Johannes Brahms wrote his Symphony no. 2 during a visit to the Austrian countryside in summer 1877. A particularly bright and cheery work, it was described by Icelandic composer Jón Ásgeirsson as “chock-full of melodies that sing themselves straight to one’s soul.” At the podium is Venezuelan conductor Rafael Payare, who received his early musical training in his native country’s El Sistema programme and is now Music Director of the San Diego Symphony.
The programme also includes the ingenious Quartet for Four Violins by Polish composer Grażyna Bacewicz. A prolific mid-20th-century composer who was one of the first female composition professors in the world, Bacewicz wrote in the neoclassical style. This performance of the quartet — an accessible and lively work — is in the capable hands of four of the Iceland Symphony’s leading violinists.
Concerts in the Friday Series are about an hour long and provide the perfect warm-up to a relaxing weekend.
Grażyna Bacewicz Quartet for Four Violins
Johannes Brahms Symphony no. 2
Sigrún Eðvaldsdóttir, violin
Una Sveinbjarnardóttir, violin
Páll Palomares, violin
Vera Panitch, violin