Symphony No.3 in F major Op.90
Re-entry. 1st of 8 entries for Brahms this year.
Once Brahms started writing symphonies in his 40s, there was evidently no stopping him. By 1883, when he reached the third, he had clearly found his own voice. Sweeping, lyrical string lines and beautifully autumnal woodwind passages make this a delight. Hans Richter, who conducted its premiere proclaimed it to be Brahms' 'Eroica'.
There is a risk that this symphony could suffer from a sort of musical version of middle-child syndrome. The novelty of the Symphony No.1, coupled with the fire and joy of the No.4, can leave the No.3 being almost forgotten. The problem is compounded by the fact that it's the shortest of Brahms' four symphonies.
But it's also the most lyrical and, arguably, the best crafted, which goes some way towards explaining its enduring popularity. The influential music critic Hanslick said, of all Brahms' symphonies, the third struck him 'as being artistically the most nearly perfect.'
Win every hour with the Hall of Fame
We're offering you the chance to win a Roberts Radio, the Classic FM Hall of Fame 2014 album, and a copy of our brand new book, 50 Moments That Rocked The Classical Music World, every hour during the countdown.
The Hall of Fame album
We've compiled some of the greatest tracks from this year's Hall of Fame and housed them on one album for your listening pleasure.
Download the Classic FM app for your Apple device
Got an Apple mobile device? Listen to Classic FM on the move with our beautifully-designed, brand new app.
Download the Classic FM app for your Android device
Got an Android mobile device? Listen to Classic FM on the move with our beautifully-designed, brand new app.