Sonatensatz (Scherzo)

Johannes Brahms
Difficult (Grades 7+)
5 minutes
Classical music
Instrumental parts
Not available

This is my orchestration of Johannes Brahms's Sonatensatz in C minor for Violin and Piano. The piece was the scherzo of the "FAE Sonata", a violin sonata jointly composed for famed violinist Joseph Joachim by Brahms, Robert Schumann, and Schumann's pupil Albert Dietrich, each of whom produced a movement.

The original piece struck me as having a very orchestral sonority for a violin sonata. So, I decided to orchestrate the winds, the brass, and the strings that I heard when listening to the original. The arrangement really almost seemed to write itself, and I finished it in about a day.

Aside from some dynamic changes (an orchestral build-up in the trio section as opposed to becoming even softer as in the original) and minor phrasing adjustments, the arrangement is faithful to the original. I tried to orchestrate it as Brahms might have done it himself, using orchestral resources and a style that was typical of the composer.

This arrangement will be premiered by the Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra on March 8, 2008.

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