Brahms & Dvorák: Orchestral Works

Album cover art for upc 812973017431
Label: TUDOR
Catalog: TUDOR1743
Format: SACD

Bamberger Symphoniker; Hruša, Jakub

This is how Dvorak described his first encounter with the Third Symphony by Johannes Brahms: “I can say without exaggeration that this work surpasses his first two symphonies; if not in grandeur and power of conception, then surely in beauty! Its mood is not often found in Brahms. What glorious melodies are there! It is pure love, and the heart soars as one listens to it!” And in the same vein, we may add that the last two movements perfectly match Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8, even if Brahms once said that Dvorak’s Eighth was very well crafted as a symphony, but lacked the “most important thing.” This contradictory viewpoint makes the present combination particularly informative. Another aspect of this concept album lies in the character of the two works, such as for instance the last movements: Brahms ends with a farewell song- anticipating Mahler, where after solemn, comforting chorales the music falters and dies away… and the audience, overwhelmed, remains silent, too. The contrast with Dvorak’s last movement is extreme: this is a turbulent movement which begins with fanfares that almost bring us to our feet, and ends triumphantly, showing that Dvorak has entirely freed himself from the shackles of tradition.

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