Introduction to Brahms, Symphony No.3 in F major, op.90

A particularly mellow, burnished glow radiates from Brahms's F major
Symphony. The work was written chiefly in Wiesbaden, where Brahms spent
the summer of 1883. He had just turned fifty - and had possibly fallen in
love with the much younger singer Hermine Spiess, who happened to live in
Wiesbaden. Like most of his symphonies, the Third is also permeated by a
melodic motto. This one consists of three notes which not only open the
symphony but are frequently woven into its texture and return with dramatic
emphasis at crucial moments in the later movements. The unexpectedly quiet
close of the Third sets it off against the previous two symphonies and
calms the electrifying tension of all four movements before reaching a
tension-releasing "transfiguration" (Clara Schumann).
Between 1981 and 1984, Leonard Bernstein recorded nearly all of Brahms's
orchestral works with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra to honor the 150th
anniversary of the composer's birth in 1983. Today, the cycle is considered
as a landmark in the interpretation of Brahms' music. Bernstein and the
Vienna Philharmonic have underscored both the classicism and romanticism,
the dramatic intensity and the sober restraint of Brahms's music. The venue
was Vienna's Musikvereinssaal, where two of Brahms's symphonies were
premiered and where Brahms himself conducted. In his introductions,
Bernstein speaks with an eloquence and conviction that go far beyond the
opening words to a traditional concert performance. With his stimulating
theories on Brahms and his music, Bernstein prompts viewers to listen to
the music with an open mind.

Composer: Johannes Brahms
Title: Introduction to Brahms, Symphony No.3 in F major, op.90
Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra: Wiener Philharmoniker
Video Director: Humphrey Burton
Genre: Special
Length: 15 minutes
Cat.No.: A05500715