The Great Romantics
JOHANNES BRAHMS – Tragische Ouvertüre, Op. 81
MAX BRUCH – Concerto for two pianos and orchestra, Op. 88a
JOHANNES BRAHMS – Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98
Tonight the great German romantics reign at the National Philharmonic Hall. The Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, Sonata and Rokas Zubovas Piano Duo and conductor Robertas Šervenikas present works by Brahms and Bruch. The two composers were contemporaries: Brahms was born in 1833, Bruch five years later, but the opuses featured on tonight’s programme were composed 30 years apart!
Brahms completed his last, the Fourth Symphony, in 1885. It is a majestic composition embodying not only perfect so to say antique beauty, but also a reflection of austere reality of life. The composer felt Beethoven’s influence for many years, was repeatedly compared to this Viennese classicist, and felt unsure whether it is worth composing symphonies after all. Brahms wrote Tragic Overture for a prospective (regrettably not carried out) production of Goethe’s Faust. The Overture was premiered in Vienna in 1880.
Bruch skilfully combined his idiomatic style with contrapuntal technique, colourful harmonies and inventive orchestration. In the late 19th and early 20th c. Europe became a setting for new music tendencies, but Bruch, living and working in Berlin, shunned from the new music movement in Germany. While working on Concerto for two pianos and orchestra, his last composition completed in 1915, he remained faithful to the values of noble and genuine romanticism. Soloists of this seldom-performed opus will be Sonata and Rokas Zubovas Piano Duo. The Duo has been performing for almost two decades appearing in the USA, Canada, Argentina, Uruguay and Iran as well as throughout Europe.