Brahms’ Final Symphony

On this CD, we get to enjoy the Symphony #4 in E-Minor by Johannes Brahms. Also included are a few shorter pieces, such as the Hungarian Dances numbers 3, 7, and 11.


All are performed by the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Iván Fischer conducting.

The symphony #4 by Johannes Brahms is one of my great favorites, because I “see” the Austrian countryside in it. It starts as a tender melody, and gets developed into larger proportions.

The first movement is in sonata form, and it seems to have a simple theme that gets creatively developed. This music continues unfolding toward a powerful conclusion.

The fourth movement is notable in that Brahms included in it a symphonic passacaglia, which is similar to a chaconne. For the repeating theme, Brahms adapted the chaconne theme from the closing movement of Johann Sebastian Bach‘s cantata, Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150.

Here is Johannes Brahms Symphony No 4 E minor, with the late Carlos Kleiber conducting the Bayerisches Staatsorchester:

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