Johannes Brahms: Hungarian Dance No. 1
Hungarian Dance No. 1 in g minor Allegro molti - Johannes Brahms
Janos Sandor conducting Hungarian Philharmonic Orchestra
Video clips from the ballet Coppelia
by the members of the Bolshoi Ballet featuring Natalia Osipova
In composing the music for his Hungarian dances, Johannes Brahms made use of the Hungarian folk songs he had heard. These are based on the Hungarian dance Czardas, which usually consists of two parts, the one melancholy, the other wild and passionate, reflecting respectively the Magyar and Gypsy spirit.
In the video clips of the slow dance parts from Coppelia, when Swanilda sees the doll Coppélia on the balcony, she dances to attract her attention and wonders why the reading figure does not respond. Like everyone else, she believes the doll to be a living person.
In the fast dance parts, the wheat harvesters dance a mazurka to celebrate the harvest.
Johannes Brahms was a German composer and pianist. Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria. In his lifetime, Brahms's popularity and influence were considerable. He is sometimes grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as one of the "Three Bs", a comment originally made by the nineteenth-century conductor Hans von Bülow.
Brahms composed for piano, chamber ensembles, symphony orchestra, and for voice and chorus. A virtuoso pianist, he premiered many of his own works; he worked with some of the leading performers of his time, including the pianist Clara Schumann and the violinist Joseph Joachim (the three were close friends). Many of his works have become staples of the modern concert repertoire. Brahms, an uncompromising perfectionist, destroyed some of his works and left others unpublished.