Brahms, Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98

Composed during the summer months of 1884 and 1885 in M├╝rzzuschlag,
southwest of Vienna, the Fourth Symphony tended to disconcert the public at
first and had to prove itself in the concert circuit before gaining
recognition as a masterwork of epoch-making stature. What Brahms's
contemporaries regarded as difficult and bewildering were above all the
extreme constructive density of the score, the unusual layout, especially
of the third and fourth movements, a number of archaic elements pointing
back to the formulae and techniques of "early music" (the passacaglia in
the fourth movement) and the austere, elegiac mood that permeates the
entire work. The premiere of the Fourth Symphony was given by the Meiningen
Court Orchestra in Meiningen under Brahms's direction on 25 October 1885.
Leonard Bernstein's interpretation with the Boston Symphony Orchestra was
recorded at Tanglewood. For Bernstein, Brahms was "a true Romantic,
containing his passions in classical garb", but also a "North-German
classicist swept away to Vienna, and fired by Danubian, Carpathian and
gypsy passions". Bearing this dualism in mind, Bernstein underscored both
the classicism and romanticism, the dramatic intensity and the sober
restraint of Brahms's music.

Composer: Johannes Brahms
Title: Brahms, Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98
Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra: Boston Symphony Orchestra
Video Director: Humphrey Burton
Genre: Concert
Length: 46 minutes
Cat.No.: A05500548
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