Johannes Brahms – Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90


Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Jaap van Zweden. Paint, Saint Valery sur Somme the Bridge on the Lock by Eugene Boudin

Excerpts from Wikipedia: “The Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90, is a symphony written by Johannes Brahms. The work was written in the summer of 1883 at Wiesbaden, nearly six years after he completed hisSecond Symphony. In the interim Brahms had written some of his greatest masterpieces, including the Violin Concerto, two overtures (Tragic Overture and Academic Festival Overture), and the Second Piano Concerto.

The premiere performance was given on 2 December 1883 by theJohannes Brahms (1833–1897), German composer, 1889 Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Hans Richter. The shortest of Brahms’ four symphonies, a typical performance lasts between 30 and 40 minutes.

The symphony is scored for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, a contrabassoon, four horns, two trumpets, three trombonestimpani, and strings.
The symphony is in four movements, marked as follows:

  1. Allegro con brio (F major), in sonata form.
  2. Andante (C major), in ternary form (A B A’).
  3. Poco allegretto (C minor), in ternary form (A B A’).
  4. Allegro (F minor/F major), in a modified sonata form  

 Hans Richter, who conducted the premiere of the symphony, proclaimed it to be Brahms’ Eroica.

His friend and influential music critic Eduard Hanslick said, “Many music lovers will prefer the titanic force of the First Symphony; others, the untroubled charm of the Second, but the Third strikes me as being artistically the most nearly perfect.

Use in popular culture

In the 1961 film Goodbye Again (also known as “Aimez-vous Brahms?”), the soulful theme of the third movement of the symphony is heard repeatedly, including as the tune of a song (“Say No More, It’s Goodbye”) sung by the night club singer (Diahann Carroll).

In the 1946 film noir Undercurrent, starring Katharine Hepburn, the same theme appears both in the opening credits and in multiple scenes”

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