Symphonic Concert Filharmonia Narodowa

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Symphonic Concert
Piotr Wacławik, photo: Dariusz Rok

After the disappointment over his First Piano Concerto (1859), poorly received by the audience and critics alike, Johannes Brahms did not give the world another work with large orchestra for almost two decades. Although he began sketching the first of his four symphonies in 1855, its final version was not completed until 21 years later, in 1876! It was received with enthusiasm, and many critics compared it to the works of Ludwig van Beethoven, emphatically dubbing it ‘Beethoven’s Tenth’ – much to the irritation of Brahms, who while he did adore the last of the Classics and felt himself to be his spiritual heir, certainly did not regard himself as an epigone. Despite its outwardly Classical traits, the C minor Symphony is suffused with highly Romantic expression. Particularly striking is the introduction, with its regular heartbeat of the timpani. The exalted, hymnic character of the theme of the finale appears to refer to the ‘Ode to Joy’ from Beethoven’s Ninth.

Piotr Maculewicz