Brahms tre & fyra

Concert 24.11

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Brahms tre & fyra

The Symphony Orchestra concludes the autumn´s Brahms theme by performing his third and fourth symphonies.

Johannes Brahms was a highly acclaimed pianist. While on a concert tour, Brahms met Robert Schumann, who was both a composer and an influential music critic. In an article he wrote, Schumann praised Brahms as German music's new rising star and predicted that he would be the one to take over after Beethoven. This led Brahms to quickly gaining recognition throughout Germany.

He became good friends with Schumann and his wife and often stayed with them. After Schumann was struck by mental illness and died, Brahm's friendship with pianist Clara Schumann, 14 years his senior, continued. It is said that, in fact, he had long been in love with her.

Brahms belongs to music history's elite composers. He was popular even during his lifetime and his four symphonies were all received as masterpieces. His careful and self-critical method ensured that everything he published was of very high quality. He was both a classicist and a romantic, as he combines classical music's strict form with romanticism's personal expressions of emotion.

Brahms' grand third symphony is based on the motto "Frei aber froh" - free but happy. Both the melody and the key are based on the acronym F.A.F. and the notes F-A-flat-F recur as a theme throughout the piece. It is his most emotional symphony, but also his shortest.

His fourth and final symphony is more serious and complex, with a host of musical references to Bach, Beethoven and others. The music is predominantly sombre. The finale is in a minor key, for example, which was unusual at that time. Today, many hold Brahms' fourth symphony to be his greatest.

Conductor: Rumon Gamba
NorrlandsOperan Symphony Orchestra

Brahms: Symphony No. 3
Brahms: Symphony No. 4

Informal debriefing in the Concert hall with Rumon Gamba and a musical surprise.