Con brio: Widmann, Dvorák, Brahms
- Jörg Widmann Con brio
- Antonín Dvořák Violin Concerto
- Johannes Brahms First symphony
Hilary Hahn plays Dvořák's Violin Concerto. It is framed by Brahms' even more Beethovenian First Symphony and one of Widmann's most popular works: Con brio.
The playing instruction con brio, 'with fire and brilliance', is Beethoven's trademark. It stands for indomitable energy, for irrepressible optimism. In the Allegro con brio of the First Piano Concerto, the Waldstein Sonata, the Third and Fifth Symphonies, the finale of the Seventh. Jörg Widmann connects with this force of nature in his concert overture Con brio. This is neither paraphrase nor persiflage. The vague thematic connections with the Seventh and Eighth Symphonies are subordinate to a higher goal. What Widmann wants to tap into is the 'fire and rhythmic drive' of its great predecessor. Con brio thus becomes a discourse on the primal force of music.
Dvořák and Brahms
It is fitting that we have the musically austere company of a composer who wrote nine symphonies with the same fire and who, in his Violin Concerto, allows himself to be carried away by his lyrical-dramatic character: Dvořák. But to the yin of Widmann's brilliant spectacle belongs the yang of the first composer who only overcame his struggle with Beethoven's intimidating presence after years of struggle, and how!
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