Joana Mallwitz conducts Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1, which the composer worked on for over two decades.
Johannes Brahms’ (1833–1897) outstanding talent as a composer was already apparent when he was just twenty years old. Still, it took him a long time to realise his potential, and he was his own fiercest critic. He composed between twenty and thirty string quartets – yet only three of them were published, and the rest were destroyed. He spent over twenty years working on his first symphony, to the despair of his impatient friends, admirers and publishers.
The result, his Symphony No. 1 from 1876, evokes decisiveness and a strength of will from the very first chord. It wasn’t long before someone nicknamed it “Beethoven’s tenth” – more than fifty years after Beethoven wrote his final symphony, no one had succeeded in achieving what he had with the symphonic form. Brahms’ four symphonies were to be a unique addition to orchestra music, and the seriousness of the opening is followed both by warmth and light-heartedness.
(Translation from Norwegian: Sarah Osa)
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