Our Video of the Week takes us back to a July 2019 Stars of Tomorrow concert at Mary Baldwin University’s Francis Auditorium, where #Heifetz2019 violinist Sophia Steger introduces and then performs with pianist Beilin Han the opening movement of what she describes as one of her very favorite pieces: The Violin Sonata No. 1 in G major, Op. 78, know as the “Rain” sonata.
As Sophia explains, Brahms incorporates motives from two rain-themed songs with different emotional characteristics: Regenlied (“Rain Song”), Op. 59 No. 3 (“a child, standing barefoot in the rain, being in awe of the transformation of the landscape”), and Nachklang (“Lingering Echo”), Op 59, where “the raindrops are like a person’s tears.”
Johannes Brahms’ “Rain” Sonata uses material from two earlier songs: Regenlied (“Rain Song”) is the third of Brahms’ 8 Lieder, Op. 59, published in 1873, followed by Nachklang (“Lingering Sound”) exploring the same thematic material but with a different meeting. In the original songs, the piano evokes the sound of falling raindrops.