Johannes Brahms: Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77 (1878) 38′
Sergei Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64. Selection (1935) 45′
Barcelona Symphony Orchestra (OBC)
Sergei Dogadin, violin
Anna Rakitina, conductor
If there is a force capable of overcoming all difficulties, it is love. Or perhaps not. Shakespeare titled his play The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, and we are only too aware of the fatal outcome of this relationship between the children of feuding families.
Conflict likewise marred Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet, which was twice rejected. The Soviet authorities would not allow either the change to a surprisingly happy ending, or the music, which they found “too experimental”. With its premiere postponed, the composer first presented Romeo and Juliet as an instrumental suite – far from his native country – with resounding success.
Meanwhile, the friendship between Johannes Brahms and violinist Joseph Joachim gave rise to a piece that conductor Hans von Bülow called a concerto against the violin. However, time and the great violinists have done their part to consecrate it as one of the finest works for this instrument.