Radio 3 to air unheard Brahms piano piece

BBC classical station will premiere 1853 composition

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A newly discovered piano work by Johannes Brahms is to receive its world premiere on Radio 3 later this month.

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The two-minute composition, Albumblatt, was written by Brahms in 1853, when he was 20 years old. It was found by the British conductor Christopher Hogwood while he was researching manuscripts in the USA.

The first broadcast of the piece – performed by Hungarian pianist Andras Schiff – will take place on Tom Service’s Saturday lunchtime show, Music Matters, on 21 January. Hogwood will appear to discuss how he uncovered the work.

Albumblatt will not be totally new to Brahms aficionados: its theme was used in the second movement of Brahms’ Horn Trio op.40, composed 12 years later.

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Radio 3 controller Roger Wright said the station was “honoured” to broadcast the piece for the first time: “Albumblatt is an incredible discovery which gives a fascinating insight into the workings of this great composer.”