Symphony No.1 in C minor Op.68
Johannes Brahms

220

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The fourth of Brahms' 8 entries in the Ultimate Hall of fame. This has appeared in every Hall of Fame chart across the 20 years, and reached its highest position of 153 in 1997.

It took Brahms nearly 15 years to compose his Symphony No. 1, with frequent revisions made to the score over that period. Even at its premiere, he remained sceptical about whether anyone would like it. So many versions had been torn up, edited and begun all over again.

This great composer had nothing to fear, though. Hans von Bülow (himself a composer, conductor and pianist, just like Brahms) famously described this work as 'Beethoven's Tenth'. No greater compliment could have possibly been paid. At the age of 43, Brahms had finally produced a symphony that both he and his public were happy with. Thankfully, they didn't have to wait nearly as long for the arrival of another: he wrote the second the following year.