Johannes Brahms Symphonies 1 & 2

Johannes Brahms
Symphonies No. 1 & 2

Bremen Philharmonic
Markus Poschner

Catalog number: 21056

Brahms and Bremen

Brahms and Bremen, Bremen and Brahms: born in Hamburg in 1833 and later a Viennese by choice, he had a special affinity to the Hansa city on the river Weser. The Bremer Philharmonic’s Brahms Project is thus a continuation of a special tradition. One of the composer’s landmarks as a composer has a direct connection to the Hansa city. At the age of 35 he made nothing less than his breakthrough as an internationally renowned composer in Bremen’s Dom (Cathedral) with the premiere of his German Requiem. On that Good Friday in 1868 Robert Schumann’s prophecy for the young composer came true: “If he [Brahms] lowers his magic wand where the might of the masses, a chorus and orchestra, empower him, then we are in for some wonderful insights into the spiritual world”, said Schumann in his famous article on Brahms Neue Bahnen (New Paths). It had however taken thirteen years for Brahms, who until then had mainly composed piano and chamber music, to lower his own “magic wand” in the direction of a work for chorus and orchestra.
It was, significantly, Clara Schumann who remembered the article by her husband at the world premiere in Bremen conducted by Brahms himself: “As I watched Johannes [in Bremen Cathedral] standing with the baton in his hand, I remembered my dear Robert’s prophecy - which today was realized. The baton really did become a magic wand and bewitched everyone, even his most bitter enemies.”

Wolfgang Sandberger

A co-production with Radio Bremen