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About the program

The first part of the concert is dedicated to Mozart. He wrote The Magic Flute in 1791, shortly before his death, and he himself conducted it at its 30 September premiere at the Theater auf der Wieden. Its overture eventually found its way into concert halls as well. The young Mozart, who was a splendid violinist, probably familiarized himself with the Italian violin concertos during his visits to Italy. While in Paris, he absorbed the influence of the French style of concerto, particularly the manner of the Italian-born G. B. Viotti. It was also under these influences that the 19-year-old composer wrote five violin concertos in a single year, in 1775. The most popular of these is probably the one in A major, now on the programme, which has received the sobriquet “Turkish”, because contemporaries felt one its episodes was oriental in mood.

Brahms was merely twenty when he tried his hand at the genre of symphony. He set the first drafts to paper in 1854, but soon got stuck. He continued it in 1862, when he almost completed the first movement, but then he put it aside, and his symphony-writing career saw another long hiatus. The first symphony took fifteen years to complete. One reason for the long delay was his fear of the towering presence of Beethoven’s oeuvre, of his own first being taken for Beethoven’s tenth (something which, in fact, was often brought up against him). The work had its premiere in November 1876, in Leipzig.


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Overture to The Magic Flute
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Violin concerto no. 5 in A major K.219
Johannes Brahms: Symphony no. 1 in c minor Op. 68


Iván Fischer


Pinchas Zukerman, violin