Leonidas Kavakos, conductor and violin
With its four initial Ds, first played by the solo timpani and then repeated 40 times as the main theme, in addition to its unusual length, Beethoven's Violin Concerto in D only gradually became a fixture in the concert repertory. As with all innovative works, it initially baffled both performers and audiences alike. Venerated as one of the great monuments of Western music, it now constitutes a brilliant classic. In his Symphony No. 4, Brahms seems to tell a life story through a world of contradictory emotions, which is then triumphantly summed up in a finale that pays tribute to Bach.