Six great composers, six landmark symphonies, a top orchestra and its star conductor Kent Nagano – these are the components of an extraordinary classical-music television event. Shot in High Definition, it takes a bold and innovative approach to the recording of classical music. Boom and tracking shots, quick cuts, remote-controlled cameras – stylistic means previously used chiefly for pop music recordings give the programs an up-to-the-minute look and feel. A team of more than 30 specialists makes sure that viewers enjoy a truly cinematic experience. The programs also go new ways by featuring entertaining, historically founded animated sequences illustrating episodes from the lives of the composers. Backstage interviews with the musicians and excerpts from their rehearsals let us share in the spirit of their music-making. Conductor Kent Nagano also relates what is of special importance to him in each work, and offers fascinating insights on the origin and context of the work in question. The main element of each episode is the live recording of a concert from the Berlin Philharmonie. Kent Nagano is one of the most successful and high-profile conductors of today. He has led all the major orchestras of New York, London, Berlin, Vienna, Paris... In 2000 he was named artistic director of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. In fall 2006 he succeeded Zubin Mehta as General Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera.
Mozart's last symphony is a solemn and formal work which looks back to the past more than its two fellow works K. 504 and 550. It contains strong reminiscences of Baroque forms like the fugue and the concerto grosso (e.g. in the opposition of clear-cut themes and the interplay of solo and tutti groups). Particularly the last movement is one of the most impressive in symphonic literature because of its unique blend of melodic flow and "scholarly" fugal treatment. Although not truly a fugue, the movement incorporates some exciting imitative work. The theme was well known and often used in the 18th century. Mozart himself used it in two of his masses and in the Symphony K. 319. The "Jupiter" Symphony, a truly Olympian work, must be viewed together with the two preceding symphonies as Mozart's final word in a genre he raised to heights never before attained.