Encounters: Brahms vs. Wagner: Clash of the Romantics

Encounters: Brahms vs. Wagner: Clash of the Romantics

Classical music’s most beloved Romantics go head-to-head in an epic battle of melodies and harmonies. In one corner: Richard Wagner—master musical storyteller—with his grand scale, opulent scores and “bigger is better” mentality that permeated his operas. Female warriors swarm in a blaze of fury in his famous Ride of the Valkyries, while creeping chromaticism instantly sets the scene for his dramatic love story Tristan und Isolde. In the other corner: Johannes Brahms, the Romantic purist who struggled to escape Beethoven’s and Schumann’s classically-formed shadows. His bright and cheerful Second Symphony is perfectly reflective of the summertime idyll where it was written. In this face-off, everyone wins.

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