Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
This thesis explores the Hungarian influence on the German composer Johannes Brahms (1833-1897). His biographical details are sketched from his first concert tour to his last (Chapter 2). In 1853, he accompanied the Hungarian violinist Ede Remenyi, while travelling through Germany and Austria. In 1867 he concertized in Hungary for the first time. Between these tours, Brahms met and even worked with many other musicians, some of whom were Hungarian, and he composed many works which are overtly marked by this influence. The places he visited, the music he heard and the political events of the time are taken into account in weighing the effects of various influences. Four types of nineteenth-century Hungarian music are defined and the history of each is given. A discussion of Hungarian composers prior to, and contemporary with, Brahms is important in laying the foundation for our understanding of the "Hungarian". Brahms's connection with Hungarian folk music and salon music is traced in Chapter III, while Chapter IV outlines two types of gypsy music - gypsy folk music and gypsy band music. Brahms's usage of all of these is explained. The influence is extrapolated into the realm of Brahms's more German works, and is discussed in terms of the manner in which the "Hungarian" pervades his style. "On the 'Hungarian' in Works of Brahms" provides a discussion of this strong presence in Brahms's musical style and offers a deeper understanding of the creative personality of this composer.
Handrigan, Nancy, "On the "Hungarian" in Works of Brahms: A Critical Study" (1995). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6140.
McMaster University Library