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Home > Orchestra : Orchestra


Das Philharmonische Tagebuch

Mon, 24. March 2014

Dr. Clemens Hellsberg



Extended Tour to the USA

Between February 23 and March 18, 2014, the Vienna Philharmonic presented a US tour which in hindsight can in many aspects be seen as a major historical milestone.  Even the starting point for this festival was based on a very distinctive chapter of the orchestra's history.  In February 1989, the first Vienna Philharmonic Week in New York took place in the form of three memorable concerts under the baton of Herbert von Karajan, which launched the beginning of an institution which has long since become a tradition.

In the quarter of a century since then, the orchestra has made guest appearances every year at Carnegie Hall and through 2013, has performed no less than 80 concerts with seventeen different conductors: Herbert von Karajan(1989), Leonard Bernstein (1990), James Levine (1990) Claudio Abbado (1991), Lorin Maazel (1992, 1999 - Season's Opening, 2012), Sir Georg Solti (1993, 1995), Riccardo Muti (1994, 1998, 1999, 2006), Seiji Ozawa (1996, 2004), Daniel Barenboim (1997, 2007, 2010), Pierre Boulez (2001, 2010), Bernard Haitink (2002), Nikolaus Harnoncourt (2003, 2010—Season's Opening), Mariss Jansons (2005), Valery Gergiev (2008), Zubin Mehta (2009), Gustavo Dudamel (2010), and Franz Welser-Möst (2013).

For its 25th Anniversary, the "Vienna Philharmonic Week" took on a new dimension by featuring  for the first time three performances of the Vienna Philharmonic in coordination with the Vienna State Opera. Concert  performances of Alban Berg's "Wozzek", Richard Strauss' "Salome" and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony comprised the four Philharmonic concerts, and represented an additional result of the symbiosis, the realization of which is a particular objective of State Opera Director Dominique Meyer.

This year's appearances in New York included seven performances by the Vienna Philharmonic which consisted of two parts and designed for a specific goal: the presentation of Vienna as the "World Capital of Music" through a unique and comprehensive program. A total of 27 compositions by 24 different composers who had close ties to Vienna spanning a time period between the 18th and 21st centuries were performed, not including the encores. Generally, each of these composers were represented by only one composition. The exceptions to this were our founder, Otto Nicolai, and Johannes Brahms - both of whom had two compositions on one evening's program - and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who received particular prominence by being the only composer whose music appeared on two separate concerts. After the first four performances the orchestra interrupted its stay in New York and travelled to California where six concerts were scheduled.

The original concept envisioned three conductors each conducting one opera and one concert, concluding with a major gala concert. Aconcertante performance of Beethoven's "Fidelio"could not be realized to due to financial considerations and had to be replaced with a performance of the Ninth Symphony. The original planning experienced additional modifications due to the indisposition of Daniele Gatti. General Music Director Hans Welser-Möst, in addition to the two concerts already planned for him, took over the rehearsal of Schubert's "Unfinished" and Mahler's 4th Symphony, conducting these works for the 6th Subscription Concerts (February 15/16) and stepped in for the performance of "Wozzek" in New York. However, since it was clear that he was unable to take over the planned concert for Daniele Gatti in Carnegie Hall, nor the three scheduled concerts with Gatti in California, other conductors had to be found. Christian Eschenbach agreed spontaneously to conduct the Schubert/Mahler program in New York on March 15th and for the concerts in Costa Mesa, Santa Barbara and Berkeley on March 3/5/7) our honorary member, Lorin Maazel, consented to conduct these in a very gracious manner although he was already committed to conduct a matinee concert in Munich on March 2nd! After this, Franz Welser-Möst was forced to cancel the scheduled concert on March 9th in Berkeley due to illness.  however shortly thereafter Andrís Nelsons assumed responsibility and took again practically the entire program as planned. 

