Brahms bonanza: Part 1 | Music | DW | 11.09.2018
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Brahms bonanza: Part 1

This hour we'll hear Germany's newest orchestra. It's not unusual these days to hear ensembles performing on instruments from the time the music was written, yet the sound can still astonish.

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Concert Hour: Brahms bonanza, part 1

For this all-Brahms hour, we asked Dresden Music Festival director Jan Vogler about that most German of composers. There's something very deep and profound about him, said Vogler, but to really take Brahms' music in he said you have to meet it halfway.

"He's a composer that has a very dense body of information in his pieces, and you have to think about it. You have to make that music happen in your head. It's not going to just come to you," he said.

Jan Vogler (Felix Broede)

Festival director and cellist Jan Vogler

Vogler founded the Dresden Festival Orchestra about five years ago and explained his reasons to DW. "The first inspiration came from the 19th century, from all these wonderful works premiered in Dresden or in Saxony. I wanted to attempt to create the sound of the world premieres," he said.

To do so, Vogler gathered a small community of musicians who perform in various early music groups across Europe — from London, Paris, Brussels, Vienna, Freiburg and Berlin — and let them select the members and organize the ensemble themselves. "At the first concert, it was just stunning how inspired it was," said Vogler. "I think it was for that fact: they weren't put together but found each other and chose their own conductors." 

Johannes Brahms

  • Variations in B-flat on a theme of Joseph Haydn, op. 56a
  • Violin concerto in D Major, op. 77, 1st and 2nd movements

Thomas Zehetmair, violin 
Dresden Festival Orchestra 
Ivor Bolton, conductor 

Recorded by Deutschlandfunk Kultur, Berlin (DLF) in the Semper Opera on May 21, 2018.

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