Brahms - Symphony no.2 | Profil PH21032

Brahms - Symphony no.2


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Label: Profil

Cat No: PH21032

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 10th September 2021



Philharmonie Festiva


Gerd Schaller


Brahms, Johannes

Symphony no.2 in D major, op.73


Philharmonie Festiva


Gerd Schaller


It took some twenty years before Brahms was able to complete his First Symphony, in 1876, by which time he was 43 years old. In contrast to the First, whose gestation represents a huge feat of strength, his Second Symphony followed relatively speedily in its wake, composed in 1877 during a carefree holiday in Portschach on the Worthersee. The premiere in December 1877 with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Hans Richter was a resounding success.

The first half of the nineteenth century saw decisive developments in the art of building musical instruments. String instruments underwent modifications, woodwind instruments were remodelled to facilitate a more direct and immediate fluency, especially in legato passages, while the higher-range brass instruments were fitted with valves that allowed them for the first ti me to perform convincing chromatic runs.

If given the choice, Brahms actually preferred smaller orchestras in which the strings did not outweigh the woodwinds. The present CD recording is inspired by the timbre which Brahms had intended. Contrary to usual philharmonic practice, Gerd Schaller and his Philharmonie Festiva perform with a smaller string section. In particular, the balance between the winds and strings brings out the woodwinds far more distinctly, while allowing the brass to show off too.

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