Sunday, January 13, 2013

Phillip's Phasinating Phindings: Vienna, Part 1

13 Jan. 2013

Hallo und Grusse Gott!
Hey everyone, it's Phillip again - this time from the capital of Austria: Vienna!

However, I do have one performance to report about from Salzburg - the Russian State Ballet's performance of Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky in the Grosses Festspielhaus (the same place where the von Trapp family sang in the Sound of Music film). It was an evening of wonderful dance technique and precision- the dancing almost seemed effortless as they told the story through musical movement. This was truly a world-class dance performance; however, I was a bit disappointed in that they used a recording for the music. Not to knock the music quality, though- it was spendid in its own right, as it would have did Tchaikovsky proud. It just would have a bit more authentic to actually hear the music coming directly from the instruments. Still, a great performance nonetheless - definitely worth the time to go see it.

Now, on to Vienna and the Musikverein, where we heard the Vienna Philharmonic. Wow. It was absolute PERFECTION - if there was a definition in the dictionary for musical perfection, this group would probably be the epitome of it. The familiar themes of Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 were played in an absolutely splendid manner, as were the dramatic crescendos within Stravinsky's Firebird Suite and Ravel's Bolero, with the latter two providing a fitting conclusion to this amazing performance. The intonation was impeccible, the timing and rhythmic precision was spot-on, and the tone was such that you could wrap yourself in and around it due to its warmth. Every single musical aspect was covered to perfection - it definitlely made our (crowded!!) standing-room tickets worthwhile. This was a concert I will never, ever forget... it's going to be hard to beat this.

My next edition will cover our experiences at the Chapel of the Imperial Palace (Mozart's Coronation Mass with the Vienna Boy's Choir), the Vienna Staatsoper (Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavelier), and at the Musikverein once again (the Mahler Chamber Orchestra). Be sure to stay tuned- don't touch that dial!

"Tschuss!" for now! - Phillip

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