Sir Simon Rattle conducts Mozart's last three symphonies

Lucerne Festival 2013

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Program notes

Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker take on a myth with their complete performance of the last three symphonies by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

We still don’t know for what occasion Mozart's last three symphonies, among which the legendary Symphony No. 40 in G Minor (a tonality it shares with the Symphony No. 25), were written, when they were first performed, or even whether the composer himself ever heard them. For the Romantics, these three scores represented Mozart's legacy to posterity – but for Rattle they mean an interpretive challenge of the first order: "Here human emotions are pushed to the absolute extreme," he explains. "You have the feeling that you’re conducting three very concentrated operas in the same evening." He thinks that Mozart's music is in any case incomparable: "It is deeply emotional and passionate and dark and dangerous and cheerful like no other music that has ever been written. If you approach it with caution, you really have a problem. Everything in this music is so natural that you have to forget the rules."

© Picture: Lucerne Festival / Priska Ketterer.


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