String Sextet No. 2 (Brahms)

Johannes Brahms' String Sextet No. 2 in G major, Opus 36 was composed during the years of 1864–1865 and published by the firm of Fritz Simrock. It was first performed in Boston, Massachusetts on October 11, 1866.[1] The work is scored for two violins, two violas, and two celli, and has four movements:[2]

  1. Allegro non troppo (G major)
  2. Scherzo – Allegro non troppo – Presto giocoso (G minor)
  3. Adagio (E minor)
  4. Poco allegro (G major)

Brahms did most of the composition in the comfortable country surroundings of Lichtental, near Baden-Baden. According to Brahms' biographer Karl Geiringer, it conceals a reference to the first name of Agathe von Siebold (with whom he was infatuated at the time) in the first movement, bars 162–168, with the notes a-g-a-h-e.[3]

The work is characterised by its exotic sounding opening of the first movement, by innovative chord structures and its many contrasts both technical and melodical.

Swedish composer Kurt Atterberg arranged the sextet for string orchestra in 1939.

Popular culture

The first movement of this sextet is prominent in the last sequence of Bertrand Blier's 1979 film Buffet froid.


  1. ^ Keller, James M. (2011). Chamber Music: A Listener's Guide. New York: Oxford University Press US. p. 102. ISBN 978-0-19-538253-2. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  2. ^ "Streichsextett Nr. 2" [String Sextet No. 2] (in German). Klassika. October 28, 2011. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  3. ^ Geiringer, Karl. Brahms: His Life and Work New York: Da Capo Press, ISBN 0-306-80223-6, pp 60, 91, 230–231

External links

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