Second Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 41
Hermann Grädener – Second Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 41
(b. Kiel, 8. May 1844 – d. Vienna, 18. September 1929)
Premiere in 1905, Vienna;
published in 1914 by Universal Edition (Vienna)
Hermann Grädener was a pedagogue, composer, conductor, and member of Brahms’s circle in Vienna during the final quarter of the nineteenth century. The conservatism and north German attitudes for which he was known through-out his lifetime originated from his upbringing in Hamburg. Hermann Grädener was the eldest son of the pedagogue and composer, Carl Grädener (1812-1883), who taught music in Kiel before moving the family to Hamburg after the Schleswig-Holstein uprising in 1848. In the free imperial city, Grädener Sr. played an active role in invigorating the local musical life, most notably establishing his own Singakademie in 1851 with which he led several major performances, including J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion in 1858 and St. John’s Passion in 1866. Devoted to early music, Carl Grädener published a critical article on the performance of Bach’s cantatas, and was the first to support Friedrich Chrysander’s establishment of a Deutsche Händel-Gesellschaft in Hamburg, an undertaking that came to fruition in 1858. A conscientious and detail-oriented composer, Carl published approximately seventy works in vocal, choral, chamber, orchestral, and keyboard mediums. His pedagogical volume, System des Harmonielehre (Hamburg, 1877), was the culmination of everal decades of teaching.
Next important to Hermann’s upbringing in a musical home, was the impact of Johannes Brahms. Brahms was an important and intimate presence in Hermann’s childhood. The Grädener household was among the first to welcome Brahms into their personal and professional spheres upon his return to his native city in 1853. Despite their twenty-year age difference, Grädener Sr. and Brahms regarded one another with mutual esteem, as is evident in their intimate address “Du”. Hermann’s father promoted and programmed Brahms’s works, even publicly defending the young composer after the failed Leipzig premiere of his Piano Concerto in D minor.1 Several of Grädener Sr’s students (including Hermann’s younger sister, Emma) joined the Hamburg Frauenchor for whom Brahms composed early choral works. Prior to relocating to Vienna, Carl Grädener dedicated to him his Piano Trio No. 2 in E-flat, Op. 35 in 1860. Brahms, in turn, admired Grädener Sr., describing him to Clara as “a highly gifted man”2 and reserved for Frau Grädener equally exceptional praise. Upon hearing of her death in later decades, Brahms remarked, “What a rarity is such a gifted and intellectual woman. Of such women, I have only known two or three!”…
Read full preface / Komplettes Vorwort lesen > HERE