Six great composers, six landmark symphonies, a top orchestra and its star
conductor Kent Nagano - these are the components of an extraordinary
classical-music television event. Shot in High Definition, it takes a bold
and innovative approach to the recording of classical music. Boom and
tracking shots, quick cuts, remote-controlled cameras - stylistic means
previously used chiefly for pop music recordings give the programs an
up-to-the-minute look and feel. A team of more than 30 specialists makes
sure that viewers enjoy a truly cinematic experience.
The programs also go new ways by featuring entertaining, historically
founded animated sequences illustrating episodes from the lives of the
composers. Backstage interviews with the musicians and excerpts from their
rehearsals let us share in the spirit of their music-making. Conductor Kent
Nagano also relates what is of special importance to him in each work, and
offers fascinating insights on the origin and context of the work in
question. The main element of each episode is the live recording of a
concert from the Berlin Philharmonie.
Kent Nagano is one of the most successful and high-profile conductors of
today. He has led all the major orchestras of New York, London, Berlin,
Vienna, Paris... In 2000 he was named artistic director of the Deutsches
Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. In fall 2006 he succeeded Zubin Mehta as
General Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera.
Mozart's last symphony is a solemn and formal work which looks back to the
past more than its two fellow works K. 504 and 550. It contains strong
reminiscences of Baroque forms like the fugue and the concerto grosso (e.g.
in the opposition of clear-cut themes and the interplay of solo and tutti
groups). Particularly the last movement is one of the most impressive in
symphonic literature because of its unique blend of melodic flow and
"scholarly" fugal treatment. Although not truly a fugue, the movement
incorporates some exciting imitative work. The theme was well known and
often used in the 18th century. Mozart himself used it in two of his masses
and in the Symphony K. 319. The "Jupiter" Symphony, a truly Olympian work,
must be viewed together with the two preceding symphonies as Mozart's final
word in a genre he raised to heights never before attained.