One musical detail I wonder about is the ending. Seems as though there should be more mystery and aura about it. Though the ritard is marked over the interlocking thirds, I think it may sound better applied until the end. If you're interested, you might listen to Sviatoslav Richter's performance of it; his has more of a misty quality of finality, a real perdendosi.
Imagine, I wanted to make more ritardando there, but I wouldn't have played the little notes of the right hand slower, only the pauses between.
But several piano profs told me that this would be confusing and strange, and I should either play tones AND pauses slower or I should stay in tempo. And I didn't like to slow down this little murmurous frazzles, so I didn't make a ritardando (almost)...
This doesn't make it better to you, it just explains
To the Brahms: This was (is) really a very difficult piece to me, maybe the most difficult, although I admit that the etude maybe is harder to play, but also this brahms is for me MUCH more difficult than it sounded to me before. It doesn't sound much more difficult than a Chopin-Nocturne, does it?
I talked to another piano student who told me that for her it is just the other way around: For her, Chopin is much more difficult than Brahms, she loves brahms and it is easy for her to play. I really can't understand that. We found out, that she is thinking in harmonys (she is studying this also) and I am thinking rather in melodys. And Chopin is very melodic, brahms isn't in that way, but it helps very much to know and remember the harmonys, what I can't very good.
And the other thing is, that the atmosphere and message of this piece is gloomy and gray and very discontent and nervous, with a big uneasiness.
The mood is changing, and one has to decide wether its a good ending or not, or what sort of ending it is.
And last but not least, what is "agitato" in this case? Does it mean "fast" or "hectically" or is it maybe an allusion to this interior imbalance (this is what I think)?
And this piece doesn't really fit to my fingers, I don't know... It was my teacher who told me to absolutely play brahms, and she also wants me to continue with it. I will see how this will end
Maybe the missing balance and thickness you heard belongs to this piece? I don't know.
Mozart: My teacher also tells me all the time that I have to work on my staccato. I'm doing, but it still isn't perfect
To the underlying rhythmic pulse - do you have an example?
You see I try to think a lot about what I'm playing, and anyway it is difficult enough to play really good. I always try to do better.