7. Symphony Concert

Cornelius Meister

With works by Johannes Brahms.
Brahms-Zyklus Teil I
So, 16.07.2023, 11:00 Uhr
Symphony No. 2 D-major, op. 73
Symphony No. 4 e-minor, op. 98

Brahms-Zyklus Teil II
Mo, 17.07.2023, 19:30 Uhr
Symphony No. 3 F-major, op. 90
Symphony No. 1 c-minor, op. 68

After Ludwig van Beethoven had reached the pinnacle of symphony composition, not many composers dared to follow in his footsteps. Johannes Brahms, to whom Cornelius Meister and the Staatsorchester Stuttgart dedicate their symphonic cycle, wrote to conductor Hermann Levi: "I will never compose a symphony. You have no idea what it is like for us to have such a giant (Beethoven) always marching behind us." The followers of the "New German School" around Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner – both set on musical progress – considered it even impossible to write symphonies based on Beethoven. They saw the future of music in symphonic poetry and music drama. Brahms on the other hand, remained attached to the tradition of absolute music, which, as in the case of the classical symphony, is free of extra-musical content. He was therefore, like the music critic Eduard Hanslick, a "conservative". After more than 20 years of preparation, Brahms' First Symphony finally premiered in 1876. With it, Brahms connects with Beethoven’s legacy - conductor Hans von Bülow described it as "Beethoven's tenth". He also established a new principle of composition with the so-called developing variation. The success of his First acted as a liberation for Brahms and only one year later his Second Symphony premiered, which was composed in the countryside. The idyll surrounding him there seems to be reflected in his Second. Theodor Billroth, a friend of Brahms, observed: "It's all blue sky, trickling wells, sunshine and cool green shade!" According to Hanslick, Brahms surpassed his first two symphonies with his Third Symphony. "It is more transparent in detail, more plastic in the main motifs. The instrumentation is richer in new and delightful colours than the earlier ones." During the first performance in Vienna in 1883, Wagner supporters began to hiss in concert after each movement, but they could not last long against the general euphoria. Two years later Brahms wrote his last symphony, in which he achieved an impressive orchestral force. With that symphony, he opened the door to the future and inspired subsequent composers such as Richard Strauss, who enthusiastically said: "A huge work, new and original and yet a true Brahms from A to Z.”

Musical Direction Cornelius Meister
Staatsorchester Stuttgart

There will be an introduction 45 minutes before the concert.

First workshop, then concert: After a playful and musical introduction, children aged between 4 and 10 years experience the second part of the symphony concert.