Robert Kahn (1865-1951)
about this recording:
One of seven children, Robert Kahn comes from a wealthy and educated Jewish merchant and banker family of Mannheim. Here, young Robert’s talent was recognised early on and adequately developed.
At the age of 17, we already find him at the Berlin College of Music, student with piano composer Friedrich Kiel, a man of high standing at the time. From 1865 onwards, he studied composition for an additional two years with Joseph Rheinberger and Heinrich Schwartz in Munich before moving on to Vienna for a short period of time. Here, he repeatedly met Johannes Brahms whom he had already been acquainted with in his aunt’s house in Mannheim.
In 1894, Robert Kahn was appointed as a teacher of piano, ensemble and theory at the College of Music in Berlin, where he was made a Royal Professor in 1903 and worked very successfully until his retirement.
The sonata for violoncello and piano op. 37 shows the 38-year-old’s maturity and independence that Robert Kahn had – notwithstanding his admiration for Brahms and Schumann –acquired by then, and in which he demands masters of their instruments in terms of technical requirements of play.
The three pieces for violoncello and piano op. 25 follow the popular genre of character pieces and date back to the year 1897 – the year of Johannes Brahms’ death whom he so highly esteemed.
The cello sonata by Johannes Brahms op. 38 was written between his 29th and 32nd year of his life, i.e. during the time of his move from Hamburg to Vienna where he soon had gathered a large circle of friends. The renunciation of a slow movement found here, the missing adagio, sign of his search for modified forms of classical tradition is very uncommon for Brahms.
| sound samples (mp3):
Kahn, op. 37: Allegro energico - Andante sostenuto - Allegro risoluto
Kahn, op. 25: Romanze - Serenata - Capriccio
Brahms, op. 38: Allegro non troppo
Robert Kahn: Sonata op. 37 for violoncello and piano
3 pieces op. 25 for violoncello and piano
Johannes Brahms: Sonata e-minor op. 38 for violoncello and piano
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