An unknown piano piece by Brahms was broadcast by the BBC for the first time in Europe
The BBC had a rare and sensational treat for listeners on 21 January 2012 – the very first broadcast in Europe of an early piano piece by Johannes Brahms. In the “Music Matters” programme the Hungarian pianist András Schiff gave the broadcasted performance of a short piece which the 20-year-old Brahms wrote in the guest book of the Göttingen University music director Arnold Wehner in 1853.
The piece, which fits on one page of manuscript, already clearly shows characteristics of Brahms’s style. The English conductor and musicologist Christopher Hogwood came across the autograph in the guest book, which is now preserved in Princeton (USA). Brahms re-used the musical material of the piece twelve years later in the scherzo of his Horn Trio in E-flat major op. 40. Hogwood has edited a scholarly critical edition of the Trio, which will be published by Bärenreiter in February. The page from the guest book from Göttingen will also be included in this edition, both as a facsimile and in modern notation.