Johannes Brahms was one of music's greatest masters of classical forms, a composer whose individuality expanded and enriched those forms, giving them new variety of mood and a freshness of melodic invention. In writing for the orchestra, Brahms's independent approach brought unusual dramatic power and intensity to his compositions. Those qualities are strikingly evident in three of the most popular and most frequently performed works in the orchestral repertoire, reproduced here in full score: Academic Festival Overture, Tragic Overture, and Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn.
This volume reprints, complete and unabridged, the scores of all three orchestral works from the authoritative Breitkopf & Härtel edition, still considered the standard source for the music of Brahms. Included is a new English translation of the Editor's Commentary, which also appears in the original German.
The Academic Festival Overture, built upon German student songs, is, according to Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, "a very successful and individual pièce de circonstance," while the Tragic Overture is described as "a gloomy and impressive movement, full of that peculiar sense of foreboding that so many composers … have associated with the key of D minor." Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn is renowned for its spontaneity, melodic invention, and delightfully varied orchestral coloring.
Students, composers, and musicologists will find the handy, inexpensive volume of Brahms's great orchestral favorites a valuable addition to their music libraries and an indispensable reference.