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Best of Brahms, Program A and B

Johannes Brahms is known for two things: being one of the most influential Romantic composers of all time, and having a beard so awesome that it could cause spontaneous pregnancies at a range of 20 feet [citation needed]. The Houston Symphony pays homage to the multitalented composer with Best of Brahms, five programs performed over three weekends.

Conductor Hans Graf will kick off the festivities with Program A, which includes Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Symphony No. 1. The acclaimed piano concerto, performed here by Garrick Ohlsson, is a deeply emotional piece, first written around the time Brahms’s close friend Robert Schumann attempted suicide and completed after Schumann died while in an asylum. Brahms’s Symphony No. 1 is sometimes snidely referred to as Beethoven’s Tenth because of Beethoven’s heavy influence on Brahms’s early work. Program B includes Symphony No. 4 and Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Concerto for Violin and Cello, featuring Frank Huang on violin and Brinton Averil Smith on cello.

Here’s a little Hans Graf/Brahms trivia: The first score Graf ever bought was a pocket score of Brahms’s Symphony No. 4. Program A is performed at 8 p.m. Friday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Program B is at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Sept. 14-16, 2012


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