Herbert Blomstedt on Sibelius’s Fourth and Brahms’s Third Symphony (19 min.)
In one of his both entertaining and knowledgeable introductions, Herbert Blomstedt talks here about symphonies by Johannes Brahms and Jean Sibelius. The conductor explains why the sombre mood and open form in Sibelius’s Fourth are suited to the Corona situation, and explains the political circumstances that preoccupied the Finnish composer at the time of its composition. He also describes the perplexed reaction of the audience at the first performances of the work, which abruptly breaks off at the end. Brahms’s Third Symphony, on the other hand, enchants, according to Blomstedt, with its richness of melody and at the same time unsettles with its emotional ambivalence. Even at over 90 years of age, the conductor particularly appreciates works that prefer thoughtfulness and open questions to unambiguous answers.