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Ludwig van Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony, Claude Debussy's "La Mer" and Maurice Ravel's Suite No. 2 from "Daphnis et Chloë" were on the program of a concert for the Society of Friends of Music which Lorin Maazel conducted on February 9, 2010, in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein. This began a four week phase of mutual collaboration in celebration of the 80th birthday of this honorary member of our orchestra which concluded with the 6th Subscription Concert and a concert in the large auditoritum of the Konzerthaus.
On Febraury 11, Lorin Maazel's Symphonic Movement "Farewells", op. 14, a work commissioned by the Vienna Philharmonic which had its world premiere on February 26/27, 2000 in the 5th Subscription Concert of that season, made up the first half of the concert program. Following the intermission came Anton Bruckner's 3rd Symphony in D minor, in its third version of 1889, which the Vienna Philharmonic premiered in its 4th Subscription Concert on December 21, 1890 under the baton of Hans Richter.
Following these two concerts in Vienna, the orchestra and Lorin Maazel began an extended concert tour, which included 15 concerts in 13 cities in 8 different countries within a 20 day period. It began on February 12, 2010, in the Berliner Philharmonie, at which time the concert program mentioned above for February 9th was repeated. Februrary 14th saw a historic event - the first appearance of the Vienna Philharmonic in Qatar. At an open-air concert at the Ceremonial Court in Doha, the same works of Beethoven, Debussy and Ravel were performed. These also comprised the program for the next concert on February 15th at the Emirate's Palace Auditorium in Abu Dhabi, where our orchestra made its first appearance in March of 2009.
Following a seven-hour flight, the orchestra landed in Lyon and on the next day, February 17th, performed Igor Stravinsky's "Le Sacre du Printemps" and Anton Bruckner's 3rd Symphony. The next stop was in Basel (February 18th - Beethoven/Debussy/Ravel), followed by Frankfurt (February 20th - Stravinsky/Bruckner), then on to Cologne (February 21st - Stravinsky/Bruckner) and then on February 22nd and 23rd in Essen, this year's Cultural Capital of Europe, where both concert programs were performed in the newly built Philharmonie. The tour continued to Brussels and Hamburg (February 25th and 26th, with Beethoven/Debussy/Ravel as well as Beethoven/Bruckner), and on February 27th to Randers (Denmark), for our first guest appearance there, where the Beethoven/Debussy/Ravel program was again performed. At the Parisian Théatre des Champs-Élysées (March 1st) in addition to the Pastoral Symphony, the orchestra performed "Le Sacre du Printemps", a work which upon the occasion of its premiere in that very theatre on May 29, 1913, created probably the most famous audience scandal in music history. With two more concerts in the Barbican Center in London (March 2/3), at which times once again the same five compositions of the tour's repertoire were repeated (as well as the encores consisting of Johannes Brahms' Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 and 5), the tour, which was undertaken by the Vienna Philharmonic and its honorary member, Lorin Maazel, in celebration of his 80th birthday, drew to a close.-- Dr. Clemens Hellsberg