Brahms Symphony No. 1 & Symphony No. 3
SIGCD250 | March 2011 release
It took Brahms many years to compose his First Symphony; he shared much of his compositional journey with Clara Schumann, sending her a birthday card in 1868 with the notation of an Alpine horn tune that became the famous theme of the symphony’s finale. The whole work is underpinned by a version of Robert Schumann’s own ‘Clara’ motif.
Edward Elgar noted that all of the movements in Brahms’s Third Symphony end quietly; combined with the fact that Brahms’s musical ‘fingerprint’ (representing the motto ‘free but joyful’) is transformed into the minor mode, this ambiguous work suggests that the composer was looking back to his lost youth and forward, fearfully, to his old age.
This recording is conducted by the Philharmonia’s Honorary Conductor for Life, Christoph von Dohnányi.