Johannes Brahms's Academic Festival Overture (German: Akademische Festouvertüre), Op. Johannes Brahms ( pronounced ˈbʁaːms (May 7 1833 &ndash April 3 1897 was a German Composer The German language (de ''Deutsch'') is a West Germanic language and one of the world's major languages. 80, was one of a pair of contrasting concert overtures — the other being the Tragic Overture, Op. A symphonic poem or tone poem is a piece of Orchestral Music in one movement in which some extramusical program provides a narrative or illustrative element The Tragic Overture (German Tragische Ouverture) op 81 is a Concert overture for Orchestra written by Johannes Brahms 81, written to balance it as its pair. Brahms composed the Academic Festival Overture during the summer of 1880 as a musical "thank you" to the University of Breslau, which had awarded him an honorary doctorate the previous year. The University of Wrocław (Uniwersytet Wrocławski Universität Breslau Universitas Wratislaviensis is one of nine universities in Wrocław, Poland An honorary degree or a degree honoris causa ( Latin: 'for the sake of the honour' is an Academic degree for which a university (or other degree-awarding Initially, Brahms had contented himself with sending a simple handwritten note of acknowledgment to the University, since he loathed the public fanfare of celebrity. However, the conductor Bernard Scholz, who had nominated him for the degree, convinced him that protocol required him to make a grander gesture of gratitude. Conducting is the act of directing a Musical performance by way of visible gestures The University expected nothing less than a musical offering from the composer. "Compose a fine symphony for us!" he wrote Brahms. "But well orchestrated, old boy, not too uniformly thick!"
Brahms, who was known to be a curmudgeonly joker, filled his quota by creating a "very boisterous potpourri of student drinking songs à la Suppé" in an intricately designed structure made to appear loose and episodic, thus drawing on the "academic" for both his sources and their treatment. The fantasia (also fantasy fancy Fantasie fantaisie is a musical composition with its roots in the art of Improvisation. Commercium songs are traditional academic songs that are usually being sung during Commerciums and tablerounds Some very old commercium songs are in Latin Franz von Suppé (Francesco Suppé Demelli (April 18 1819 &ndash) was a Composer and conductor of the Romantic period notable for his four dozen The work sparkles with some of the finest virtues of Brahms's orchestral technique, sometimes applied for comic effect, such as the bassoons that inflate the light subject of "Fuchslied" ("Was kommt dort von der Höh?").  The inventive treatment includes tunes appropriated from the student ditties "Wir hatten gebauet ein stattliches Haus", "Fuchslied", and most memorably, the broad, triumphant finale on "Gaudeamus igitur", which succinctly engages Brahms's sophisticated mastery of counterpoint, further fulfilling the "Academic" aspect of his program, cheekily applied to the well-worn melody. De Brevitate Vitae ( on the Shortness of Life) perhaps more commonly known by its first words Gaudeamus igitur ("Therefore let us rejoice" is a song in In Music, counterpoint is the relationship between two or more voices that are independent in contour and Rhythm, and interdependent in Harmony Brahms manages to evoke ravishing euphoria without sacrificing his commitment to classical balance. The dates of the Classical period in Western music are generally accepted as 1750 to 1810 The blend of orchestral colors is carefully planned and highlighted in the piece, which, in spite of Scholz's request, calls for one of the largest ensembles for any of his compositions: piccolo, two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets (both doubling on B-flat and C clarinets), two bassoons, contrabassoon, four horns (two in C and two in E), three C trumpets, three trombones, one tuba, timpani, bass drum, cymbals, triangle, and strings. Orchestration is the study or practice of writing Music for Orchestra (or more loosely for any Musical ensemble) or of adapting for orchestra music composed The piccolo is a small Flute. Like the flute the piccolo is normally pitched in the key of C one octave above the concert flute (making it effectively a sopranino The flute is a Musical instrument of the Woodwind family Unlike other woodwind instruments a flute is a Reedless wind instrument that produces its "Hautbois" redirects here for the strawberry variety see Hautbois strawberry. The clarinet is a Musical instrument in the Woodwind family The name derives from adding the suffix -et meaning little to the Italian word The bassoon is a Woodwind instrument in the Double reed family that typically plays music written in the bass and Tenor registers and occasionally The contrabassoon is a larger version of the Bassoon sounding an octave lower The trombone is a Musical instrument in the brass family Like all brass instruments it is a lip-reed Aerophone: sound is produced when the player’s Mediatubaogg -->The tuba is the largest and lowest pitched Brass instrument. Timpani (also known colloquially as kettledrums or kettle drums) are Musical instruments in the percussion family A bass drum is a large Drum that produces a note of low definite or indefinite pitch. Cymbals are a modern percussion instrument Cymbals consist of thin normally round plates of various Cymbal alloys; see Cymbal making for a discussion of their The triangle is an Idiophone type of Musical instrument in the percussion family A string instrument (or stringed instrument) is a Musical instrument that produces Sound by means of Vibrating strings In the Hornbostel-Sachs
The Overture consists of four continuous sections:
The composer himself conducted the premiere at a special convocation held by the University on January 4, 1881, to the chagrin (and mischievous delight) of many of the academics in the audience. Conducting is the act of directing a Musical performance by way of visible gestures A Convocation ( Latin 'calling together' translating the Greek Ecclesia) is a group of people formally assembled for a special purpose Events 46 BC - Titus Labienus defeats Julius Caesar in the Battle of Ruspina. Year 1881 ( MDCCCLXXXI) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Due to its easily-grasped structure, its lyrical warmth, as well as its excitement and humor, the work has remained a staple of today's concert-hall repertoire. A typical performance lasts around ten minutes.
|Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80|
|Performed by the Skidmore College Orchestra. Courtesy of Musopen|