From the sound clouds of Brahms to the sound visions of Scriabin: both composers clung fast to classical structures, but were also able to leave them to one side. Brahms wrote a symphonic concerto for violin, while Scriabin created his mystic chord.
Liberated of a great deal of anxiety after the positive reception of his Second Symphony, Brahms began working on his Violin Concert, dedicated to the virtuoso Joseph Joachim. He gave Brahms tips and advice throughout the composition process, but Brahms only occasionally followed them. He pursued his own path and wrote something close to a symphonic concerto, in which the orchestra’s role was not subordinate to the violin solo, which normally plays the main role in a concerto. After the first performances, it was even whispered that it was ‘a concerto against, not for the violin’.
“Le Divin Poème stands for the evolution of the human spirit, which, torn from a past of beliefs and mysteries … it passes through pantheism and attains ultimate liberty and unity with the universe’, wrote Alexander Scriabin at the première of his Third Symphony. He did not abandon entirely the tried and tested tradition of the classic symphony, but did look ahead to the daring sound visions of his later work. The finale marked an important moment in his development as a composer: "This was the first time I found light in music ... the first time I knew intoxication, flight, the breathlessness of happiness".
Flagey, Brussels Philharmonic