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The program was an evening concert given by the , and dedicated to the memory of Franz Schubert.

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Leipzig, however, proved harder to conquer.

In-Class Contemplation: “What we know of learning is that the predominant factor is not merely time on task; it is the quality of attention brought to that task. If our attention is somewhere else, we may have little capacity to be present. Paradoxically, we may need to not do for a few minutes to be more available for doing the task at hand. At the beginning of class I might turn the lights off and instruct students: ‘Take a few deep, slow, clearing breaths. Let your body release and relax; let any parts of you that need to wiggle or stretch do so. Now feel the gentle pull of gravity, and allow the chair beneath you to support you without any effort on your part. Just let go and allow yourself to be silent and not do anything for a few minutes. You may want to focus on your breathing, allowing it to flow in and out without effort.’” Tobin Hart, Professor of Psychology, University of West Georgia, . Journal of Transformative Education, Vol. 2 No. 1, January 2004.

Still, he insisted on placing the  in a broad and distinguished historical perspective:

The concert was extremely well-publicized and a matter of great anticipation, as Brahms' position in the Bremen musical world had consistently been highly respected; as a result, the turnout was an astounding 2500 listeners, and by all accounts a fabulous success.

Critics were tame in their enthusiasm, but appreciated the grandeur and earnestness of the work.

"Brahms' Verhältnis zum Chor und Chormusik." In 5.

Even the editor of the local music paper found these complaints to be superficial, and by the time of the second performance in Leipzig in 1878, Brahms' standing had improved immeasurably; he had been accepted, if grudgingly, into the musical canon, and even his "mystical" had reached the status of a classic in the repertoire.

Hamburg: Karl Dieter Wagner, 1983.

This seeming contradiction in reception -- as we recall, critics in both Vienna and Bremen had found the work to be lacking in emotion and sensuality, not overflowing with fervent appeal -- may perhaps, however, be explained by the earlier resistance of Leipzig to Brahms' works: his first performances there, a few years earlier, had been met with marked hostility, and the Leipzig premiere of his first major orchestral work, the D minor piano concerto, had been disastrous.

"Johannes Brahms' als religiöses Kunstwerk." In 8.

In many cities, nearly all of them Protestant and/or northern towns, reception was immediately positive, and the work encountered little, if any resistance.

Hamburg: Patriotische Gesellschaft, 1990.

In Catholic and southern towns, however, the initial performances of the were more often than not met with critical scorn: opposition was expressed both in terms of textual and emotional issues -- the foreign Protestant fervour being quite untenable -- or in rather vague resistance to the heavy-handed, academic nature of Brahms' composition.

"Brahms' Bedeutung in heutiger Zeit." In 6.

Generally critics recognized the craftsmanship involved in writing such a monumental and interconnected work; what they objected to was the constructed nature of the counterpoint and fugal passages, which stood at odds with their conception of `modern' music.