The soloist in this concerto conducted by Karl Böhm and played by the
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is Maurizio Pollini, one of the most
enigmatic figures in today's musical world. Although he approaches the
repertoire in a profoundly spiritual manner, Pollini does not ban
brilliance and dazzling virtuosity from his playing. His lyrical and
intense art makes him predestined for Mozart, whose works he has been
interpreting in a completely new light for many years now.
Mozart composed this work during a particularly fruitful period in Vienna
in 1786, while he was working on "Figaro," the Masonic Funeral Music and
the concertos K. 482 and 491. The A major concerto is one of Mozart's most
beloved, perhaps because of its highly contrasting moods, which
nevertheless produce an overal impression of Classical unity: the elegant
and polished first movement, the poignantly beautiful "siciliano" slow
movement and the exuberant Allegro assai finale.
The Mozart interpretations of Karl Böhm (1894-1981) perfectly echo the
naturalness and clarity of the maestro's conducting. Although Wagner was
one of his first loves, Böhm soon discovered Mozart's operas thanks to
Bruno Walter, who let him conduct "Die Entführung aus dem Serail" in Munich
in the early 1920s. Later, Böhm's friendship with Richard Strauss led to a
still deeper knowledge and appreciation of Mozart. In his autobiography,
Böhm wrote that "Richard Strauss revealed to me the ultimate secrets of
this - in my opinion - greatest musical genius." Böhm's discovery of these
secrets turned his Mozart interpretations, such as this one with the
celebrated pianist Maurizio Pollini, into unforgettable events.