Conductor Kirill Karabits
Brahms Symphony No.3
Brahms Symphony No.4
‘Aimez-vous Brahms?’ asked the title of Francoise Sagan’s sometime cult novel. Kirill Karabits and the BSO won’t need to be asked twice! For their final concerts of the season they tackle the four symphonies in chronological order and over a two-night span that charts a journey from the brow-furrowing C minor opening of the Symphony No. 1 to the pent-up energy that drives the forward momentum of the passacaglia variations that crown the fourth.
It’s a journey Brahms himself didn’t undertake lightly. Although the last three symphonies emerged in well under a decade, the first had been almost fifteen years in the making before its premiere in 1876. And while the conductor Hans von Bulow immediately dubbed it ‘Beethoven’s 10th’, Brahms confided to Herman Levi: ‘you don’t know what it’s like always to hear that giant marching along behind me’.
As he completes his 5th season as Principal Conductor of the BSO, Kirill Karabits is the perfect guide to Brahms’ potent fusion of classical discipline and romantic passion. ‘Karabits is an inspired architect’ says The Telegraph, ‘he has an energising presence without being domineering… he paced the finale in a way that brought the house down’. Sounds like the Brahms symphonies could have been written for him.
Pre-concert interview: Kirill Karabits
6.25pm, free with a concert ticket to the Brahms Symphony Cycle
Discovering Music Talk
Saturday 3 May 2014, 11am, Tickets: £5, £3 with concert ticket, free to subscribers
Bristol based conductor Jonathan James hosts this popular series of talks that dig deeper into the themes and ideas behind the music. In an entertaining and incisive style Jonathan explores and uncovers the building blocks of each programme, putting the music performed into historical and social context.