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Inside the Music with Andrew Grams

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Friday, March 31, 2017 at 8:00 pm
Hemmens Cultural Center

Brahms’ Symphony No. 4

Inside the Music with Andrew Grams are lively, 90 minute in-depth explorations of masterworks using visuals and musical excerpts to explain the history and form of the piece. After intermission, the ESO will perform the entire work with participants having gained newfound insight into what makes the piece so special. These Friday night programs will be informal, laid-back and fun! All part of our goal to offer musical experiences for a new age.

Inside the Music March 31 will explore Johannes Brahms’s fourth and final symphony, one of the seminal works in the classical orchestra repertoire.  Brahms took the traditional classical structures and forms of his musical heroes Bach and Beethoven to new and innovative heights, creating bold and unique combinations while honoring the techniques of earlier periods. His brilliant orchestrations have influenced composers like Antonín Dvořák, Edward Elgar and Anton Webern, and countless musicians, including Perry Como, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Dave Matthews and Santana, who have used elements of his compositions in their work. The rock group Yes wrote Cans and Brahms based on the third movement of his Fourth Symphony.

Johannes Brahms was an innovator who created new musical combinations imbued with a Romantic spirit, yet firmly based in the tradition of past classical masters. Something of a child prodigy, at age 6 he created a simple method of composing so he could write down his musical ideas. He began piano lessons at seven, and made his piano performance debut at 10 years old. Extremely self-critical and a perfectionist, it took him 21 years to compose his first symphony, and he destroyed many works that he deemed not worthy of publication. A respected and popular composer during his lifetime, he lived frugally and never married, although he had many romances, including a great love for his dear friend Robert Schumann’s wife, Clara. She died in May 1896 and Brahms died 11 months later on April 3, 1897, leaving a varied catalog of music for symphony orchestra, chamber groups, piano, organ, voice and chorus. A virtuoso pianist as well as a composer, Brahms leaves a legacy of rich musical craftsmanship, while pushing the boundaries of classical music into new realms.



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