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Part of FRM Friday Midday
About This Performance
It took Brahms almost 20 years to complete his First Symphony and come to conclusive terms with the medium and the crushing weight of comparisons to Beethoven. “I will never compose a symphony,” he wrote to a friend in 1870. “You have no idea what it feels like to be dogged by that giant.” Six years later (barring some additional revision) he was done, with a work that seems to recapitulate its own creation: titanic struggle to exalted triumph, and in the key of Beethoven’s fifth Symphony, the foundational epitome of that heroic arc.
American pianist Garrick Ohlsson is best known for his Chopin, but he won a Grammy for his Beethoven and has more than 80 concertos in his repertory, including Mozart’s exquisite Piano Concerto No. 21.
American conductor James Conlon opens the program with one of his passions, music by Czech composer Erwin Schulhoff, who died in a Nazi camp.
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