The Full Works Concert - Thursday 11 December 2014

Catherine Bott introduces Stephen Hough performing Brahms’s epic First Piano Concerto.

Haydn's Symphony No. 104 in D major is the composer's final symphony, the last of the twelve so-called London Symphonies, and is known particularly as the London Symphony. It was composed by Haydn while he was living in the city in 1795, and premiered at the King’s Theatre on 4 May in a concert he conducted of his own compositions. The premiere was a great success; Haydn wrote, 'The whole company was thoroughly pleased and so was I. I made 4000 gulden on this evening: such a thing is possible only in England.'

Stephen Hough is arguably Britain's greatest living pianist and his recent recordings of Brahms' Piano Concertos are among his best. The first Piano Concerto was scorned by the critics but today it's among the most popular piano concertos in the world. Requiring both virtuosic expertise and sensitivity from the soloist, it has been performed by Stephen Hough for many years to universal acclaim. Now his seminal interpretation is brilliantly captured on record.

Mozart's Coronation Mass, composed in 1779, is one of the most popular settings of the Missa brevis, 'short mass', by the composer. It was completed on 23 March 1779 in Salzburg to where Mozart had just returned after 18 months of fruitless job hunting in Paris and Mannheim, and his father Leopold promptly got him a job as court organist and composer at Salzburg Cathedral. The mass was almost certainly premiered there on Easter Sunday 4 April 1779. It appears to have acquired the nickname 'Coronation' at the Imperial court in Vienna in the early 19th century after becoming the preferred music for royal and imperial coronations as well as services of Thanksgiving. Whether it was performed at the coronations of Leopold II in 1790 and Francis II in 1792, as some sources assume, is unlikely.

Franz Joseph Haydn: Symphony No.104
Howard Shelley conducts the Orchestra of Swiss Romande

Johannes Brahms: Piano Concerto No.1
Piano: Stephen Hough
Mark Wigglesworth conducts the Salzburg Mozarteum

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Coronation Mass
Soloists: Barbara Bonney, Catherine Wyn Rogers, Jamie MacDougall, Stephen Gadd
Trevor Pinnock conducts the English Concert and Choir