A performance steeped in history: Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73, as played by the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under the baton of Kurt Masur, in the St. Nicholas Church, Leipzig, October 9, 2009.

This concert, bearing the theme of ’20 Years Since the Peaceful Revolution’, commemorates October 9, 1989 – the date when over 70,000 people gathered in Leipzig, the GDR’s second-largest city, to protest for democracy and increased freedom. Kurt Masur was among those calling for non-violence. On that tense evening, the Gewandhaus Orchestra also played Johannes Brahms’ (1833 – 1897) second symphony, under Masur’s direction.

On account of its cheerful and lyrical mood, Brahms’ second symphony is also known as the ‘Pastorale’. Just as Beethoven evoked idyllic, rural scenes in his ‘Pastorale’, Brahms wrote his Symphony No. 2 with a view of the budding landscapes of Carinthia, where he was staying in 1877. The premiere of the symphony was held in Vienna, in December of that same year, and was a resounding success.

(00:00) I. Allegro non troppo
(16:07) II. Adagio non troppo
(25:24) III. Allegretto grazioso
(31:19) IV. Allegro con spirito

© EuroArts Music International

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