Two years after completing his violin concerto (which Sergey Malov will play on gut strings), in which Brahms again showed an intensive engagement with his role model Beethoven by choosing the key of D major, he composed both the Tragic Overture and the Academic Festival Overture in the summer of 1880. „One weeps, the other laughs“, wrote Brahms, and emphasised that in the case of the former work, for which he recycled sketches for a symphonic movement, he had „no particular tragedy in mind“ - and indeed the decision about the title was taken very late.
More than ten years earlier Bruckner had been appointed professor of harmony and counterpoint at the Conservatorium of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde (Society of Music Lovers) in Vienna, and began soon after, in January 1869, with the composition of a „Second Symphony“. When he later decided to annull the work – presumably as the result of critical comments (the conductor Felix Otto Dessoff is said to have asked:“But where is the theme?“) - he noted in the score: „This symphony is null and void. (Just an attempt.)“ The proof to the contrary, that the work is a fully valid Bruckner symphony, can be experienced with Christoph Spering and his renowned period instrument orchestra.
Johannes Brahms (1833–1897)
Tragic Overture in D minor, Op. 81 (1880)
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major, Op. 77 (1878)
– Pause –
Anton Bruckner (1824–1896)
Symphony in D minor („Annulled“), WAB 100 (1869)
Sergey Malov | Violin
Das Neue Orchester
Christoph Spering | Conductor