Brahms Adaptation–Seed Planted

Recently, I’ve been infected with a VERY long-term seed that finally has germinated into a song. It had its roots in my learning to play a portion of the beginning of the Adagio movement of the Brahms Piano Concerto #1 in D. Originally, he composed that section as a 2 piano piece, but later was encouraged to create a string concerto. Somewhere along the line I encountered the two-piano score and learned the first 35 measures or so of the Adagio section. They contain a piano lament that has always stirred my soul.

For many years, when playing it, I always kept hearing a solo vocalist with a choir behind him, and eventually lyrics began to bubble up. But these things I kept hearing, I beat them down for years, telling myself that no one should dare to insult Brahms by inserting a single note or thought atop his theme. But as I’ve enjoyed many choir concerts, from Florida All State ensembles to college concert choirs, and heard many times how classical themes become adapted and as such help to keep them alive in young minds, I found this old idea of mine resurfacing with increasing insistence upon my muse.

Finally, I could resist no more and wrote this adaptation of a Brahms theme for solo tenor and choir. As a piano lover, I have taken as much priority as I dare to keep the piano as the anchor about which the voice and choir are in orbit. One of my goals was to make it such that if a vocalist misses a note, the song would survive and yet if the piano player flubs it there would be virtual collapse.

The peculiar ability in Brahms to sometimes sound as if he is falling up in the most inspiring and heart-wrenchingly sad way is for me a deep beauty I hope to have kept alive in my “Cannot Stop Myself”.

Listen at: CLICK HERE

Contact for score at: CLICK HERE