Day 308: Symphony No. 2

BrahmsCD2Call me crazy, but I hear strains of lullaby music in Movement I (“Allegro non troppo”) of Brahms’ Symphony No. 2.

As I’m listening, I hear that snippet of da-da-dahhh da-da-dahhh da-da-dahhh-dahhh-da-da-dahhhh. I’m thinking, “That sure does sound like that lullaby song. What is it that? Oh, wait a minute. Isn’t it Brahm’s Lullaby?”

So, it’s possible there are short melodic strains of Brahm’s Lullaby in his Symphony No. 2 since he wrote both, right?

To my ears, Brahms’ symphonies are much more subtle than Beethoven’s. They take repeated listening for me to find the melodies and depth. They seem simplistic at first blush.

Sweet, lush, but simplistic.

The musicians on Brahms CD 2 are:

Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland
Jaap van Zweden

The composition on today’s CD is:

Symphony No. 2 in D Op. 73

I. Allegro non troppo
II. Adagio non troppo
III. Allegretto grazioso
IV. Allegro con spirito

According to its entry on Wikipedia:

The Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73, was composed by Johannes Brahms in the summer of 1877, during a visit to Pörtschach am Wörthersee, a town in the Austrian province of Carinthia. Its composition was brief in comparison with the fifteen years it took Brahms to complete his First Symphony.

The symphony is scored for the following: Woodwind: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, Brass: 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, Percussion:timpani, Strings: Violin 1 and 2, Viola, Cello and Double Bass.

The cheery and almost pastoral mood of the symphony often invite comparisons with Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony, but perhaps mischievously Brahms wrote to his publisher on November 22, 1877, that the symphony “is so melancholy that you will not be able to bear it. I have never written anything so sad, and the score must come out in mourning.”

The premiere was given in Vienna on December 30, 1877 by the Vienna Philharmonic under the direction of Hans Richter…

As I read down farther in the Wiki entry, I come across Continue reading