"Let me tell you that I have written a very small piano concerto with a very small delicate scherzo." With these succinct, typically self-deprecating words, Johannes Brahms announced his second piano concerto to his friend Elisabet von Herzogenberg in the summer of 1881. What an understatement, since the concerto is nothing less than a fusion of symphonic form and virtuosic concerto character.
Based on Nikolai Gogol's story "Evenings in a Hamlet near Dikanja," Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov created the libretto for his opera "The Night Before Christmas." Rimsky-Korsakov, who expanded Gogol's text, created a fairy tale with philosophical, pantheistic thoughts and poetic moments.
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