Delicate melancholy and lyrical sensuousness characterise the two solo concertos on this programme with Simon Rattle, Mitsuko Uchida and Amihai Grosz. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart seems to reflect on his life in his last piano concerto, while William Walton’s Viola Concerto is dominated by the dark tone of the solo instrument. As a counterpoint, the concert closes with Zoltán Kodály’s humorously grotesque Háry János Suite.
Marek Janowski is regarded as the perfect embodiment of the Kapellmeister tradition and a master of late-Romantic repertoire, and this programme with Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony and preludes from Pfitzner’s Palestrina emphasizes these qualities. The special charm of both works is the way they look to the past: Pfitzner evokes the world of the Renaissance, while Bruckner immerses himself in a medieval age full of knights and sounds of the forest.
Hardly any other composer bequeathed a legacy of such uninhibitedly emotional music as did Peter Tchaikovsky. He brilliantly fused personal experience and suffering with superb composition, creating uniquely thrilling and touching works. It is evident that Herbert von Karajan, master of luscious sound and emphasis, was an ideal Tchaikovsky interpreter. In these recordings from 1973 he is conducting the last three symphonies, including the famous Pathétique.