Symphonic Concert


Teatro Olimpico, Vicenza

Oct 25, 7:30 pm19:30 Uhr


Johannes BRAHMS
Hun­gar­i­an Dance No. 17


Johannes BRAHMS
Hun­gar­i­an Dance No. 3

SYMPHONY NO. 3 IN F Major, OP. 90


Iván Fischer



Veronika Eberle (violin)

Die Ver­anstal­tung dauert etwa 2 Stun­den.

About the program

A grim face, a long beard, con­ser­v­a­tive music — that’s how Brahms lives in many
peo­ple’s minds. Some can hard­ly believe that he wrote the light Hun­gar­i­an dances;
oth­ers are amazed that the same com­pos­er wrote one of the most exten­sive and dif­fi­cult vio­lin con­cer­tos in the his­to­ry of music. Both por­traits will be offered at the Vicen­za Opera Fes­ti­val’s sym­phon­ic con­cert of the Budapest Fes­ti­val Orches­tra: each of the two grandiose com­po­si­tions will be pre­ced­ed by a Hun­gar­i­an Dance. In the first half of the event, the most beau­ti­ful piece result­ing from the friend­ship of Brahms and József Joachim will be per­formed. The clos­ing piece will be the composer’s bit­ter­sweet
Brahms pub­lished the piano four-hands edi­tion of the 21 Hun­gar­i­an Dances in two phas­es, over four vol­umes. Ede Reményi acquaint­ed the com­pos­er with Hun­gar­i­an Romani music, espe­cial­ly the “csárdás”, which inspired the dances Brahms called adap­ta­tions. The dances were an imme­di­ate suc­cess, but it was in their orches­tral arrange­ments that they became real­ly well-known. Among these orches­tra­tions, only three orig­i­nate from Brahms him­self; one of these is Hun­gar­i­an Dance No. 3, char­ac­ter­ized by relaxed, pas­toral music with only one out­burst. The open­ing piece, Hun­gar­i­an Dance No. 17 starts with a more pas­sion­ate ver­bunkos and then in the friss (fast sec­tion), some light-heart­ed themes are intro­duced.
Brahms became acquaint­ed not only with Gyp­sy music, but also with József Joachim thanks to Ede Reményi. Joachim was one of the most tal­ent­ed vio­lin­ists of the era and he imme­di­ate­ly struck up a life-long friend­ship with the com­pos­er. Brahms’s only vio­lin con­cer­to was ded­i­cat­ed to him, and the com­pos­er heav­i­ly relied on his friend’s knowl­edge and advice when writ­ing the solo vio­lin part. The piece, com­posed in a few months in Pörschach near Lake Wörth, was pre­miered on Jan­u­ary 1, 1879 with Brahms con­duct­ing and Joachim play­ing the solo part. Half of the three-move­ment work, which was orig­i­nal­ly planned in four move­ments, is tak­en up with the grandiose open­ing move­ment with the icon­ic oboe solo. After an ada­gio with a stormy mid­dle sec­tion also col­ored by oboe, a light, dance-like ron­do finale con­cludes the work.
It took six years for Brahms to approach the sym­pho­ny genre again after fin­ish­ing his 2nd, also called a com­pan­ion piece to the vio­lin con­cer­to. A sum­mer in the Rhine region was enough to get the rather com­plex score ready and the work was pre­miered in Vien­na at the end of 1883. His Third Sym­pho­ny is often likened to Beethoven’s “Eroica”, although Brahms’ hero is total­ly dif­fer­ent. The fre­quent tran­si­tions to a minor key from the basic Fmajor key and the con­flicts of the first move­ment sug­gest that this pro­tag­o­nist is main­ly fight­ing with him­self. The omi­nous end­ings of the indi­vid­ual move­ments, the gloomy, slow response giv­en to the slow move­ment (instead of a dance move­ment), and the grad­u­al­ly-hushed end­ing of the Finale instead of a fan­fare turn the usu­al hero­ic march into a psy­cho­log­i­cal dra­ma.