The brilliant Jussen brothers join the Philharmonia for sparkling Mozart, ahead of Tchaikovsky’s anguished but enduringly popular Fifth Symphony.
Mozart composed his Concerto for Two Pianos to perform with his sister Nannerl. Who better to share its lively musical conversation, full of argument and counter-argument, echo and agreement, than Lucas and Arthur Jussen? The brothers’ playing is so well matched that they make two pianos sound ‘for all the world like a single instrument’ (Gramophone).
Korean conductor Eun Sun Kim is a champion of the music of her compatriot Texu Kim (no relation). She opens with his delightful Spin-Flip, for an orchestra featuring a huge range of percussion instruments. Inspired by the sounds and patterns of a game of table tennis, it’s the perfect partner for the give-and-take of Mozart’s concerto.
Tchaikovsky himself said that his Fifth Symphony represented ‘a complete resignation before Fate’, but that hasn’t stopped it becoming a firm audience favourite. It opens with the sound of funereal footsteps on the clarinet. A singing horn melody gives the second movement a more hopeful mood, but the fateful ‘footsteps’ theme returns in the third movement waltz, and triumphs in the stormy finale.