2nd Symphony Concert 2013/14 //
Mario Wiegand “Orpheus-Fragmente” World premiere of a commissioned work by the 1st Thuringian Composition Prize
Johannes Brahms Concerto No. 1 in D minor op. 15 for piano and orchestra
Johannes Brahms Symphony No. 2 in D major op. 73
Brahms’s first piano concerto was a milestone – both for the composer and for the genre. This is particularly evident in its convoluted process of development, reflected by the young composer’s artistic scruples, as well as the turbulent events taking place in his personal life. These included the attempted suicide of his esteemed friend Robert Schumann, who had stoked great expectations with his article titled »Neue Bahnen« (New Paths) about Brahms, also his intimate friendship with Schumann’s wife Clara, which was love but could never be declared as such, and finally his emotional encounter with Beethoven’s »Ninth« which gave Brahms the feeling that he could never compose another line with the »giant Beethoven« hovering over him. Thus he developed his sonata for two pianos, which he wanted to instil with more colour, first heading in the direction of a symphony before reworking the material as the basis of his first piano concerto. This »tour de force« proved worthwhile, as the music is charged with a rousing force which shifts the dialogue between the piano and orchestra to the fore. Though Brahms struggled in a similar way to write his first symphony 17 years later, the curse was finally broken with his »Second« which he composed in one go. Compared with his dramatic »First«, the lyrically relaxed »Second« is marked by an almost song-like cadence. Brahms presented the work to his publisher, describing it as a »new gentle monster« – a clear signal that it pays to listen beyond the idyllic façade to what is lurking below.
In juxtaposition to these works, the programme includes a new piece by the composer Mario Wiegand (*1970), a graduate of the Liszt School of Music Weimar. The world premiere is part of the 1st Thuringian Composition Prize, which was awarded to Wiegand in 2012 by the Thuringian Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and the Thuringian State Music Council.