Herbert Blomstedt conducts the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in the Academic Festival Overture by Johannes Brahms. In a separate video Herbert Blomstedt gives an explanation of it in an animated fashion.
Johannes Brahms composed his Academic Festival Overture as a ‘thank you’ to the University of Breslau, which had awarded him an honorary doctorate. Besides several student drinking songs, Brahms also gave the melody of the nationalistic song ‘Wir hatten gebauet ein stattliches Haus’ a prominent place in the Academic Festival Overture. This can only be a confirmation of his admiration for Bismarck (who had recently created a unified Germany in place of the previous array of smaller sovereign states) and of his belief in German unity.
Herbert Blomstedt has been a welcome guest conductor with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra since 1983. At the age of ninety plus, with enormous mental and physical presence, verve and artistic drive, Herbert Blomstedt continues to be at the helm of all leading international orchestras. In addition to the performance of Brahms’s Academic Festival Overture under the direction of Herbert Blomstedt, you can also watch Blomstedt’s entertaining explanation of the work.