By coming to play in May 2006 in Prague, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra killed two birds with one stone: it celebrated Mozart's 250th anniversary (1756-1791) and its own birthday (1st May 1882). It has been a tradition for the orchestra from Berlin since 1991: it commemorates its birth by a concert each time in a different European city. The greatest conductors have succeeded one another to fittingly honour one of the most prestigious formations in the world: Claudio Abbado, Bernard Haitink, Zubin Mehta, Mariss Janssons, Pierre Boulez… Simon Rattle, the orchestra's musical director, conducted the concert in 2004 in Athens (available at medici.tv), as well as the concert of the 1st May 2008 in Moscow which was broadcast live on medici.tv.
Daniel Barenboim took part several times in this anniversary: as a pianist with Simon Rattle in 2004 and, in this recording in 2006 in Prague, as conductor and pianist. Prague was a city dear to Mozart's heart: he stayed there several times and composed Don Giovanni which was premiered there in 1787. Prague showed its gratitude. It was the only city in Europe to pay tribute to the composer at his death by playing his Requiem…
The programme of this exceptional concert, which was held at the State Opera, was naturally dedicated to Mozart. After Symphony No. 35, Haffner, Barenboim sat at the piano to play the Concerto No. 22 for Piano and Orchestra before leaving centre stage to the horn player Radek Baborak for Horn Concerto No. 1. Symphony No. 36, Linz (composed in three days!) concludes this fine tribute by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Daniel Barenboim to Mozart.
Barenboim plays Debussy (concert & documentary)
Europakonzert 2004, Athens