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.

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Works and composers

Mendelssohn Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage
Schubert Symphony No.8 'Unfinished'
Brahms Symphony No.4