Primarily the writer was interested in the relationship between technique and interpretation in the concept of pianism, especially in the music of Brahms, because of the technical difficulties thereof. In this study the truism that technique = interpretation is the focus point. After giving many different opinions about this, the writer brings it into context with Brahmsian pianism specifically. It is made clear how Brahms used certain techniques for certain soundworlds that he wanted to create, in order to reach a certain interpretation, and that there are recurring technical procedures in opus 34, 35, 56b and the 51 exercises. As an interface to these Brahmsian techniques, the writer selects a mixture of generic technical aspects from a wide scope of other musical minds. There is a definite inter-reaction between all these generic aspects and those of Brahms.
The background and history of opus 34 is explained, plus a short section about Brahms aesthetics/ambiguity, and some philosophical opinions about the dimension of emotions and feelings in interpretation. However, the writer explains that this dimension is outside the scope of this thesis. A summary of schools of thought on technique and theories of interpretation is given to establish the links between them. Using available literature on quintets, ensembles, pianism, idiomaticism and timbre, the piano quintet specifically was explored for the uniqueness of its features. Brahms’s individualistic approach to pianism, as exemplified by his chamber music and his unique contributions to virtuoso technical routines, is examined against the background of sonorities of the piano and underpinned by appropriate technical skills. Against a template of pianistic criteria, appropriate examples, rich in context, are analysed both technically (objectively) and interpretatively (subjectively) to educe outcomes that establish that the two approaches have a holistic relationship and are ultimately inseparable and interdependent. The score examples show how technical difficulties escalate in combinations of complex movements in the “marriage” of technique and interpretation, and how interpretation relies primarily and fundamentally on the craft of technique, which is also an art in itself.