Mendelssohn was just 19 when he wrote his descriptive overture, inspired by two very popular poems by Goethe. Opening with long-held notes stretching out like a vast expanse of still water, the wind stirs up and the ship continues its journey, arriving with a fanfare of trumpets at the end. With these two most perfect movements, Schubert ushered in the age of the Romantic symphony. It is powerful, satisfying music; perhaps it was left unfinished because it could not, need not be finished. Brahms’ Fourth Symphony is at once a summation of his learning and technique, and a work of art that for all its complexities cuts as close to the heart of the heart as music can. Of all his works, it displays Brahms’ essence most completely.
Make the most of your concert by getting to know the music in more depth with our informative video about the pieces being performed.