Johannes Brahms composed Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73, in 1877, while he was contemplating his famous Violin Concerto. The setting for both compositions? The charming town of Pörtschach am Wörthersee in the Austrian Alps. It is the bucolic spirit of this magnificent place that permeates Symphony No. 2. Light and joyful, it provides the listener with a sense of peace and communion with nature, much like Beethoven's "Pastoral" Symphony. In fact, the similarities between the two symphonies don't end there. The character of Brahms' Symphony No. 2 contrasts with his brooding and restless Symphony No. 1, which took him over 15 years to compose: just as Beethoven's Symphony No. 6, also known as the "Pastoral" Symphony, differs from his Fifth Symphony, often referred to as the "Fate Symphony" due to its tragic tone!
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The famous Symphony No. 2 by Brahms, composed during the composer's stay in southern Austria, seems to be a musical interpretation of the famous Latin pastoral poetry saying, "Et in Arcadia Ego." Spoken by Death itself, these words can have two meanings: "Remember that you must die" or, with a little more optimism, "Even if you must die, at least you will have lived in the best corner of the world." And Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73 reflects this ambiguity because, although pastoral, joyful, and peaceful, it also features more unsettling and melancholic moments. Far from affecting the overall tone of the symphony, these darker touches of color only serve to enhance Brahms' characteristic mastery of contrasts. Discover Brahms' Symphony No. 2 streaming on medici.tv!