4. National Socialism
(In the picture: Arnold Rosé, Max Starkmann and Josef Geringer)
The Vienna Philharmonic performed abroad for the first time at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900 with Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) conducting. The orchestra, officially recognized by the Austrian government as an association in 1908, did not start touring with any regularity until 1922 under Felix von Weingartner, who led the orchestra as far afield as South America.
The Philharmonic's close relationship to Richard Strauss, of course, is of great historical importance, and represents one of the many high points in the rich history of the orchestra.
Further musical highlights were artistic collaborations with Arturo Toscanini from 1933 to 1937, and Wilhelm Furtwängler (1886-1954) who, despite the departure from the one subscription concert conductor system, was in actuality the main conductor of the orchestra from 1933 to 1945, and again from 1947 to 1954.
In 1901, Joseph Hellmesberger Jr. (1855-1907) took over the position of resident conductor for two years. After the resignation of this talented composer, the musicians experimented with the guest conductor system (which is in use today) until 1908. Beginning with the 1908/09 concert season, however, the orchestra (which in the same year was constituted as an officially authorized association) elected Felix von Weingartner (1863-1942) as resident conductor. During Weingartner's 19-year tenure, the orchestra began the practice of regular concert tours, and left Europe for the first time in 1922 to perform in South America.
Between 1906 and 1944, the Vienna Philharmonic played 85 concerts and numerous opera performances under the baton of Richard Strauss (1864-1949). This close relationship, a highlight of the orchestra's history, was described by Strauss at the 100th anniversary celebration of the Vienna Philharmonic in 1942: “Praising the Philharmonic is like taking violins to Vienna. […] I would like to pay tribute today with two thoughts: 'Only one who has conducted the Vienna Philharmonic can appreciate it fully, but that remains our secret!' You understand what I mean – here, as on the concert stage!"
Additional highlights were the musical collaboration with Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957), who in the years 1933-1937 set immutable artistic standards, and Wilhelm Furtwängler (1886-1954), who notwithstanding the discontinuation of the resident conductor system in 1933 was the de facto principal conductor of the orchestra from 1933 to 1945 and again from 1947 to 1954.