Klett-Cotta-Verlag Psychology

Eine »letzte Sinfonie«?

Brahms’ Dritte

Oktober 2018, 22. Jahrgang, Heft 88, pp 77-82

A »Last Symphony«? – Brahms’s Third
We have no way of establishing beyond doubt whether the introduction to Mozart’s KV 543 only applies to it or to the three last ones, whether the transition to the finale in Schumann’s D minor symphony ended up too long in relation to the finale itself, and whether Brahms, at the end of his Third Symphony, composed not only his farewell to that piece but also – for himself – to the symphonic genre as a whole. If so, it would make the Third his »last« per intentionem, and the Fourth the »after-last«. This is supported not only by the circumstances and statements of his last years, but also by a specific »extremism« – culminating in the abruptly cancelled apotheosis of the finale – which is perhaps better ignored in order to gain familiarity with his music.

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