"The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery."
-Fred Alan Wolf

05 June 2016


I think it's pure Sinatra! It's not at all good when it's together. We've retained the last vestiges of genuine musical freedom here and don't intend to be corrupted. I've spent my entire life avoiding regular quavers and semiquavers.

Nikolaus Harnoncourt

For four days, the legendary Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein was turned into a music laboratory and sound studio for Chinese pianist Lang Lang, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

The program includes two piano concertos by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Nos. 17 in G major and 24 in C minor. Both masterpieces are to be recorded for a CD. Nikolaus Harnoncourt says: “Music is a language. It’s just like spoken language; you have to know how to read it. If you cannot read it, you’ll only hear tinkling. We only wanted to convey what Mozart wanted to say with these works.”

The film focuses on two classical musicians who could hardly be more different: Lang Lang, a glamorous international piano star who constantly blurs the boundaries between pop and classical music; and the Austrian conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt, musicologist, brooder and pioneer of “historical performance practice” – and an artist with very much a mind of his own. Lang Lang believes Harnoncourt is simply the ideal ambassador for Mozart and looks on the recording session as a multi-day master class. “For me,” he says, “Nikolaus Harnoncourt is the master of this era of music, a god. I'm overwhelmed to be recording my first Mozart concertos with him – and the Vienna Philharmonic. No other orchestra plays Mozart with such authenticity.”


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