Academy
Zubin Mehta
Zubin Mehta
Brahms cycle
Brahms cycle
June 8, 2021
June 8, 2021
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Johannes Brahms
Concert in D major for violin and orchestra Op. 77
Symphony No. 4 in E minor Op. 73
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Concert in D major for violin and orchestra Op. 77
As was his custom, Brahms preferred to devote himself to composition during the holidays and during a stay in Pörtschach - the pretty village in Carinthia which had already inspired the Second Symphony and other famous piano pages - in the summer of 1878 he produced the Concerto for violin and orchestra in D major Op. 77. The dedication of the work was Joseph Joachim, a famous virtuoso of the bow and a great friend of the composer. Brahms constantly turned to him for opinions and advice during the various stages of composition, leaving him the honor and the burden of composing the cadence of the first movement, as had not happened since Mozart's time. Initially designed in four movements, the Concerto is eventually dismissed in three: a majestic initial Allegro, very rich in thematic inventions, a poetic Adagio, built in the form of a tripartite Lied and finally an Allegro playful, a very lively Rondò built on a dancing theme of Hungarian origin.

Symphony No. 4 in E minor Op. 73
During the summer holidays of 1884 and 1885 Brahms waited for the composition of Symphony n. 4 in E minor op. 98, the latest in its catalog. Almost ten years had passed since his first and dreaded test in the symphonic field and Brahms had now confirmed his value in the field after having built his own language step by step in the sign of classicism revisited through romantic sensibility. Thus in his latest symphonic creation the compositional virtuosity is combined with a melancholy steeped in songwriting, giving life to a musical discourse where every thematic idea is meticulously molded before finding its ideal location. The first movement, for example, is constructed entirely from an interval of the third and its inversion; these are minimal materials but which are exploited in all their possibilities in the hands of the craftsman of the Brahms notes. The second theme is also built on third intervals as well as all the other thematic ideas that seem to sprout from that same seed of infinite potential. And if in the initial Allegro the composer constructs an entire and complex movement with a few simple intervals, in the grandiose final Allegro he decides to show off the highest contrapuntal magisterium. Brahms in fact closes the short but intense chapter of his symphonic production with a Chaconne - a series of variations on an ostinato bass - based on a theme derived from Bach's Cantata BWV 150, thus celebrating the musical tradition of belonging and establishing at the same time, the point of no return of romantic symphonism.