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Encyclopedia > Symphony No. 1 (Brahms)

The Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68, by Johannes Brahms was first performed on November 4, 1876 in Karlsruhe. It took the composer 14 years to complete, the first sketches dating from 1862. Johannes Brahms (May 7, 1833 – April 3, 1897) was a German composer of Romantic music, who predominantly lived in Vienna, Austria. ... November 4 is the 308th day of the year (309th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 57 days remaining. ... 1876 is a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Map of Germany showing Karlsruhe Coat of Arms of Karlsruhe Karlsruhe castle at night Karlsruhe (population 282,595 in December 2003) is a city of Germany, in the Baden-Württemberg Bundesland, located near the French-German border. ...


The work is in the typical four movements In music, a movement is a large division of a larger composition or musical form. ...

  1. Un poco sostenuto - Allegro
  2. Andante sostenuto
  3. Un poco Allegretto e grazioso
  4. Adagio - Più Andante - Allegro non troppo ma con brio - Più Allegro

It is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani and strings.


A typical performance lasts approximately 45 minutes.


The long gestation of the symphony may be put down to two factors. On the one hand Brahms' self-critical fastidiousness which led him to destroy many of his early works, and on the other hand the expectation of Brahms' friends and the public that Brahms would continue "Beethoven's inheritance" and produce a symphony of commensurate dignity and intellectual scope - an expectation which Brahms felt he could not fulfil easily in view of the monumental reputation of Beethoven. Ludwig van Beethoven Ludwig van Beethoven (baptized December 17, 1770 – March 26, 1827) was a German composer of Classical music, who predominantly lived in Vienna, Austria. ...


The conductor Hans von Bülow was moved in 1877 to call the symphony Beethoven's tenth, due to perceived similarities between the work and various compositions of Beethoven — it is often pointed out that there is a strong family resemblance between the main theme of the finale of this work and the main theme of the finale of Beethoven's ninth, the last symphony Beethoven composed, and that Brahms uses the rhythm of the "fate" motto from the opening of Beethoven's fifth symphony. This annoyed Brahms rather: he felt that this amounted to accusations of plagiarism, whereas he saw his use of Beethoven's idiom in this symphony as an act of conscious homage. Brahms himself said, when comment was made on the similarity with Beethoven, "any fool can see that!" Nevertheless, this work is still often referred to as Beethoven's tenth. A conductors score and batons Conducting is the act of directing a musical performance by way of visible gestures. ... Hans von Bülow. ... The Symphony No. ... Ludwig van Beethovens Symphony No. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Brahms - Symphony No. 1 in C Minor Opus 68 - bhso.org.uk (1193 words)
The tragic early death of Robert Schumann in 1856 had a profound effect on Brahms, and it was not until October 1876 that he was able to play a piano version of this new work to his life long friend and critic Clara, who immediately expressed disappointment as it "lacked melody".
It is significant that before the early rehearsals it is known that Brahms shortened the two middle movements: the first performance took place in Karlsruhe on the 4 November 1876.
Brahms has laid this last movement out on a grand scale which is reflected in its length.
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