The first of two programs in a Brahms mini-festival, conducted by David Robertson.
Brahms’s Fourth is his most expansive symphony. Hans von Bülow, its first conductor, described it as “gigantic” and “a law unto itself”. But ask David Robertson and he’ll tell you it’s “large-scale chamber music”, full of exquisite detail and marvellous interactions between the different sections of the orchestra. This great Romantic symphony with its magnificent finale has been admired from the beginning and sits firmly at the heart of the orchestral repertoire. In this concert, Robertson pairs it with something brand new: a concerto composed especially for German cellist Alban Gerhardt by SSO Artist in Residence Brett Dean. And to begin he’s chosen Elgar’s idyllic serenade, beguiling music to show off the SSO strings.