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Just a month before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Kurt Masur and Leipzig’s Gewandhaus Orchestra presented a performance of Brahms’s Second Symphony in Leipzig’s St. Nicholas Church. 20 years after that fateful November day, the same musicians perform an all-German concert program to commemorate that peaceful revolution, poetically presenting a stunning performance of the same Brahms symphony.
They open with Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, a work based on Goethe’s eponymous novel that explored the Spanish Netherlands’ 16th century fight for independence under the leadership of Count Egmond. Renaud Capuçon then takes the stage for the same composers Romances Nos. 1 & 2 for violin and orchestra. Less well-known than this Violin Concerto, these works are no less musically rich. From the balcony, the children’s choir of Leipzig’s St. Thomas Church honor two of their past directors, Bach and Mendelssohn, by singing motets by each composer under the direction of their current director Georg Christoph Biller. The concert culminates in Brahms’s monumental Symphony No. 2.