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Prof. Reinhard Öhlberger
Among the Vienna Phlharmonic Chamber music concerts, there have been until this time numerous varied instrumental ensembles, many of which were quite out of the ordinary. However that may be, the 10th and final concert of this series in the Gustav Mahler Hall of the Vienna State Opera on June 20, 2015, has to be considered a premiere. Four string basses from the orchestra teamed up for this event, giving free reign to their four booming instruments to speak, sing and swing. A Hungarian, Slovenian, Styrian, and Berliner combined forces to make up the contrasbass quartet "Philbass", including principal contrabassist, Ödön Rácz; section leader Iztok Hrastnik, Alexander Matschinegg and Elias Mai (Vienna State Opera Orchestra).
Due to the unfortunate cancellation of the soprano, Íride Martinez, the planned program had to be altered. The Concerto in D major, TWV 40.202 (originally for four violins, strings and basso Continuo) arranged by Carolyne White Buckley was followed by Colin Brumby's "Suite for Four Contrabasses". Next on the program was the "Andante Cantabile" from the String Quartet in D major, No. 1, op. 11, by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky in an arrangement by Iztok Hrastnik. Lastly the "Passione Amorosa" by Giovanni Bottesini in an arrangement of Klaus Trumpf was performed.
After the intermission, Astor Piazzolla's work "Kicho" in an arrangement by Andrés Martin was performed, followed by Johannes Brahms' "Hungarian Dance No. 5", arranged by Alexander Matschinegg. Next came Daryl Runswick with a piece from his collection "Sweet and Low" entitled "Strauss in the Doghouse". The title of this piece is explained by noting that English bass players lovingly and sarcastically nickname their instrument the "doghouse". For encores an arrangement of Henri Mancini's theme from the "Pink Panther" by Andrés Martin was performed, along with a repetition of the "Doghouse".
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