As we explore concertos by Brahms we should linger over the unique case of the Double concerto for violin and cello. This incredible piece sees two soloists join forces and dialogue with each other before putting all their energy into battling the power of the orchestra. Brahms never really tries to confront them in this alchemy; it's more a quest for an ideal in orchestral chamber music whereby the musicians can just enjoy playing together. In the end, this sought-after complicity is what oozes from the orchestral scores, especially the Third Symphony which is the most personal of the four symphonies.
Photo © Marco Borggreve