Slide background

12 - 16 FEBRUARY 2020


Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Sunday, 17 February 2019 - 3.30 p.m.
February Festival 2019

A Self-Indulgent String Finale

Alban Berg Ensemble Wien, Thomas Beijer, Renate Arends, Peter Nilsson, Simone Lamsma, Robert Kulek, Hannah Strijbos

We will be ending the Februari festival on a fantastic, tempestuous note, in which no emotions will be spared. Once more, you will be immersed in the masterful music of Brahms, ranging from intimate and lyrical to exuberant and extroverted. From a string quintet to a string sextet: Johannes Brahms was one of the first to attempt a work scored for six string players. This edition of the Februari Festival will close with one of Brahms’ absolute masterpieces in the chamber music genre: the lyrical and melancholic Second String Sextet, a piece that contains numerous references to both Clara Schumann and Agathe von Siebold, whose seductive soprano makes the violins sing out.


Brahms: Intermezzi, Op. 117 Nos. 1 & 3
Brahms: Regenlied, Op. 59 No. 3 - Nachklang, Op. 59 No. 4
Brahms: Violin Sonata No. 1, Op. 78
Brahms: Intermezzo, Op. 118 No. 2 - Rhapsody, Op. 119 No. 4
Brahms: String Sextet No. 2, Op. 36


The last works Brahms would write for the piano were his brief intermezzi, capriccios, ballads, romances and fantasies, Op. 117 - 119, all of which hark back to the music of Schubert, Chopin and Schumann. In terms of harmony, Brahms went further in this pianistic testament than ever before – prompting even Arnold Schönberg to call Brahms progressive.

Brahms’ songs also formed the basis of several instrumental works. Today’s programme will feature the First Violin Sonata, preceded by two songs: ‘Regenlied’ and ‘Nachklang’, whose melodic lines were incorporated into the violin sonata.

The festival will close with what is indisputably one of his loveliest chamber music works: the Second String Sextet. The First String Sextet was inspired by Brahms’ love for singer Agathe von Siebold. Agathe ended up rejecting him. This ultimately resulted in the Second String Sextet, written in an attempt to forget this painful experience.

* Programme is subject to possible changes.

Concerts in the Nieuwe Kerk