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About this Piece

Published: 1880 (orch. Iván Fischer)

Length: 4 minutes

Orchestration: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 4 horns, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, harp, cimbalom, and strings

First Los Angeles Philharmonic performances

The violin figured prominently in the musical world of Johannes Brahms, who would become close friends with the greatest German violinist of the age, Joseph Joachim. Those tunes he had heard played by Ede Reményi in that 1853 tour were so intoxicating that Brahms made his own arrangements of them, and clearly indicated that fact on the first printed edition of the Hungarian Dances for piano four-hands. Brahms later prepared orchestral versions of Nos. 1, 3, and 10; his friend Antonín Dvorák orchestrated some others. Significant debate over the authorship of individual dances led to the publication (in 1874) in the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung of the sources for the first ten of them. It turns out that Dance No. 11 may indeed be one of the dances actually composed by Brahms himself. In his fascinating recorded survey of the complete set, Iván Fischer makes emendations to many of the "traditional" orchestrations, and he has prepared his own orchestration for No. 11 and several of the others.

- Dennis Bade is the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association's Associate Director of Publications.