Johannes Brahms: Hungarian Dance No.16


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

The last of the third set of Hungarian Dances, the sixteenth dance is primarily set in F minor. The rich string opening is broad and lyrical, with the woodwind being used as decorations to the main theme. Although the opening is in F minor, the music soon bursts into F major as Brahms changes the marking to ‘Presto’. The quick tempo encourages intricate orchestrations from Brahms, with the woodwinds interweaving their lines between the strings. A short recapitulation of the opening theme returns before the music runs off again to end this dance with excitement and joy.


Ⓒ Alex Burns

Happy Reading!

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