Music imitates life: season of Brahms follows Beethoven

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Music imitates life: season of Brahms follows Beethoven


The members of Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra performing chamber music pieces.

Following the performance of the entire Beethoven Symphony Cycle last year, it is no coincidence that the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra chose the music of Johannes Brahms as the theme of this year’s season.
Brahms followed in Beethoven’s footsteps in real life and made the latter a model for his music.
The Seoul Philharmonic will present five of Brahms’ orchestral and four of his chamber pieces throughout the year. The “Brahms Special” began on Jan. 9 with a presentation of Brahms’ orchestral pieces, and it is going to present three chamber music pieces next Tuesday at the Sejong Chamber Hall at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in central Seoul.
The four scheduled performances of the chamber music series will present the Brahms violin sonata and string sextet cycles. For the performance next Tuesday, 12 members of the orchestra will perform three string pieces: Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor (Op. 108), String Quintet No. 1 in F Major (Op.88) and String Sextet No. 1 in B flat Major (Op. 18).


Courtesy of the orchestra

Brahms is known to have composed eight violin sonatas, but only three remain because the composer was a perfectionist and discarded pieces he considered incomplete. The three remaining sonatas were composed later than the violin concerto pieces, and Violin Sonata No. 3 is considered one of the best violin works composed during the Romanticist era. Brahms completed the work in 1888 when he was 55 years old and then sent it to his publisher with a memo.
“Perhaps you haven’t received better works than this string quintet from me, among my works published within the last 10 years. This might sound like an orchestral work though it is a string quintet,” Brahms wrote.
Brahms wrote two string sextets in his life. String Sextet No. 1 was written in 1860 when he was 27 years old, using the elements of folk songs.
Violin Sonata No. 3 will be performed by violinist Marko Komonko; String Quintet No.1 by violinists Yim Ga-jin and Yu Min-na, violists Jin Min-ho and Anton Kang and cellist Kang Chan-uk; and String Sextet No. 1 by violinists Dennis Kim and Kim Hyo-kyung, violists Hung-wei Huang and Lim Joseph and cellists Park Eun-ju and Kim Min-kyung.
Performances start at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 27. Ticket prices ranges from 10,000 won ($11) to 30,000 won. The six other performances of the Brahms Series are scheduled on June 12, June 27, Aug. 19, Sept. 6, Dec. 20 and Dec. 27. For information, call the orchestra at (02) 3700-6300.

By Limb Jae-un Staff Writer []
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