Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in e Op. 98
Brahms completed his fourth and final symphony in 1885, and many of his contemporaries and audience-goers didn’t understand the work. The Fourth Symphony is rigorous in terms of its compositional logic, and it embodies a formal completeness that could easily be regarded as perfection. Nevertheless, the composer’s closest friends understood the work, and knew Brahms had created a masterpiece. Clara Schumann wrote to Brahms of his fourth, “My heart is full to overflowing over your symphony.” Brahms also proved that at the end of the 19th century older forms of music were still being mastered, as demonstrated in the very Bach-ian final movement. It’s our Evening Masterwork, tonight at 7, on Classical WSMR.