Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto in E-flat major, K. 482
Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 in E-flat major (“Romantic”)
These Mozart and Bruckner works demonstrate the law that opposites attract. While the former is deeply intimate, slowly capturing the listener, the latter demands immediate and complete attention in a noisy and raucous manner.
Mozart composed piano concerto in E flat major during the pinnacle of his career in the winter of 1785, while working on The Marriage of Figaro. The world premiere in Vienna was a resounding success, with the audience demanding an encore of the second movement. But what is the secret behind the concerto’s strong magic? Mozart’s outstanding talent, which practically brings each instrument to life during a performance. The first movement is reminiscent of military marches, though with style and grace - it is more like a parade than a march to war. The second movement is full of exceptionally beautiful modulations and puzzling dissonances, while the finale is but a scintillating movement straight from a comic opera.
Ivan Fischer described Bruckner’s music as a “romantic cathedral”. No 4 is one of Bruckner’s most popular symphonies, if not the most popular. It was completed between 1878 and 1880 , and refining it in 1887–88, giving it its final form. Though the symphony consists of six totally different movements, unique in both style and form, according to Ivan Fischer, it is essentially characterised by two qualities: a deep awe unparalleled in its solemnity, and a most passionate romance bearing traces of Wagner’s influence. This is the source of Bruckner’s exceptional magic, and the reason his music is appreciated all over the world. The piece reinvents the symphony as such, and has in turns been considered conservative or radical depending on the listener’s temperament. This is the only one of Bruckner’s symphonies that he himself named. The story of the “Romantic” symphony begins in a medieval city, leading us through a forest filled with birdsong and the noises of a hunt, to a great communal feast in the meadows.