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Andris Nelsons conducts Mozart, Wagner and Shostakovich


Berliner Philharmoniker
Andris Nelsons

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Symphony No. 33 in B flat major K. 319 (00:24:36)

  • Richard Wagner
    Overture to Tannhäuser und der Sängerkrieg auf Wartburg (00:19:54)

  • Dmitri Shostakovich
    Symphony No. 6 in B minor (00:38:04)

In his essay “On the Overture”, Richard Wagner strongly advised his composer colleagues against “wandering off to the wearisome painting of minor plot details”. Ultimately the composer would no longer be able to “carry out his dramatic idea” if details of the action were already revealed in the prelude. Accordingly, in his  Tannhäuser prelude Wagner limited himself to a chorale-like trombone choir (Wartburg), shimmering chromaticism (Venusberg) and a tremendous final apotheosis to suggest the story’s key points, beginning with “the orchestra alone imitating the chanting Pilgrims”.

To complement Wagner’s spatialised musical scene, Andris Nelsons turns to a work that Mozart composed in 1779 in Salzburg, the Symphony in B flat major, K. 319. Described by Ludwig Finscher as an “extraordinarily subtle chamber symphony”, it was originally in three movements, the minuet being added later for a performance in Vienna. It was published along with the “Haffner” Symphony in 1785 by the Viennese firm of Artaria, and their popularity with the public has endured to the present day.

To conclude, Nelsons has chosen Shostakovich’s Sixth Symphony, which he conducted in 2008 as the 30-year-old (indirect) successor to Sir Simon Rattle at the helm of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and showed the composer – in the words of Leopold Stokowski – as “a master who was constantly growing in creative imagination and musical self-confidence”.

Unitel ClassicaA coproduction of Berlin Phil Media and Unitel

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