Three Intermezzi for piano, Op. 117 (Brahms)

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The Three Intermezzi for piano, Op. 117, are compositions that Johannes Brahms created for solo piano. The intermezzi were described by the critic Eduard Hanslick as "monologues"... pieces of a "thoroughly personal and subjective character" striking a "pensive, graceful, dreamy, resigned, and elegiac note."[citation needed]

The Intermezzi of Opus 117 were composed in 1892.

The first intermezzo, in E major, is prefaced in the score by two lines from an old Scottish ballad, Lady Anne Bothwell's Lament:

Balow, my babe, lie still and sleep!
It grieves me sore to see thee weep.

The middle section of the second intermezzo, in B minor, seems to Brahms’ biographer Walter Niemann to portray a "man as he stands with the bleak, gusty autumn wind eddying round him."[citation needed]

The final intermezzo, in C minor, has an autumnal quality also, suggesting the cold wind sighing through the trees as leaves are falling.[citation needed]


  • Walter Gieseking. Schumann Brahms. Columbia Masterworks (ML 4540), 1952.

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