Another classic concert this week. From Tokyo, the legendary NHK Symphony, guest conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch and featuring the great Romanian pianist Radu Lupu in an all-Brahms program, broadcast on November 4, 1994.
The concert begins with a performance of the Brahms Piano Concerto Number 1 and ends with the Symphony Number 3.
One of the most celebrated Pianists of the second half of the 20th Century, Lupu has won every prestigious award since his first in 1966, winning First Prize at the Van Cliburn International Competition as well as the 1967 George Enescu International Competition, the 1969 Leeds International Competition – an Edison Award in 1905 for his recording of Schumann’s Kinderszenen, Kreisleriana and Humoresque and a Grammy in 1996 for his recording of Schubert Piano Sonatas. Lupu has participated in notable chamber music partnerships with, among others, the violinist Szymon Goldberg, the soprano Barbara Hendricks, and his fellow pianist, Murray Perahia.
Wolfgang Sawallisch has been a regular guest conductor of the NHK Symphony, leading the orchestra each year for some 30 years. In addition to his tenure with the Bavarian State Opera he was a frequent conductor at the Bayreuth Music Festival as well as Music Director for the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1993 to 2003 before retiring from the podium due to ill health in 2006. Sawallisch died in 2013 at age 89 after some 57 years on the podium.
Not a very long concert, with only two works featured, but an excellent collaboration between soloist, conductor and Orchestra, and a rapturous audience, so quiet you can hear a pin drop, and who wait for a breath before offering thunderous applause. Kind of refreshing, you will admit . . .
At any rate, this certainly qualifies for Anti-Road Rage Wednesday – and covers the area of musical staples quite well. Turn it up and enjoy.