The instrumental ballad was a popular musical form in the 19th century and these four pieces for piano are Brahmss only contribution to the genre. The composer wrote the ballades during the time of his close friendship with Clara Schumann, and they exude an intimacy more typical of a vocal ballad. The pieces, which Schumann enthusiastically praised, were described by Brahms as being not too difficult to play and even less difficult to understand.
Brahms' Ballades, Op. 10 form an integral part of the advanced piano literature. This publication represents a valuable addition to the repertoire of Brahmss piano works in Bärenreiter Urtext editions. The fingering by Brahms specialist Christian Köhn, the clear notation and optimum page turns fulfil the requirements of a practical performing edition. A detailed foreword with information on performance practice, the compositional process, sources and the significance of the work completes the edition.