On this journey of musical discovery, the Mariani Piano Quartet juxtaposes the music of Johannes Brahms with that of Friedrich Gernsheim, and explores the now almost-forgotten friendship between the two composers.
After spending many years in Paris, Gernsheim, who trained at the prestigious Leipzig Conservatory, took on important posts in Saarbrücken, Berlin, Cologne and Rotterdam. Although he was highly acclaimed like Brahms while he was alive, Gernsheim’s musical legacy fell victim to the anti-Semitic climate in Europe after his death in 1916.
Johannes Brahms met Friedrich Gernsheim for the first time at the Cologne Music Festival in 1862. A few years later, in 1868, the two composers had the chance to get to know each other better: Brahms spent that summer in Bonn, and Gernsheim was teaching at the Conservatory in Cologne and conducting various choirs. For both composers, this was an opportunity to visit each other and discuss their latest works.
Sandwiched between the Brahms and Gernsheim pieces is Mozart’s lyrical Piano Quartet in E Flat Major. When it was written, the genre was completely unknown, but both Brahms and Gernsheim later took the pioneering work as a model.
Friedrich Gernsheim: Piano quartet in C minor, Op. 20
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano quartet in E flat major, KV 493
Johannes Brahms: Piano quartet No. 3 in C minor, Op. 60
Mariani Piano Quartet
Philipp Bohnen, violin
Barbara Buntrock, viola
Peter-Philipp Staemmler, violoncello
Gerhard Vielhaber, piano