February 25, Carnegie Hall
Vienna Philharmonic / Vienna State Opera
Franz Welser-Möst
Ricarda Merbeth, Sopran; Zoryana Kushpler, Mezzosopran; Peter Seiffert, Tenor; Günther Groissböck, Baß; New York Choral Artists (Einstudierung: Joseph Flummerfelt)
Arnold Schönberg: Friede auf Erden
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in d-Moll, op. 125

February 26, Carnegie Hall
Franz Welser-Möst
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony in C-Dur, KV 200
Johannes Maria Staud: "On comparative meteorology"
Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 6 in A-Dur

February 28, Carnegie Hall
Vienna State Opera  / Vienna Philharmonic
 Franz Welser-Möst
Alban Berg: "Wozzeck"

March 1, Carnegie Hall
Vienna State Opera / Vienna Philharmonic
Andrís Nelsons
Richard Strauss: "Salome"

March 3, Costa Mesa / March 5, Santa Barbara /  March 7, Berkeley
Lorin Maazel
Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 7, B minor, D 759 ("Unfinished")
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 4, G major (Soloist: Juliane Banse, Soprano)

March 8, Berkeley
Andrís Nelsons
Joseph Haydn: Symphony in C major, Hob. I:90
Johannes Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn, op. 56a
Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F major, op. 90
Zugabe: Johann Strauß: "Seid umschlungen, Millionen". Waltz op. 443

March 9, Berkeley
Andrís Nelsons
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony in C major, KV 200
Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 6 in A major
Zugaben: Josef Strauß: "Delirien". Waltz, op. 212
Josef Hellmesberger jun.: "Kleiner Anzeiger". Gallop, op. 4

March 11, Sonoma
Andrís Nelsons
Program from March 8

March 13, Carnegie Hall
Andrís Nelsons
Program from March 8

March 15, Carnegie Hall
Christoph Eschenbach
Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 7, B minor, D 759 ("Unfinished")
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 4, G major (Soloist: Juliane Banse, Soprano)

In 2010, shortly after the beginning of the planning  for the 25th anniversary of the  Vienna Philharmonic Week in New York, Carnegie Hall's artistic director Clive Gillinson decided that this occasion called for an event of unusual dimensions. The festival "Vienna: City of Dreams" became the largest presentation of cultural Vienna in New York and eventually included 92 separate events in various cultural areas. The presenters requested as a crowning performance a three part closing gala which was intended to demonstrate in  most spectacular fashion the unique significance of Viennese musical history.  Honorary Member Zubin Mehta conducted the following program which included 15 compositions:

Otto Nicolai: Overture to the Opera "The Merry Wives of Windsor"
Anton Webern: Six Pieces for Orchestra, op. 6
Otto Nicolai: "Moonlight Music" from the Opera "The Merry Wives of Windsor"
Hugo Wolf: "Der Feuerreiter". Ballad for Chorus and Orchestra
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: „Ave verum corpus“. Motet in D major, KV 618
(New York Choral Artists, Preparation: Joseph Flummerfelt)

Franz Schmidt: Interlude from the Opera "Notre Dame"
Theodor Berger: Legend of Prince Eugen
Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Violin Concerto in D major, op. 35. (The soloist was Gil Shaham, who performed with our orchestra for the first time and played "Schön Rosmarin" by Fritz Kreisler as an encore).

Josef Strauss: „Delirien“. Waltz, op. 212
Eduard Strauss: „Bahn frei!“. Fast Polka, op. 45
Johann Strauss: "Voices of Spring". Waltz, op. 410 (Soloist: Diana Damrau, Soprano)
Joseph Lanner: Styrian Dances, op. 165
Johann Strauss Vater: Cachucha Gallop, op. 97
Franz Lehár: „Meine Lippen, sie küssen so heiß“ from the Operetta "Giuditta" (Soloist: Diana Damrau, Soprano)
Josef Hellmesberger jun.: "Kleiner Anzeiger". Gallop, op. 4
Zugaben: Johann Strauß: "Klänge der Heimat" from the Operetta "Die Fledermaus" (Soloist: Diana Damrau, Soprano)
Johann Strauss: "Unter Donner und Blitz". Fast Polka, op. 324



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