After composing Serenade No. 1, Johannes Brahms waited fifteen years before he wrote another purely orchestral work for large ensemble. Infamous for his harsh self-criticism and haunted by the feeling that he was living in Beethoven’s shadow, Brahms finally broke his symphonic silence at the age of forty-two with the Haydn Variations, a musical experiment with the arrangement of sonic shapes.By the time he composed his Symphony No. 3, ten years later, he had fully realized his true voice as a symphonic master.
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