One of the dilemmas for a conductor is when to perform popular pieces. This is not really a problem if you are already in the Premier League of conductors – people will always come to see you. However, if you are not yet a household name, you need to pick your moments.
Oscar Wilde said that "Popularity is the crown of laurel which the world puts on bad art." He is, of course, wrong. But the point remains that, however good the music is, you don't want to be tarred with the "safe" brush by always performing familiar works. So when you do, it has to count. Christoph König's solution in his latest appearance with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was to choose three of the most popular works from big name composers, and heavyweight ones at that, to provide something memorable.