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Mozart 40 and Brahms’ Violin Concerto
Part of: Orchestra of St. Luke's
Conductor Osmo Vänskä and Orchestra of St. Luke’s perform favorites by Mozart and Brahms.
Unique among Mozart’s repertoire as one of his only two symphonies in a minor key, the Symphony No. 40 in G Minor is a window into the composer’s challenging final years before his death at age 35. The famous opening motif sets a tone of impassioned urgency for the entire piece, and is followed in subsequent movements by heartfelt moments of gentleness and comfort. In true Mozartian fashion, there is always light to balance the darkness.
Brahms wrote the Violin Concerto in D Major for his lifelong friend Joseph Joachim, one of the great violinists of the 19th century, whom Brahms saw perform Beethoven’s Violin Concerto when both were young teenagers. Joachim was heavily consulted for his input in the concerto’s composition, was its sole interpreter for years, and later its greatest champion. While the writing is certainly virtuosic, it is not so at the expense of musical ideas, and the orchestra’s unusually prominent role makes it a collaborative piece in a way that other concertos are not.
Brahms’ concerto is a perfect vehicle for guest violinist Isabelle Faust, whose understated virtuosity is well-suited to everything from the fireworks of the allegro movements to the graceful adagio, which trades solo moments with the oboe. Faust brings to the stage a historically informed sensibility, staying true to the music’s original intent while infusing it with an elegant spirit that’s entirely her own.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550
Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77