i. Un poco sostenuto; allegro ii. Andante sostenuto iii. Un poco allegretto e grazioso iv. Adagio; allegro non troppo, ma con brio
BRAHMS' First symphony contains remarkable pages, as those of the first movement, passages in the second, and the marvelously poetic introduction to the final allegro. Mr. Apthorp's belief that this introductory episode may have been suggested to Brahms by the tones of the Alpine horn is not too fanciful, and this impression is made on all that have heard the horn whether in the Oberland or high up in the Canton Vaud. Brahms' fondness for Switzerland is well known, and he had visited that country before the finale was performed. In this introductory adagiothere is a lyric flight and at the same time an imaginative force in superb decoration that are seldom found in the purely orchestral compositions of Brahms.
Brahms was not in a hurry to write a symphony. He heeded not the wishes or demands of his friends, he was not disturbed by their impatience. As far back as 1854 Schumann wrote to Joachim: "But where is Johannes? Is he flying high or only under the flowers? Is he not yet ready to let drums and trumpets sound? He should always keep in mind the beginning of the Beethoven symphonies; he should try to make something like them. The beginning is the main thing; if only one makes a beginning, then the end comes of itself."
Max Kalbeck, of Vienna, the author of a life of Brahms in 2, 138 pages, is of the opinion that the beginning, or rather the germ, of the Symphony in C minor is to be dated 1855. In 1854 Brahms heard in Cologne for the first time Beethoven's Ninth symphony. It impressed him greatly, so that he resolved to write a symphony in the same tonality. This symphony he never completed. The first two movements