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Classical 101

Bach by Mahler and Brahms by Riccardo Chailly

Riccardo Chailly
Decca Classics

  On November 10, 1909 in New York City, Gustav Mahler sat down at a harpsichord and led the New York Philharmonic in a performance of his own arrangement of music by Johann Sebastian Bach.  The great Late-Romantic composer of gargantuan symphonies was also a great admirer of the music of Bach.  He was also a leading conductor of his time and had come to New York from Vienna to be the new principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera.

The Bach Suite, as it's come to be called, consists of four movements drawn from the Second and Third Orchestral Suites.  With its expanded orchestration for a larger ensemble than Bach would have written for,  this suite doesn't sound much like the period-instrument performances of Bach's music with with the lean textures and speedy tempos more typical today.  It is still very enjoyable music (the great Air from the Third Suite is included), and it's intriguing to hear how Bach was interpreted a 100 years ago.

You can hear the Bach Suite this evening on Symphony @ 7 with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly conducting a fine recording of some sumptuous Bach.

For the other work on the program, Chailly leads the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in Johannes Brahms' Symphony No. 3 in F.  When this symphony appeared in 1883, critics said it was the best thing he had written.  There was still one more great symphony to come three years later, but the Third is a fascinating piece.  All four of the movements end quietly, yet it's still a work of great power and vitality.

Don't miss some exemplary music-making from Bachtracks' no. 1 rated conductor with the No. 2 and  No. 4 rated orchestras on Symphony @ 7 on Classical 101.