Hector Aguilar responds to my review:
>However, if I may add my
>two cents, I wonder at how the first movement of the first sonata-- the
>"rolling" chords of the piano notwithstanding-- can possibly induce the
>vision of a "large ship leaving the harbor," "large ship" being the
I was trying to suggest a sense of inexorability -- a juggernaut moving without any sense of strain. I would also say that my impressions are based on performances I've heard, including this one, which struck me as right.
>In fact, what I love about that first movement is
>exactly the opposite in concept-- compared to the other two first
>movements, in my mind it is the most natural and organic, and consequently
>the least pretentious. To me there is a complete naturalness of weight
>and warmth in the opening theme. The opening theme is child-like in its
>simplicity and directness, and it makes me feel that Brahms, in those
>first few measures, was releasing his own inner child. The rapturous
>and agitated temper you mention in the development is something I begin
>to hear already at the end of the first theme's introduction, and this
>mercurial whimsy which constantly reappears, never completely disappearing,
>is probably what most reminds me of a child or even a teenager, but never
>an object so inanimate as a ship.
I think I understand your point. You dislike the comparison to an inanimate object. I was simply referring to the way the music moved, rather than to its emotional character. Although the two are obviously related, they are nevertheless two different aspects of the piece.
I do disagree with the characterization as that of a child or teenager. Again, this is probably due to most of the performances I've heard. To me, the naivete (and it's a faux naivete, I admit) Brahms sometimes exploits is best found in the second violin sonata.