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Brahms piece included in New Mexico Philharmonic program

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico Philharmonic will perform a bouquet of German romance with works by Mendelssohn, Brahms and Weber at Popejoy Hall on Saturday, Nov. 23.

The Phil’s latest classic series continues with the overture to Carl Maria von Weber’s opera “Oberon,” Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and Brahms’ Symphony No. 4.

Violinist Richard Lin will perform with the New Mexico Philharmonic at Popejoy Hall on Saturday, Nov. 23.

The program will open with “Oberon,” Weber’s 1826 opera based on a French medieval romance. One of the first significant composers of the romantic school, Weber’s work greatly impacted the development of the genre in Germany. “Oberon” may have influenced Mendelssohn’s music for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Written in 1844, Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto is one of the most popular and frequently performed violin concertos in history.

“Mendelssohn for me is probably one of the most underrated composers in history,” Philharmonic music director Roberto Minczuk said. “He is a talent that is compared to Mozart. He was a wunderkind, a prodigy. He composed his masterpiece, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” when he was 17 years old.”

Taiwanese-American violinist Richard Lin, the newly-crowned gold medalist of the 10th Quadrennial International Violin Competition in Indianapolis, will helm the solo.

The musicians will close the program with Brahms’ Symphony No. 4, his last, and some say his greatest, written in 1884. Brahms had very mixed feelings about writing symphonies in Beethoven’s shadow, Minczuk said. “He was reluctant to write symphonies,” Minczuk said. “He believed nothing could be done after Beethoven’s time. Those were the greatest things ever produced.”

The piece resonates with allusions to various Beethoven compositions.

“It’s such an intelligent composition,” Minczuk said. “His music is so well written that every musician in the orchestra thinks he has the main line.”

Brahms ended the symphony with a Baroque chaconne (written in slow triple time) in a nod to Bach, Minczuk said.

“It’s really a most dramatic, profound statement of a great composer paying homage.”

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