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Home > Orchestra : Orchestra


Das Philharmonische Tagebuch

Thu, 19. April 2012



Presentation of Special Issue Stamp Viennese Oboe

The presentation of the specially issued stamp, "Viennese Oboe", took place on March 26, 2012 in the "Haus der Musik". Following opening addresses by Peter Mayrhofer (Director of Studies of the Vienna Music Schools for Oboe und Chambermusic, and son of our long-time principal oboist, Karl Mayrhofer) and orchestra chairman Clemens Hellsberg, Dr. Georg Pölzl, General Director of the Austrian Post AG, introduced the stamp designed by Maria Schulz, which has the face value of 90 cents and of which 250,000 copies have been printed.  The musical part of the celebration was provided by the "Vienna Oboe Trio", made up of Harald Hörth, Josef Bednarik (Orchestra of the Vienna Volksoper and chairman of the Society of Friends of the Viennese Oboe) and Wolfgang Plank, who performed the 1st Movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's Trio in C major for Two Oboes and English Horn, op. 87, along with two compositions by Josef Bednarik (Waltz for Helmut" and "Fox for Martha").

In construction and sound, the Viennese has more similarities with the classical oboe than the French oboe, which is customarily employed internationally. Its sound, rich in overtones, which in the lower register is warmer and in the higher range more pointed, is considered to be one of the more integral characteristics of Viennese orchestral sound and is of essential significance for the Vienna Philharmonic. During a guest appearance in 1952, the Philharmonia Orchestra London experienced a very cool reception at the hands of the Viennese press. In the following year, when the Vienna Philharmonic played a concert in Edinburgh with Wilhelm Furtwängler, there were also poor reviews. This raised such fundamental questions, that Furtwängler took it upon himself to compose a notable letter: "Much like their individual countries, the various types of orchestras therein, particularly in the last half of a century, have developed unique sounds and styles quite different from one another. In France, Holland, England, and America the French orchestral type is predominant, most especially being characterized by the French woodwinds with their strongly present vibrato, but also in the handling of the strings and brass there are differences with the German and Austrian orchestras. This is illustrated by the fact that the exceptional oboist from the English orchestra was not well received in Vienna, whereas our oboist, [Hans] Kamesch, who by all rights is considered one of the best in his profession, was particularly singled out in England as being "completely inadequate". Certainly the music of Debussy and Ravel will be performed more appropriately by a French orchestra than by a German one. On the other hand, we should not lose sight of the fact that Mozart and Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms, Wagner, Bruckner and Strauss [!] had orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic in their ears when they wrote their works.



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