Symphony no. 2 D major op. 73
Complete Edition with critical report, Serie I, Band 2, clothbound
orchestral material available from Breitkopf & Härtel
Pages: 313 (XXV, 288), Size 25,5 x 32,5 cm
Order no. HN 6004 · ISMN M-2018-6004-6
Perhaps the farthest –reaching revelations in the new edition of the Second Symphony are related to the order of composition of the four movements and the disposition of the low brass instruments. All in all, this amounts to something of a good musicological detective story, elements of which have been adumbrated in previous publications (including Reinhold Brinkmann’s book on the Second Symphony, Late Idyll), but never fully clarified hitherto. … None of the foregoing aspects of Brahms’s Second is readily apparent from the printed score that spreads so handsomely and readably across 216 pages of the new volume. But the performer or student who spends time working through the splendid introduction and the richly detailed critical report will have the privilege–and the thrill–of entering into Brahms’s creative world, and into the compositional evolution of one of the great masterworks of the symphonic repertoire.
Is a new Brahms edition necessary? Certainly not in the way solving the world’s problems of war, terrorism, health, and hunger are “necessary”. But the present volume makes a strong case indeed for why the new Brahms edition is a welcome arrival on the musical and musicological scene.
[American Brahms Society, 2004]