Johannes Brahms: Hungarian Dance No.6


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

Originally set in Db major, the sixth Hungarian Dance, starts with a slow teaser before the marked ‘Vivace’ tempo takes hold. This upbeat dance is contrasted through Brahms’ dramatic use of dynamics. The quiet woodwind sections go against the loud tutti sections that are lead by the strings and percussion. A held back second theme has its roots firmly in Hungarian folk tunes, as the theme begins to unravel. Brahms moves between the sweet sounding melodies and the harsh and vivacious second theme to create light and shade within the dance. The sixth dance finishes with a very short recapitulation of the first theme before two chords finish the dance in scintillating style.


Ⓒ Alex Burns

Happy Reading!

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