Saturday, June 4, 2011

Brahms: Beauty in the ear of all beholders

Is there anything more beautiful than a Johannes Brahms symphony?  I don't think so.
Johannes Brahms was a German composer in the Romantic period of music. As I told you in an earlier post on my classical weekend at this blog, the Romantic era had bigger symphonies with bigger sounds. Bigger than in the Classical period, and extremely bigger than in the Baroque period.

If you ever go to a symphony concert in your area, which I would recommend highly, and one of the first pieces is from the Baroque period, like J.S. Bach and a later piece from the Romantic era, like Brahms or Tchaikovsky, you will see all the orchestra stage people in between pieces adding a lot of chairs, especially in the string section. This would be true moving to a classical piece, but not quite as big as in a romantic piece.

It is hard to believe Brahms tortured himself over his first symphony. He was following in the footsteps of Beethoven and some were saying he was to be the next Beethoven, so he struggled to get his symphony just right in his mind. But oh did he get it right and followed up with three more beautiful masterpieces.   Here is one of those beauties, Symphony #2.  This his first movements has so many beautiful themes and moments.   While there is a definite character of serenity, there is also interspersed moments of tension and strength.  I really love this symphony and all four of Brahms symphonies.

This first movement ends in such a serene, calm way as it is about to enter the second movement, adagio non troppo.
The first movement is scored Allegro non troppo which means fast but not so much.

Brahms: Symphony #2 movement 1, allegro non troppo

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