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We know that lots of Brahms's compositions use found material. Sometimes it is his own, sometimes not. The literature ripples with discussion of examples.
Here's a new one, which does not seem ever to have been mentioned in the literature, the affinity between the opening idea of the A major violin sonata, Op. 100, and a half bar, plucked out notationally but I wonder if also creatively by Brahms, in the half bar four bars before the end of Chopin's exquisite Etude No. 6 in E-flat minor, Op. 10:
Professor of Music Theory
Eastman School of Music