite it for female chorus in 1859 (WoO 38/20). The third movement is a scherzo and trio. The fourth is a loose rondo whose theme is noticeably changed at every recurrence. The form of the rondo is a palindrome ABACACABA.String Quartet No. 2 (Nielsen)
Carl Nielsen's String Quartet No. 2 in F minor or Quartet for Two Violins, Viola and Cello in F minor, Opus 5, was composed in 1890, partly in Denmark but mostly in Germany where the composer was travelling on a stipend. The second of Nielsen's four string quartets in the official series, it was first performed privately for Joseph Joachim on 18 November 1890 at the Hochschule für Ausübende Tonkunst in Berlin.String Quartet No. 6 (Mendelssohn)
The String Quartet No. 6 in F minor, Op. 80 was composed by Felix Mendelssohn in 1847. It was the last major piece he completed before he died two months later on 4 November 1847. He composed the piece as an homage to his sister Fanny who had died on 17 May of that year and it bore the title "Requiem for Fanny."
The quartet was first heard in private on 5 October 1847 in the presence of Ignaz Moscheles. The first public performance was on 4 November 1848 in Leipzig with Joseph Joachim playing the violin. The score was published in 1850 by Breitkopf & Härtel. The original manuscript is in the Jagiellonian Library in Kraków, Poland.String Sextet No. 1 (Brahms)
The String Sextet No. 1 in B♭ major, Op. 18, was composed in 1860 by Johannes Brahms and premiered in Hanover by an ensemble led by Joseph Joachim. It was published in 1862 by the firm of Fritz Simrock.
The sextet is scored for two violins, two violas, and two cellos.
The sextet has four movements:
The outlines of the main themes of the first movement and finale are similar (the first four notes of the cello theme of the first movement are almost identical with those of notes two to five of the finale, and there are other similarities more easily heard).
In the same year of its composition, Brahms transcribed the second movement for solo piano, dedicating the arrangement to Clara Schumann.Theodore Spiering
Theodore Bernays Spiering (September 5, 1871 – August 11, 1925) was an American violinist, conductor and teacher.
Spiering was born in Old North St. Louis, Missouri, where at age five he took his first lessons in violin from his father, concertmaster of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. He made his first public appearance at age seven. He studied at the College of Music of Cincinnati, now the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, with violin teacher Henry Schradieck. He studied with Joseph Joachim in Berlin from 1888 to 1892 and later became concertmaster of the orchestra of Joachim Hochschule.With a letter of recommendation from Joachim, Spiering joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1892 and remained with that organization until 1896. He often appeared as a soloist with conductor Theodore Thomas. Spiering also organized the Spiering Quartet, which performed 400 concerts between 1893 and 1905. He founded the Spiering Violin School and was also director and instructor of violin for the Chicago Musical College from 1902 to 1905 followed by four years of concert tours in Europe. Gustav Mahler chose him as concertmaster for the New York Philharmonic for two years from 1909, and Spiering was called to conduct the orchestra for the final seventeen concerts of 1911 during Mahler's illness. Although it was expected Spiering would be chosen as Mahler's successor, the tradition of seeking European conductors lead to the selection of Josef Stransky. Disappointed, Spiering returned to Europe, where he guest conducted the Berlin Philharmonic and Blüthner orchestras. Although he sought the position of music director of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, but the position was given to Rudolf Ganz instead.
With the start of World War I, Spiering returned to New York City and engaged in teaching and conducting the philharmonic. In September 1923, he returned again to Berlin and Vienna, where he continued to guest conduct. In 1925, he was appointed conductor of the Oregon Symphony, then the Portland Symphony Orchestra, which he previously conducted as part of a rotating triumvirate. For rest and also to choose new scores for the orchestra, he traveled to Europe after the appointment. In the summer of 1925, Spiering became ill while traveling and died in Munich before the beginning of the fall symphony season. His body was later repatriated and buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis.Two Songs for Voice, Viola and Piano
Two Songs for Voice, Viola and Piano, Op. 91, were composed by Johannes Brahms for his friends Joseph Joachim and his wife Amalie. The full title is Zwei Gesänge für eine Altstimme mit Bratsche und Klavier (Two songs for an alto voice with viola and piano). The text of the first song, "Gestillte Sehnsucht" (Longing at rest), is a poem by Friedrich Rückert, composed in 1884. The text of the second, "Geistliches Wiegenlied" (Sacred lullaby) was written by Emanuel Geibel after Lope de Vega, and set to music in 1863. They were published together in 1884.Violin Concerto (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven composed his Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61, in 1806. Its first performance by Franz Clement was unsuccessful and for some decades the work languished in obscurity, until revived in 1844 by Joseph Joachim. Since then it has become one of the best-known violin concertos.Violin Sonata (Dvořák)
The Sonata for Violin and Piano in F major, Op. 57 (Czech: Sonata F dur pro housle a klavír), is a violin sonata by Antonín Dvořák. The work was composed between 3 and 17 March 1880. At the time, Dvořák was also working on his violin concerto, and it seems that the composer explored different aspects of the violin in the two pieces. The sonata is naturally the more intimate of the two works, and appears in places to be influenced by Johannes Brahms.
Dvořák played the work on 31 March 1880 with the famous violinist Joseph Joachim, who reacted positively (a contrast to Joachim's ambivalence over aspects of the Violin Concerto). The details of the first public performance are not known, though on 5 October 1881 there was an early performance at a meeting of the Prague Umělecká Beseda. On that occasion the violinist was František Ondříček (who also premiered the violin concerto), while the piano part was taken by Karel Kovařovic, later to become a successful composer.
The Sonata is in three movements:
It is numbered as Op. 57; and as B. 106 in the catalogue by Jarmil Burghauser.
The manuscript is preserved in the National Museum in Prague. The first edition was published by N. Simrock in 1880, prepared under the composer's supervision.