Corpulent and with a large white beard. This is the iconic image we have of Johannes Brahms. What is not so well known, perhaps, is his fine sense of irony.
An example: in the letters that Brahms wrote while composing the Piano Concerto No. 2, he defined this work as “a few small piano pieces” and went further with his friend Elisabeth von Herzogenberg to whom he said “It’s a small , tiny concerto with a tiny, tiny, scherzo“.
Since its premiere, the work has been regarded as one of the most monumental piano concertos ever written. A concert of extreme compositional and thematic virtuosity, one of the pinnacles of symphonic music that, despite everything, always reaches the listener in a sincere and emotional way.
On other hand, Tchaikovsky premiered Symphony No. 5 in Saint Petersburg on November 17, 1888, seven years after Brahms had premiered his Piano Concerto No. 2 in Budapest.
The symphony is built by a musical theme that, according to the composer himself, represents the image of destiny. Tchaikovsky did not leave a detailed description of what moved him to compose the symphony, but he did leave some annotations: Introduction. Total resignation to fate. Allegro (I). Murmurs, doubts, regrets and again reproaches and shame for the past. (II) Do I have to dive myself into the arms of faith?
What is clear is that, Tchaikovsky opened his soul and his heart to us in this symphony that is the heritage of everyone.