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Brahms: Great Responsibility to German Composition Made Great Music

There are three great “B”s of Germanic orchestral composition — Beethoven, Bach, and Brahms. But unlike some of the famous composers who came before him — such as Mozart — Johannes Brahms is not known for an outlandish or difficult personality. In fact, Brahms was known to have an amiable, considerate and thoughtful personality. These are traits we hear reflected in Brahms works, some of which will be featured through the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and its Brahms Festival. Joining Detroit Today to talk about what makes Brahms and his music unique in a field of great Germanic composers is Jan Swafford. Swafford is a Brahms biographer and the DSO’s festival expert on Brahms. He speaks with Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson.

Compositions by Brahms used in this interview:

Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68: III Un poco allegretto e grazioso
Wiegenlied: Guten Abend, gute Nacht [Lullaby]
Hungarian Dance No. 1 in G Minor
Sonata No. 2 in A Major for Violin and Piano, Op. 100: III. Allegretto grazioso
Piano Concerto No. 1 in Din Minor, Op. 15: III
Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68: II Andante sostenuto
Serenade No. 1 in D Major, Op. 11: I Allegro molto
Symphony No. 3 in F, Op. 90: III Poco allegretto
Cello Sonata No. 1 in E, Op. 38: I Allegro non troppo
Ein deutsches Requiem, Op. 45: IV “Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen”

  

Image credit: Flickr

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