It is uncertain whether the chorale theme of 'Haydn Variations' is actually by Haydn. It is certain, however, that the Variations are characteristic of Brahms' mature orchestral style and his strict sense of form.
With 'Academic Ouverture', the composer expressed his thanks to the University of Breslau for giving him an honorary doctorate. Although the 'brooding' 'Tragic Ouverture' which had originally been intended for this purpose seemed no longer appropriate to Brahms for that occasion, it has always been a resounding success since its world premiere.
preface: Klaus Doege
conductor: Marin Alsop
orchestra/ensemble: London Philharmonic Orchestra