The Vienna Philharmonic has long set the musical standards for which the Salzburg Festival is world-renowned. In 1925 the orchestra first performed at the Salzburg Festival under its famous name; previously, members of the Vienna State Opera were already involved in orchestral concerts starting in 1921, and from 1922 onwards the Festival featured the Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera.
The Vienna Philharmonic traditionally presents five concert programmes in Salzburg: in 2022 Christian Thielemann conducts the first one, performing Anton Bruckner’s last symphony, the Ninth; before that, Elīna Garanča joins them for Johannes Brahms’ Alt-Rhapsodie.
Andris Nelsons continues his Mahler cycle in Salzburg with the Fifth, and makes an important contribution to the Bartók focus with the latter’s Piano Concerto No. 2, with Yefim Bronfman as the soloist.
Ricardo Muti conducts not only the Pathétique by Piotr I. Tchaikovsky, but also the symphonic poem Von der Wiege bis zum Grabe by Franz Liszt, as well as the prologue to the opera Mefistofele by Arrigo Boito, in which they are joined by Ildar Abdrazakov and the Concert Association of the Vienna State Opera Chorus.
The fourth concert of the Vienna Philharmonic is also opera-inflected: Daniel Barenboim juxtaposes Act II of the opera Samson et Dalila with Act II of Parsifal. The solo roles are sung by Elīna Garanča, Brandon Jovanovich and Michael Volle.
Esa-Pekka Salonen completes the Philharmonic’s concerts with the Prelude and Isoldes Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde as well as the Turangalîla Symphony by Oliver Messiaen. Fascinated by this myth, Messiaen wrote this ten-movement symphony as a central work in a trilogy about the Tristan theme. The term Turangalîla is taken from Sanskrit and describes a certain rhythmic pattern, metaphorically also denoting a love song, a hymn to joy, to life and death. Yuja Wang plays the piano part.