The distinguished conductor Herbert Blomstedt and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra present Johannes Brahms’s Tragic Overture. Actually, the title ‘Melancholy Overture’ would have suited the work better.
Brahms’s Tragic Overture can be regarded as the serious counterpart to his more joyful Academic Festival Overture; Johannes Brahms composed both works during his pleasant sojourn in Bad Ischl during the summer of 1880. Brahms was not accustomed to provide his works with an extra-musical significance; the carefully chosen adjective ‘tragic’ does not mean that the work contains a programme as such. The mood of the overture, despite Brahms’s splendid summer, is dark and gloomy.
Herbert Blomstedt has been a welcome guest conductor with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra since 1983. Blomstedt has served as principal conductor or music director of various orchestras, including the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra (from 1998 until 2005), that named him honorary conductor afterwards. 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.