Cancelled - Gil Shaham & Brahms/Hartmut Haenchen & Bruckner
Anton Bruckner, Overture in g minor
Johannes Brahms, Variations on a theme of J. Haydn
Johannes Brahms, Concerto for violin and orchestra in D major, op. 77
Opposites in absolute music
Brahms and Bruckner were roughly the same age, both lived in Vienna and were both devoted to composing absolute music. Inadvertently, they became adversaries: on the one side was Bruckner, a New German Wagnerian who made his mark in the symphonic genre claimed by traditionalists, and on the other was Brahms, admired by his followers as the only legitimate successor to Beethoven.
This concert opens with the Overture in G, composed by Anton Bruckner when he was studying under Otto Kittler in the Austrian city of Linz. Aged 38, Bruckner had decided a few years earlier to take composing more seriously and had begun taking lessons again, following a long period working as an organist and teacher in Sankt Florian. Although he later attached little value to the work he produced at this time, his Overture in G has often been counted among Bruckner’s great symphonies.
Brahms’ Violin Concerto is unusually symphonic in concept. The violin is not there to demonstrate the virtuosity of its player, but functions as a ‘primus inter pares’, and, as such, plays a significant part in the development of the musical motifs. Although it was initially deemed unplayable (“this is not a concerto for the violin but against the violin” – Hans von Bülow), Brahms’ Violin Concerto today holds a special place in the hearts of many soloists and conductors.
Hartmut Haenchen, conductor
Gil Shaham, violin
Hartmut Haenchen's high intellect and musical integrity have secured his place in the forefront of musical life.
Gil Shaham is one of the foremost violinists of our time; his flawless technique combined with his inimitable warmth and generosity of spirit has solidified his renown as an American master.