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Bernard Haitink conducts Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4

15/03/2014

Berliner Philharmoniker
Bernard Haitink

Emanuel Ax

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Piano Concerto in E flat major K. 271 »Jenamy« (00:35:47)

    Emanuel Ax Piano

  • Anton Bruckner
    Symphony No. 4 in E flat major »Romantic« (01:17:43)

  • free

    Bernard Haitink in conversation with Peter Brem (00:17:14)

When Bernard Haitink and Emanuel Ax perform a concert, the composers on the programme are (almost) a given: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Anton Bruckner. By now, the American pianist has been collaborating with the Berliner Philharmoniker for 25 years, and he has repeatedly proven himself a specialist in the piano concerti of the Viennese classical period, particularly Mozart’s. The Dutchman Bernard Haitink, philharmonic guest conductor since 1964, in contrast, is one of the most prominent Bruckner interpreters of our time.

The two artists gave a guest performance with the Berlin Philharmonic once before in 2001 with just this line-up of composers. At the time the Berliner Morgenpost wrote about Emanuel Ax’ rendition of Mozart’s Piano Concerto in E flat major K. 449: “He considers it a privilege to serve Mozart. That pays off for both of them: the composer and his effortless interpreter.” This time Emanuel Ax will apply himself to another piano concerto in E-flat major, K. 271, which Mozart composed in 1777 for the pianist Louise Victoire Jenamy. With this virtuoso work, Jenamy, who was 21 at the time, proved herself a real master of the genre. Even the beginning in which the soloist and the orchestra immediately take up a lively dialogue is unusual and shows the composer’s individual creative drive.

The evening’s second work is also in the key of E flat major: Anton Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony, which carries the epithet “Romantic” and is among the Austrian composer’s most-performed works. Bernard Haitink last conducted this piece with the Berlin Philharmonic in 1996. “We heard richly differentiated symphonic art,” the critic of the Berliner Zeitung wrote.

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