The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is performing two classics of the symphonic repertoire - Mozart's Symphony No. 40 and Brahms's Symphony No. 4. The Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad praised as 'grand and compelling' the RCO's November 2017 performance of Brahms's Symphony No. 1. Indeed, 'everything fell into place in his etched interpretation of Brahms's First (conducted from memory). In the pumping, awe-inspiring opening bars, the foundation was laid for an overarching climax which only at the end of the finale did he discharge.' Needless to say, expectations are high for the Fourth, which according to some is Brahms's magnum opus!
Before Brahms's Fourth Symphony, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has the floor, whom Brahms, incidentally, praised to the heavens. Mozart's turbulent Symphony No. 40 is often called 'pre-Romantic' because of its expressive, personal musical language and unusual minor key. However, it has a different effect on every listener. Robert Schumann, for his part, felt the work was one of 'Greek lightness and elegance', while others are particularly struck by its tragedy.