Kurt Sanderling conducts Saint-Saëns and Tchaikovsky – With Yefim Bronfman

Berliner Philharmoniker

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Program notes

“Bronfman the brontosaurus, mister Fortissimo”, are the words novelist Philip Roth uses to describe the Soviet-born Israeli-American pianist Yefim Bronfman. In this concert recorded in 1992, he plays side by side with the Berliner Philharmoniker under the baton of legendary 80-year-old maestro, the ever-brilliant Kurt Sanderling! 

The soloist opens the program with Saint-Saëns’s Piano Concerto No. 2, his most beloved work of the genre that received a standing ovation from Liszt after its premiere in 1868. Then Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, dedicated to his “best friend” and penpal Nadeja von Meck. “At the moment, I am absorbed by the symphony that I began writing in winter, and I dedicate it to you because you will find echoes of your ideas and your most profound feelings” he wrote in 1877. Performed as an encore, Scarlatti’s Sonata in C Minor is an ideal bridge between these two monumental musical masterpieces. 

A closer look: composers and works

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