Mozart, Symphony No. 31 in D major, K. 297 "Paris"

Unhappy with his situation in Salzburg, Mozart undertook a journey to
Mannheim and Paris with his mother in 1778. The trip was overshadowed by
tragedy - Mozart's mother died in Paris - and was almost a complete
failure. Almost, for it did give birth to a masterpiece like the "Paris
Symphony," written for the illustrious "Concerts Spirituels." Knowing of
the Parisians' taste for brilliance and splendor, Mozart wrote a grand
symphony for large orchestra, glowing with mellow woodwinds and ablaze with
A musician's musician, an occasional firebrand and a constant paradox -
Nikolaus Harnoncourt (born in 1929) is one of the most profound and
intriguing conductors of our time. Considered one of the world's leading
specialists of Baroque music, he has long since turned his attention to
Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and even to Jacques Offenbach and Johann
Strauss. He spent many years as a cellist with the Wiener Symphoniker
before founding the "Concentus Musicus Wien" with his wife Alice in 1953.
It soon became one of the world's most respected ensembles specializing in
the performance of early music on original instruments. In the 1970s,
Harnoncourt joined forces with Jean-Pierre Ponnelle to stage a series of
Monteverdi operas at the Zurich Opera House. This universally acclaimed
cycle contributed to a renaissance of Monteverdi's music and set standards
for early Baroque performance practice.
Harnoncourt later began to turn his attention more and more to the music of
Mozart, whom he considers "the most romantic of all composers". His concept
of Mozart's music ran counter to the prevailing 20th-century views,
however. He sees Mozart's music as "dramatic, dynamic, often directly and
highly emotional." The Vienna Philharmonic, known for its suave and
gracious Mozartian interpretations, initially rebelled against
Harnoncourt's unconventional approach. Yet the compellingness of his vision
soon came to be accepted and shared by all members of the orchestra.

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Title: Mozart, Symphony No. 31 in D major, K. 297 "Paris"
Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra: Wiener Philharmoniker
Video Director: Klaus Lindemann
Genre: Concert
Length: 20 minutes
Cat.No.: A05500721
Gallery         DVD