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PROGRAMME DETAIL

Concentus Musicus Wien

PROGRAMME

LUDWIG V. BEETHOVEN • Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125

INFORMATION

In memoriam Nikolaus Harnoncourt

End of concert approx. 9:45 pm.

Print programme (PDF)

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION

When Beethoven’s Missa solemnis was performed by Nikolaus Harnoncourt with his Concentus Musicus Wien last summer, there was no way of knowing that this would bring the Salzburg Festival full circle, completing a cycle begun in 1992 with a performance of the very same work: at the time, it was Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s debut at the Salzburg Festival, conducting the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Then as today, the performance was uncompromising, rousing, overwhelming. The recent announcement of his withdrawal from all conducting engagements due to reasons of health, made on the eve of his 86th birthday, was met with great sadness throughout the music world, and it remains for us to remember with the utmost gratitude all those highlights he gave to our Festival throughout a quarter-century. These were truly unheard-of performances, most recently including Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and, on the concert podium, Mozart’s last three symphonies, newly conceived as an “instrumental oratorio”. His exploration of Beethoven’s key works, begun two years ago with the Concentus Musicus Wien, was to be continued this summer with the Ninth Symphony, an event that cannot now take place as envisioned. In his stead, Andrés Orozco-Estrada will take over as the conductor of this concert on July 25 at the Großes Festspielhaus.

Andrés Orozco-Estrada is considered one of the outstanding conductors of the younger generation and has led international orchestras such as the Vienna and Munich Philharmonics, the Orchestra di Santa Cecilia in Rome and the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig. He is chief conductor of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Houston Symphony; he is also principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. During the past summer, Orozco-Estrada gave his successful Salzburg Festival debut. We are delighted that he will now conduct not only the Vienna Philharmonic in Il templario by Otto Nicolai, as originally planned, but also Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 during the Ouverture spirituelle.

Andrés Orozco-Estrada:
“It is an honour for me to take over this concert. Maestro Harnoncourt and Concentus Musicus Wien have changed and enriched the history of music with their interpretations. For me, Mr. Harnoncourt and ‘his’ ensemble are great sources of inspiration. I look forward to working on my vision of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony together with Concentus, and I cannot wait to hear the results.”

SALZBURG FESTIVAL BLOG

Andrés Orozco-Estrada replaces Nikolaus Harnoncourt in conducting Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9

13 JAN2016

by FESTSPIELKIEBITZ  15:34 h;
posted in: Concert

When Beethoven’s Missa solemnis was performed by Nikolaus Harnoncourt with his Concentus Musicus Wien last summer, there was no way of knowing that this would bring the Salzburg Festival full circle, completing a cycle begun in 1992 with a performance of the very same work: at the time, it was Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s debut at the Salzburg Festival, conducting the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Then as today, the performance was uncompromising, rousing, overwhelming. 

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Motive Guest Orchestras, © Luigi Caputo

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Grosses Festspielhaus (Display seating plan with categories)

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Some of them have long become beloved, indispensable guests – while others appear more rarely, but are no less welcome: orchestras from five European metropolitan centres, one from the USA and three international ones appear under outstanding conductors with choirs from Munich and Vienna as well as with prominent soloists. With the repertoire they present, ranging from the late 18th to the early 21st century, the orchestras contribute to the distinctive profile of the Festival’s concert programme. The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra under Daniel Barenboim reflects the full breadth of this repertoire, performing Mozart’s three last symphonies and joining contemporary music by Jörg Widmann and concert excerpts from Tannhäuser, Götterdämmerung and Meistersinger on its second evening. The Filarmonica della Scala under its new chief conductor Riccardo Chailly also presents operatic repertoire, juxtaposing Wagner’s exalted and profound dramas with animated melodies from historical operas by Rossini and Verdi. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra also presents itself with its new chief conductor in Salzburg with allusions to the stage: Daniele Gatti leads the orchestra through the enchanting match of Debussy’s Jeux and Stravinsky’s picturesque Petrushka, the tale about a puppet which comes to life at a St. Petersburg fairground – two epochal ballet compositions of classical modernism. This vein is continued by the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra under Cornelius Meister: in Ravel’s La Valse, one can hear the Danube monarchy staggering towards its end in three-quarter time. The winner of the 2015 Young Conductors Award is also invited to lead the RSO Vienna: Lorenzo Viotti will conduct Scriabin’s Symphony No. 2, about which the conductor Lyadov wrote, tongue-in-cheek, after leading its first performance in 1901: ‘Only the devil knows what this is! Scriabin may courageously join hands with Richard Strauss… .’ Well, the Cleveland Orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst makes it possible on two evenings: Strauss’s supernal Vier letzte Lieder with Anja Harteros and two of his tone poems are the centrepieces – Tod und Verklärung, pointing to the other world, and Symphonia domestica, entirely of this world in its grand orchestral illustrations of domestic scenes. Cornelius Meister and the Vienna RSO contrast these works with the strictness rigour of Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta – colourful in its very own way – and Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra. Another focus is on Gustav Mahler. His monumental yet intractable Symphony No. 7, which seems to end in a fairground frenzy all of its own, is interpreted by Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic; the challenges of the Ninth Symphony, drunk on farewells yet struggling for coherence, will be met by the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra under Philippe Jordan. It is preceded by the actual farewell, ‘Der Abschied’, from Das Lied von der Erde, featuring master singer Christian Gerhaher.
Beethoven is the domain of a revered maestro: Herbert Blomstedt, conductor laureate of the Gewandhaus Orchestra, unleashes the rhythmic energies of Symphony No. 7. Soloists include Martha Argerich in Liszt, Khatia Buniatishvili in Rachmaninov and Sir András Schiff in Beethoven, cellist Sol Gabetta in Saint-Saëns and violinist Leila Josefowicz in Thomas Adès: after Widmann, he is the second-youngest contemporary composer in this series, complementing eminent colleagues such as Pierre Boulez, Friedrich Cerha and Henri Dutilleux.

Walter Weidringer

Translated by Alexa Nieschlag