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Works by Johannes Brahms and Franz Schubert

4th Symphony Concert //

conductor: Antonello Manacorda
soloist: Cahterine Manoukian, violin

Johannes Brahms concerto for violin and orchestra D major op. 77
Franz Schubert symphony C major D 944

Both Franz Schubert’s »large« symphony in C major and Brahm’s violin concerto received a subdued response from contemporary audiences. While this was due to the unusual length of Schubert’s piece, audiences found Brahm’s concerto too difficult and unbalanced. Nonetheless, both works today are counted among the most important of their genre. Brahms dedicated the violin concerto to his friend, the virtuoso Joseph Joachim. Not only did Joachim perform the violin solo at the world premiere, but he also advised Brahms during its composition – the result is a very technically demanding piece of music. However, the violin line frequently defers to the orchestra. In the melodic second movement, the violin never plays the theme, which is reserved for the solo oboe. »A concerto [...] where the orchestra and the performance utterly and completely merge,« Clara Schumann remarked, whereby it takes a conscious step away from a virtuoso concerto toward a symphonic work.

Schubert’s 8th and final symphony in C major lies at the crossroads where his first works of Vienna ­Classicism meet the newly emergent Romantic period. While the basic formal patterns are much the same, the dimensions are much larger. As Robert Schumann once remarked, the musical arch spans »divine lengths«.