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Tonight's Full Works Concert features Brahms' third symphony and Beethoven's Spring Sonata.
Tonight's Full Works Concert opens with the Symphony No.29 in A major, a piece that Mozart wrote at the age of 18 when he had already composed at least 28 other works which he called symphonies. But with this one it's possible to hear for the first time the truly distinctive voice of Mozart. There are techniques that he had used before but somehow here they have evolved into something greater and more complex to offer us Mozart's first mature masterpiece.
The next piece on tonight's programme is a Flute Concerto in G by Antonin Reichenauer (c. 1694–1730). A few years ago Reichenauer was virtually unknown, but today he can often be mentioned by Baroque music lovers in the same breath as the greatest Baroque masters. Reichenauer was a court composer in the service of one Count Morzin, whose chapel Vivaldi called a "virtuosissima orchestra" and for which he wrote a number of concertos. Tonight's flute concerto is played by Marek Spelina with Musica Florea. Their perfectly mastered playing on period instruments brings out to all the shades of colour and exquisite melodies of this concerto.
Beethoven, pictured, was always inspired by nature. The 'Spring' is the fifth of his ten sonatas for piano and violin. Composed between 1800 and 1801, it was dedicated to one of the composer's most generous patrons, Count Moritz von Fries. One of the most popular of Beethoven's sonatas, the elegant music is full of joy and hope.
A few years before he composed his Third Symphony, Brahms was invited to supply incidental music for a production of Goethe's Faust. He made some sketches but later abandoned the project. The sketches found their way into the second and third movements of the symphony. It's the shortest of all of his symphonies, and seems to have taken him the least time. It was very well received although it quickly picked up a reputation as a difficult, avant garde piece. It is also technically difficult but the challenges presented by the Symphony No.3 are well worth it: this is Brahms at his best.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No.29 in A major
Claudio Abbado conducts the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Antonin Reichenauer: Flute Concerto in G major
Flute: Marek Spelina
Marek Stryncl conducts Musica Florea
Ludwig van Beethoven: Violin Sonata No.5 in F major (‘Spring’)
Violin: Joseph Szigeti
Piano: Mieczyslaw Horszowski
Johannes Brahms: Symphony No.3 in F major
Bernard Haitink conducts the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra