While their approaches differed, Mozart and Brahms both achieved transcendence at the culmination of their symphonic careers. Mozart wrote his Symphony No. 40 in a white-hot flash of inspiration, while Brahms labored over his Symphony No. 4 for more than a year. Both symphonies are brilliantly crafted, Mozart’s buoyed by bustling energy and culminating in a finale Wagner called “exuberant with rapture and audacity,” while Brahms’s grand architecture is built on the foundation of a series of simple opening motifs that ascend to a stunning final movement inspired by a Bach theme.