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October 25, 2021 18 min

We mark the world premiere – on October 25, 1885, 136 years ago today – of Johannes Brahms’ fourth and final symphony.  Performed by the superb Meiningen Court Orchestra, the performance was conducted by Brahms himself.  It went well. We’ll get to Herr Doktor Professor Brahms in a bit.  But first, some gratuitous, auto back slapping. I began writing these Music History Monday posts in September of 2016.  That was when Melanie Smith, President of San Francisco Performances (for which I am the Music-Historian-in-Residence) asked me to write some sort of regular feature for SFP’s Facebook page.  Here’s the first paragraph of my first post: a celebration of the birthday of Anton Diabelli (1771-1858, as in Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations) that appeared on September 5, 2016: “Welcome to what will become a weekly feature here on the San Francisco Performances Facebook page, ‘Music History Monday.’ (As titles go that’s about as thrilling as root canal, but it is an accurate description of the feature’s content so run with it we will.) Every Monday I will dredge up some timely, perhaps intriguing and even, if we are lucky, salacious chunk of musical information relevant to that date, or to San Francisco Performances’ […]

The post Music History Monday: Johannes Brahms and his Symphony No. 4 first appeared on Robert Greenberg.

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