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


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Up 11. Highest position since 2009. 2nd of 7 entries for Brahms this year.

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.