With concerts of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 and Brahms's Symphony No. 2, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is highlighting its most important function since its founding, namely to perform the best works from the Classical and Romantic periods. The orchestra joins forces here with star pianist Yefim Bronfman, the Russian-Israeli-American master who is known as a heavyweight, excelling in tumultuous works. Remarkably enough, Bronfman now turns to the subtlest and most tender of piano concertos that Beethoven composed.
Johannes Brahms began to compose symphonies relatively late in his career. His respect for Beethoven was so great that, for a very long time, he could not even bring himself to try. He would ultimately write four symphonies, each with its own individual character. That of the Second is often compared to Beethoven's 'Pastoral': a walk on a summer's day portrayed in orchestral music. In keeping with his own character, Brahms himself said the work was 'unbearably melancholy'. You be the judge!