Berlin: N. Simrock [PN 8028], 1878.
Folio. Original publisher's cloth-backed green printed wrappers. 1f. (recto title, verso publisher's note), 3-71 printed music, [i] (blank) pp. Engraved. in custom-made full green cloth box with dark brown leather title label gilt to spine.
Box and wrappers very slightly worn. Minor wear; light uniform browning, very slightly heavier to edges. In very good condition overall.
First Edition. McCorkle, p. 311. Hofmann, pp. 156-157. Fuld, p. 553. Sonneck Orchestral Music, p. 55. Hoboken 4,100.
"The Second Symphony in D op.73, composed less than a year after the completion of the First, is often described as its sunny counterpart. The work indeed radiates a warmth and tunefulness absent in parts of the earlier work. But as Brahms himself acknowledged, the Second Symphony also has a ‘melancholy’ side. The lyrical opening theme of the first movement unravels almost at once into a dark passage for timpani and trombones. The voice of melodic continuity is reasserted often in this movement, however, first by the violin melody that follows the unravelling and again by the second group and the large coda. The pensive slow movement, in B major and in a modified sonata form, is dominated by a motivically rich, metrically ambiguous main theme remarkable for its combination of tunefulness and developing variation."
"The second half of the symphony distinctly brightens in mood, although it too contains sombre moments – often involving the trombones – that evoke the expressive world of the first two movements. The Allegretto recasts the traditional scherzo–trio alternation into a rondo-like structure that is one of Brahms's most original creations. Although the finale ends the symphony in a jubilant blaze of D major, it glances back at the mood of the earlier movements, especially in the haunting passage at the end of the development section (whose chains of descending 4ths Mahler recalled in his First Symphony) and in the syncopated episode for brass in the coda." George S. Bozarth and Walter Frisch in Grove Music Online.
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