Johannes Brahms stood for seriousness and tradition, and valued the legacy of his predecessors; and yet the shadow of Beethoven weighed heavily on the shoulders of the young Brahms. It took years of preparation and hesitation before he overcame his uncertainty and let the world hear his First Symphony.
The influence of his illustrious predecessor can be heard very clearly – and that was his intention, for Brahms resolutely opted to render homage. But with this symphony he also emerged definitively from the shadow of ‘his giant’.
Ludwig van Beethoven Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus, op. 43, Overture
Johannes Brahms Sinfonie Nr. 1 c-Moll, op. 68
“I heard Brahms 1 with Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic, live in Salle Pleyel when I was a student at the Conservatoire de Paris in 1990, and the sound of this concert stays in my mind as a gigantic experience” - Stéphane Denève
In this episode of BBC's Discovering Music, Stephen Johnson explores Brahms's Symphony No. 1.listen to the podcast
Read more about Brahms' First Symphony.download programme notes
Browse digitally trough the original manuscript of Brahms 1st Symphony (preserved in The Morgan Library & Museum in New York)discover
Wolfgang is a smartphone app for live classical music. While the orchestra is playing, Wolfgang tells you what is happening ‐ at the very moment ‐ in the music.download the wolfgang app