I’ve just started a Brahms Waltz – it’s my first Brahms and it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve worked with to date – extraordinarily lovely.  As is my practice, I’m doing some digging on the piece.  My quick web search revealed, on the site of violinist Timothy Judd, the fact that it’s Waltz #15 in A flat major, from Brahms’ Opus 39.

Wikipedia is great for quick investigations, but it can sure leave you wondering sometimes.  The site reports that Brahms composed Opus 39, a set of sixteen waltzes for piano duet, in 1865.  Judd notes that the Suzuki Book Two Brahms Waltz is waltz number fifteen of the sixteen from Opus 39.  Wikipedia claims that “Waltz Number 15 in A major (or A-flat major) has acquired a life of its own” but provides no elaboration.  Perhaps the Wikipedia article author is not fond of the Suzuki arrangement for violin!  Whatever else it does, an inclusion in the Suzuki series does guarantee that a song gets played by many.

Interestingly, the Suzuki Book itself indicates that the source is Waltz Number Five from the set, but that does not appear to be the case based on my online explorations.  As the waltzes were written for piano, let’s have a listen to number fifteen, the one I’m working on, played by Leopoldo Lipstein, the same performance Judd links to on his site.  I mean, really, this thing is LOVELY.  The violin part is basically the top melody line.

Thanks for reading.



  1. Julie Libel · · Reply

    It is absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  2. […] up to more if I want to be able to play more!  Yesterday was the first day I really wrestled with my new Brahms, and when I get it whipped into shape I’m really going to love it.  There’s some chance I […]

  3. Glad you liked it – there are YouTubes of others doing all 16 waltzes!

  4. […] She then asked me if I was ready to move on or if I wanted another week with the Waltz.  I quickly said I wanted another week.  I’m just now, after another good practice session yesterday, to the spot where I can play it through; I’ve got it mostly memorized.  At this stage of my sight reading the reading slows me down and takes too much of my attention – I can’t remotely produce my best tone while doing it.  It’s only after I have something memorized that I can start to work on making it sound decent, and I’m thrilled to be onto that project with this piece, because, well, as I’ve written, this thing is lovely. […]

  5. […] to this very punch last Labor Day weekend; there is nothing new under the sun!  This is actually the second time I’ve bumped into the Richmond Symphony Orchestra violinist in my […]

  6. […] for me since day one on the violin, more or less.  Getting the B perfect is crucial to making the Brahms Waltz come out well too; I’ve been around this “B” block before, in other […]

  7. […] know what I’d say right not, but this upcoming Beethoven is poised to supplant the Brahms Waltz as the loveliest piece in my repertoire, to my ear at least.  We’ll see if we start it next week […]

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