Johannes Brahms: Hungarian Dance No.2


Johannes Brahms completed his 21 Hungarian Dances by 1879, and they still remain one his most popular collections of music. All of the dances are based on traditional Hungarian folk tunes and range from c.1 minute to 6 minutes in duration. Some of the dances have become much more recognisable than others, but as a set they are a force to be reckoned with. During this 21-part ‘Explore Hungarian Dances’ on Classicalexburns, we will be delving into the ins and outs of this famous collection.


The Music

Hungarian Dance No.2 is set in D minor and is marked with a quick vivace tempo. Brahms plays with syncopation in this dance as the strings bounce between the woodwind interludes and the lower string swells. Rich in texture and laden with memorable melodies, the central woodwind interlude adds a different spin on the main theme. As the strings join back in the orchestra begin to rise in dynamic and swell as a unit. A reprise of the opening motif is played once more, this time it’s fully-realised and Brahms’ rich textures support this. Hungarian Dance No.2 concludes with a reprise of the main theme that leads to a thrilling swish from the strings at the end. 


Ⓒ Alex Burns

Happy Reading!

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