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Works by Johannes Brahms

3rd Symphony Concert 2015/16 //

conductor: Marek Janowski
soloist: Marina Prudenskaya (mezzosoprano)
MDR Rundfunkchor Leipzig

 

Johannes Brahms
Nänie op. 82 · Schicksalslied op. 54
Rhapsody for mezzosoprano, choir and orchestra op. 53
Symphony No. 3 F-Major op. 90

 

»Even the beautiful must die!« – and this is why the dearly departed should best be accompanied on their final journey by a dirge, which the ancient Romans called a nania. Johannes Brahms put Schiller’s poem »Nänie« to music in a bright major chord, for »even a dirge from the mouth of a loved one is wonderful«. Schiller’s abstract portrayal of the death theme fits perfectly to Brahms’ concilia­tory and consoling approach to the subject. It is the same approach used in the »Schicksalslied« (Song of Destiny), which Brahms based on a poem from Friedrich Hölderlin’s epistolary novel »Hyperion«. Brahms transforms Hölderlin’s hopeless conclusion, »Into the abyss, to vanish into the unknown forevermore«, into a positive orchestral epilogue. In contrast, the »Alto Rhapsody«, based on Goethe’s »Harz Journey in the Winter«, is bursting with love, as is Brahms’ Third, the »Wiesbaden« symphony. Enraptured by women who were unattainable the loner ­Johannes Brahms expresses his frustration and bitterness in the first, but appears to take a more carefree and cheerful attitude in the latter.