Insights from the Maestro: Go Brahms

As a programmer, I am struck by how profoundly sounds can influence our emotions and state-of-mind. With that in mind, I am thrilled to introduce to this season's Composer of the Year, Adam Schoenberg, and the opener to our first concert, Go. Fast and furious, it is a musical depiction of a race, complete with revving engines, a breakneck pace, and wild corners.

After Go sprints to the finish, Jean Sibelius presents an immediate mood of mystery as his Concerto introduces a long, yearning theme of ever-growing intensity. Artist of Distinction, violinist Jennifer Frautschi, carries the themes to a rondo ending that has been termed "a polonaise for polar bears."

Sibelius and Brahms may appear a sea apart, but they were in many ways cut from the same traditionalist cloth. They used conventional structures yet still created and innovated with boundless inspiration. In the composer's own words, "You have no idea how the likes of us feel when we hear…a giant like [Beethoven] behind us." With the shadow of Beethoven looming, Brahms worked on Symphony No. 1 for more than 20 years, finally confirming to himself that he could follow in Beethoven's footsteps. Indeed, Brahms' First is commonly referred to as Beethoven's Tenth! With these multifaceted works and such a superlative soloist, we find ourselves with an inspiring and powerful opening for our season.

Musically Yours,

Philip Mann

Insights from the Maestro