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The Brahms Symphonies: A Weekly Lecture Series

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Join Pablo Saelzer of the Avanti Orchestra of the Friday Morning Music Club for our brand new virtual lecture series.

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The Brahms Symphonies

A Weekly Lecture Series: September 2020 - January 2021

September 10 marks the first in a series of weekly lectures to be presented by Pablo Saelzer, Professor of Music at Montgomery College and Maestro of the Avanti Orchestra. The lectures will start with the four symphonies of Johannes Brahms. In Mr. Saelzer’s words, “the Brahms’ symphonies are perhaps the most monumental symphonic achievements since the symphonies of Beethoven. They are masterfully crafted and imbued with a distillation of compositional techniques stretching from the Renaissance to the late 19th century. In addition, because they exist in a balance between chamber and symphonic music, they are both musician’s music as well as successful public concert music. These characteristics make them profoundly satisfying to study and play.”The main objective of these lectures is for participants to gain awareness of Brahms’ achievements in these symphonies. Score in hand, the study will seek to illuminate their architecture to hopefully better understand how it works to make the music expressive and meaningful. Mr. Saelzer will guide this tour through the symphonies, but the degree of detail delved into will be determined by the questions and discussions with the participants. A secondary objective is to gain techniques to enhance the study of music scores that can be an asset for musicians in their preparation of solo or chamber music repertoire.

Score Information

Since these lectures will not include guided listenings, it is fundamental for all participants to have scores to the four symphonies. Below are two suggestions on what editions to consider. It will be crucial that participants have a score with measure numbers.

  • Dover editions offer the four symphonies in full score, with measure numbers, in one single tome, for about $25. This edition can be bought on Amazon (don't forget to use Amazon Smile to donate to Avanti and FMMC!) and other online retailers like Sheetmusicplus.com. This edition can also be found for free as PDF files on IMSLP (imslp.org).
  • Henle offers a new Urtext edition which is strongly recommended. The individual full scores are rather expensive, but Henle offers them also as study scores (the same as the “full score” but in smaller format) which are clearly laid out, and perfectly legible. Here is a link to the complete four study scores.

Registration

These lectures will be hosted on Zoom. You may opt to attend for only your favorite symphony or for all of them! You only need to register once to receive the information necessary to attend all of the sessions. If you have any questions, please direct them to orchestra@fmmc.org.

Dates and Times

Thursdays from 8:00-9:00pm

  • Thursday, September 10
  • Thursday, September 17
  • Thursday, September 24
  • Thursday, October 1
  • Thursday, October 8
  • Thursday, October 15
  • Thursday, October 22
  • Thursday, October 29
  • Thursday, November 5
  • Thursday, November 12
  • Thursday, November 19
  • Thursday, December 3
  • Thursday, December 10
  • Thursday, December 17
  • Thursday, January 7
  • Thursday, January 14

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