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Hello and welcome to Sticky Notes: The Classical Music Podcast!  This podcast is for anyone who loves classical music, or is just getting ready to dive in for the very first time.  Thanks so much, and I hope you enjoy it!  

Mar 2, 2023

Brahms was only 20 years old when Robert Schumann wrote his famous Neue Bahnen(New Paths) article that proclaimed Brahms as the future of music and the heir of Beethoven. Beethoven had only been dead for 26 years at this point, and his shadow still loomed large over every single composer living in Germany, and beyond. Brahms knew that the most concrete way he would be compared with Beethoven would be through a symphony, and so…he studiously avoided writing one. It’s not like he didn’t try. Brahms began sketching symphonies only one year after the Neue Bahnen article, but he kept revising the sketches, or more often, burning them as inferior products. This would go on for 23 more years, until 1876. Brahms was 43 when he finally completed his first symphony, and it was worth the wait. What Brahms came up with would inspire symphonists to this day, and would carry on the tradition that Beethoven laid out with both a respectful and loving look back into the past, with a clear eye forwards into the future. Today we'll dissect this piece in detail, taking it down to its foundational elements in order to see how Brahms created this masterpiece of a first symphony. Join us!