Master class

Gábor Takács-Nagy teaches Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 3 in C minor

Treasures of the Masterclass Media Foundation

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Gábor Takács-Nagy — Teacher

Vilde Frang — Violinist

Barbara Buntrock — Violist

Leonard Elschenbroich — Cellist

Eduard Kunz — Pianist

Program notes

Gábor Takács-Nagy presents one of the most personal and intimate works by Johannes Brahms.

Gábor Takács-Nagy has achieved his proven reputation many years ago, winning the first prize of the Jeno Hubay European violin competition in 1979, he learnt from the great Nathan Milstein and was awarded with the first prize of the Franz Liszt Academy in 1982. Founder and first violin of the Takács Quartet from 1975 to 1992, recognized worldwide as one of the best string quartets, he has also played with Sir Georg Solti, Lord Menuhin and Mstislav Rostropovich.

In this masterclass, he focuses on a magnificent and tragic work by Johannes Brahms: the Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 60, composed for violin, viola, cello and piano, also known as Werther quartet. In Goethe's work, Werther is a very sensitive and creative young man, becoming depressed when he sees the woman he loves marrying another. Indeed, Brahms's feelings for Clara, Robert Schumann's wife, were vain, and this love could very well be compared to Werther's story.

In 1855, he started to compose three piano quartets, and completed two of them. The last one, the most personal and the deepest, was put apart. Young Brahms's feelings are exposed, the twenty-two year-old artist torn between his admiration for Robert Schumann, dying, and his impossible love. In 1868, he is not sure whether he should or not release this work that reminds him of such events of his past. Thankfully, time heals all wounds, and the work was completed in 1875, and performed for the first time 20 years after its first draft.

The Masterclass Media Foundation Archives offer to students and music lovers around the world filmed masterclasses, given by the best talents, on the greatest works of the classical repertoire. Their primary purpose is to provide a valuable educational resource in order to perpetuate passion and knowledge from one generation to another.

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