Max Derrickson

Writing Music Program Notes for Over 20 Years

Bruch – Violin Concerto No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 44

Max Bruch   (b. Cologne,Germany, 1838; d. Friedenau (nearBerlin),Germany, 1920) Violin Concerto No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 44 1. Adagio non troppo 2. Recitativo.  Allegro moderato – Allegro – Andante sostenuto 3. Finale –  Allegro molto   Max Bruch launched his composing career with opera.  He was exceptionally able at writing for voice – some […]

Bruch – Violin Concerto No. 1 in G-Minor, Op. 26

Max Bruch (1838 – 1920) Violin Concerto No. 1 in G-Minor, Op. 26   Max Bruch (1838-1920) premiered his first violin concerto in 1868 with the leading virtuoso of the day, Joseph Joachim, playing the solo. Unless you have studied classical voice (for which Bruch wrote prolifically) or violin, you have probably only ever heard […]

Britten – Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes Op. 33a

Benjamin Britten   (b in Lowestoft, Suffolk, England, November 22, 1913 (St. Cecilia’s Day); d in Aldeburgh, England, December 4, 1976) Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes Op. 33a 1. Dawn 2. Sunday Morning 3. Moonlight 4. Storm   Britten’s operatic masterpiece, Peter Grimes, is the timeless and grim tale of how, when a society cannot […]

Brahms – Violin Concerto in D-Major, Op.77

Johannes Brahms  (b Hamburg, 7 May 1833; d Vienna, 3 April 1897) Violin Concerto in D-Major, Op.77   During the summers of 1877 and 1878, Johannes Brahms wrote three important works while residing in the idyllic countryside of Pörtschach on the Wörthersee: the Symphony No. 2, the Violin Concerto, and the Violin Sonata No. 1. Many […]

Brahms – Symphony No. 4 in E minor, op. 98

Johannes Brahms   (b Hamburg, 7 May 1833; d Vienna, 3 April 1897) Symphony No. 4 in E minor, op. 98 1. Allegro non troppo 2. Andante moderato 3. Allegro giocoso 4. Allegro energico e passionato The opening to Johannes Brahms’ Fourth Symphony, his final orchestral work, sounds as if we have dropped in on it somewhere […]

Brahms – Symphony No. 3 in F Major, Opus 90

Johannes Brahms   (b. Hamburg, 1833; d. Vienna, 1897) Symphony No. 3 in F Major, Opus 90 I. Allegro con brio II. Andante III. Poco allegretto IV. Allegro Brahms wrote his third symphony at a time when his successes were many and his confidence with symphonic writing was high. Many of his contemporaries considered him the […]

Brahms – Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73

Johannes Brahms   (b Hamburg, 7 May 1833; d Vienna, 3 April 1897) Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73 1. Allegro non troppo 2. Adagio non troppo 3. Allegretto grazioso (quasi andantino) – Presto ma non assai 4. Allegro con spirito   After nearly twenty years in the making, Brahms finally completed and premiered his First […]

Brahms – Symphony No. 1 in C-minor, Op. 68

Johannes Brahms   (Born in Hamburg, 1833; died in Vienna, 1897) Symphony No. 1 in C-minor, Op. 68 I. Un poco sostenuto – Allegro – Meno allegro II. Andante sostenuto III.Un poco allegretto e grazioso IV. Adagio – Più andante – Allegro non troppo, ma con brio – Più allegro   The completion of his Symphony […]

Brahms – Serenade No. 2 in A-Major, Op. 16

Johannes Brahms   (b Hamburg, 1833; d Vienna, 1897) Serenade No. 2 in A-Major, Op. 16 I.    Allegro moderato II.   Scherzo III. Adagio non troppo IV. Quasi Menuetto V.   Rondo: Allegro   [. . .] Brahms was not a rebel, but he had an amazing ear and an extraordinary amount of creative talent for composing.  […]

Brahms – Schicksalslied, for Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 54 (1871)

Johannes Brahms   (b May 7, 1833 in Hamburg; d April 3, 1897 in Vienna) Schicksalslied, for Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 54 (1871) Schicksalslied (Song of Fate) was composed in 1871 and sets the text of a [. . .] great, though perhaps less recognized, German poet Holderlin.   The text comes from Holderlin’s life’s achievement, the […]