Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Christoph von Dohnányi, Conductor
Emanuel Ax, Piano
Strange as it might seem today, during Brahms’s life an appreciation of his music virtually forced a listener to take sides in the division set up by critic Eduard Hanslick between the programmatic music of Wagner and Liszt and the formalist music of Brahms and Schumann. For Hanslick, music was incapable of expressing specific concepts or emotions, as Wagner and Liszt sought to do, and he admired the clear formalism of Brahms. The irony is that today we also find a wealth of emotion in Brahms’s lush Romanticism. Celebrated conductor Christoph von Dohnányi returns for only his second festival season to lead four of Brahms’s most beloved works. Ravinia favorite Emanuel Ax performs Brahms’s first piano concerto, whose middle movement is an expansive and meltingly beautiful Adagio that Brahms himself identified as a tender portrait of his beloved Clara Schumann. The sunniest of the four symphonies Brahms composed, the second symphony is imbued with a spacious lyricism.
|Brahms:||Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 15|
|Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73|