Symphony No. 2 in D major
Symphony No. 4 in E minor
European Union Youth Orchestra
Carlo Maria Giulini (conductor)
Reviewed: 18 August, 2020
Brahms’s development in the time between composing his First and Second Symphonies was remarkable. Despite finishing it less than a year after the premiere of his First, the Second Symphony belongs to an entirely different world. It is an expansive, full-bodied work, infused with the idyllic surroundings of the Austrian spa town in which it was written.
In this concert from the 1994 Proms, Italian maestro Carlo Maria Giulini and the European Union Youth Orchestra pair the symphony with Brahms’s final effort in the medium: his thrilling Fourth. Written at the height of his musical powers (again, within a year of its predecessor), it is the first symphony by any composer to incorporate a strict set of variations into one of its movements: the finale is based on a repeating bass melody from Bach’s Cantata 150, Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich’.
Read Past Reviews on the Classical Source
This performance was taken from the BBC Proms in 1994 (20th August) – five years before the Classical Source was born.
Read Colin Anderson’s thoughts on tonight’s concert here.