Johannes Brahms – ‘Symphony No.3’


my father adored Brahms and wasn’t too impressed by my love of Britten. ‘Do you really like that stuff,’ he’d ask derogatively. Do you know what? I’ve just had a thought: my Dad didn’t once come to any of my many performances as a solo chorister – Canterbury, Westminster, St Albans, you name it – none of them. Maybe, then, it wasn’t so much Britten that he wasn’t impressed by, but me. But either way, Dad’s dislike of Britten didn’t affect my liking of Brahms, although it probably didn’t much help my relationship with him. Tucked somewhere in-between the bombastics of Beethoven and the gross, noisy sentimentality of Wagner, to me, Brahms represents the very peak of Romanticism (Keats again: truth and beauty) – never overstated, his musical landscapes inform but never preach, and are, I believe, acts of pure, unconditional love: a gift that all of us have the choice to make, but few do.

For number 10 in Penny Rimbaud’s top 10 favourite album list please go link

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


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