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ARVO PÄRT Swansong (2013)
GUSTAV MAHLER Kindertotenlieder
ANTON BRUCKNER Symphony No. 4 in E flat, WAB 104, “Romantic”
End of concert approx. 11:20 pm.
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Motive Vienna Philharmonic, © Robert Mertens
06 August, 21:00
07 August, 21:00
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‘To praise the Philharmonic is to carry violins to Vienna’, Richard Strauss raved in 1942, when the Vienna Philharmonic celebrated its 100th birthday. He certainly knew what he was talking about: between 1906 and 1944 he conducted the orchestra almost 100 times. Last summer it presented works closely connected to its own history. Continuing this idea, the coming summer will once again mainly see works premiered by the Vienna Philharmonic – in four cases, even under the composer’s own baton. Thus, the first concert features the Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn, which Johannes Brahms personally conducted on 2 November 1873. Exactly one week before Anton Bruckner took the conductor’s podium for the first – and only – time, leading the world premiere of his Symphony No. 2. As the Neue Freie Presse reported at the time, the reception was ‘downright enthusiastic’, and in gratitude, Bruckner determined to dedicate the work to the orchestra – ultimately, however, this did not come to pass.
Gustav Mahler, who also conducted the premiere of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 6, personally led the first performance of his Kindertotenlieder on 29 January 1905, and Richard Strauss conducted his orchestral suite Der Bürger als Edelmann in 1920 as a benefit concert in aid of the first Salzburg Festival. 16 August 1944, then, marked the end of Richard Strauss’s association with the Salzburg Festival – famously, the dress rehearsal for the world premiere of his opera Die Liebe der Danae took place just before the Festival was cancelled due to the war. The new production of this opera as well as the concert performance of Il templario by Otto Nicolai – the man to whom the Vienna Philharmonic owes its founding – complement the portrait of this orchestra, of which Richard Strauss also said: ‘Only someone who has conducted the Vienna Philharmonic knows what these musicians – are! However, that shall remain our well-guarded secret!’ It is a secret Daniel Harding, Franz Welser-Möst, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Mariss Jansons and Andrés Orozco-Estrada will also share as part of this year’s Vienna Philharmonic cycle.
Translated by Alexa Nieschlag
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