At a Glance
legendary “City of Music.” While none of the three composers featured tonight
was born there, all lived in Vienna for extended periods and were deeply
connected to its traditions.
Robert Schumann discovered Johannes Brahms in 1853, and wrote a glowing article
that praised his extraordinary gifts. He held great expectations for the
20-year-old composer, especially with regard to writing symphonies. It took
Brahms another 23 years to complete his first, a second soon followed, and
tonight he hear the Symphony No. 3, which received its premiere in Vienna.
Much as we may dream of finding long-lost works of past masters, the reality is
that most of what scholars stumble upon in archives are minor pieces or
variants of those that are better-known. The discovery in the 1960s of Haydn’s
Cello Concerto in C Major, a work long thought to be lost, was significant and
added a wonderfully buoyant piece to the cello repertory.
Richard Strauss was not related to the legendary Viennese family of dance
composers, notably the Waltz King Johann Strauss Jr., but his opera DerRosenkavalier
evoked a mythic past for Vienna and features unforgettable waltzes. The concert
concludes with a suite of beloved moments from the opera, among them the
evocative horn prelude to Act I, the presentation of the silver rose, the
marvelous concluding trio, and a variety of alluring waltzes.