Iain Farrington

Pianist, organist, composer, arranger

Johannes Brahms: Hungarian Dances 5, 6, 7

for Chamber Orchestra


Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) published two sets of Hungarian Dances as piano duets in 1869 and 1880. He had encountered the style and melodies while accompanying the Hungarian violinist Reményi on tour, and often improvised dances with him. Partly because of the enormous success of the publication, Brahms orchestrated three of the 21 Dances, numbers 1, 3 and 10, with other arrangers such as Dvořák completing the rest. For the most part, the Dances are based on original Magyar folk and Gypsy melodies and forms. These new arrangements for chamber orchestra are based on Brahms’ dances, but ‘improvised’ with new harmonies, counter-melodies and rhythms, in the popular spirit of the original music.  


Available to hire or purchase from Aria Editions here


Instrumentation: flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, 2 horns, trumpet, trombone, strings (c. 4, 4, 3, 2, 1), 2 percussion


No. 5 performed at the BBC Proms 2010 by the Aurora Orchestra.


Listen to live performances here:


No. 5 in G minor (3’07)

No. 6 in D major (3’37)

No. 7 in A major (1’52)