The Konzertstuck (concert-piece) of Carl Maria von Weber is an interesting piece. It's scale is not grand enough to merit the label "concerto". It is a light-hearted, short and even flashy piano solo with orchestra accompaniment. It is in two movements with a short bridge between (by the bassoon). The second movement begins with a march that we hear three times. The first statement is through a lovely and striking lead by the clarinet. It is a high point in the Weber clarinet legacy. The march is repeated with more fanfare led by the oboe and then again grandly by the full orchestral tutti. The pace changes abruptly with a tympani roll. Then comes the fireworks. The piano plays alone. It is shocking for two reasons. First, it is unrelated to the previous march. Secondly, it is fast. The score markings indicate the rate of 132 beats per minute. This would tax any pianist. Cyberchambermusic's computer is not taxed. Soon the smoke clears after a trill when the piano states a new theme related to the march (vaguely). Weber is a minor composer who might have been forgotten were it not for an endorsement from Wagner. Indeed, Weber's orchestra sounds more like the modern Wagner orchestra than the immediately preceding Beethoven sound. Brahms wrote two string quintets as well as a string sextet. All are masterpieces! The second quintet Op 111 was one of the last things he wrote. It is almost symphonic in conception. Brahms had a sharp ear for the inner voices, the second violin and the violas. His work sounds thick and busy. Short clips of ever-changing melody appear continuously in all the voices. Other times his interest is not in melody but rhythms and chord progressions. However, the piece does contain haunting melodies. Especially the lengthy opening cello melody is spectacular. Not to mention the viola in the second movement.
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