While most composers turn out a first symphony at an early age, Brahms First was completed when he was in his forties, having worked on it off and on for over a decade. It is thought he was in awe of the Beethoven symphonies and held off until he could produce some thing comparable. The Beethoven comparison was inescapable though as it was dubbed Beethovens Tenth by Hans von Bülow who agreed with the critic Eduard Hanslick that the forth movement sounded like the Ode to Joy. Hanslick did go on to praise the 1st.
When I was in high school, I had the good fortune to hear this symphony performed by the London Philharmonic when they toured the US in the 60s.
Brahms' First, especially that first movement, is perhaps one of the most brilliant pieces of symphonic composition in all of music history -- one I've studied in depth on and off for over thirty years.
Bill, given my deep love of this work, I can pay you no higher compliment than to say that have you have more than done justice to this spectacular composition.
Thank you David. I appreciate you listening. Doing notation allows one to get into the nuts and bolts and I agree with you, this is one of the most original pieces of music conceived. The manner in which Brahms wove his rhythms from 6/8 has always amazed me. Thanks.
Wow. I had just finished listening to Horner's "Krull" when I listened to your rendetion, and I must say, for the first 20 seconds or so, I had REALLY thought I was listening to a real orchestra when hearing this. How much was done with GPO?
The Beethoven comparison was inescapable though as it was dubbed Beethoven[']s Tenth by Hans von Bülow who agreed with the critic Eduard Hanslick that the fo[u]rth movement sounded like the Ode to Joy.
To which, incidentally, Brahms rather eructatively and quite accurately replied: "Well! Any idiot can hear that!"
The resemblance was fully intentional, a purposeful and respectful doffing-of-the-cap by Brahms to his greatly revered predecessor, Beethoven.
And, though I may be pelted with rotten fruit for a terrible heresy, I personally think Brahms spoke far more eloquently and inventively to this thematic material than Beethoven did with his somewhat low-brow, rowdy drinking song.
Great job! It goes without saying that the piece is extraordinary. Your setting of it shows GPO off to great advantage, not to mention your skills at sequencing (somehow that doesn't sound complimentary enough - "gee, he's a great sequencer...").
How do you find the time to tackle such large projects? (Said enviously)
I personally think Brahms spoke far more eloquently and inventively to this thematic material than Beethoven did with his somewhat low-brow, rowdy drinking song.
You have a way with words, David. I believe if look out your window you'll see a lynch mob forming. Actually, though I never thought about it till now I think you have a valid point. (I'm still going keep my Beethoven 9th CDs)