Tonight we returned to the Musikverein (where we first experienced the Vienna Philharmonic) to listen to the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Their first piece, Beethoven's Egmont Overture, was, not surprisingly, very good. The energy from the orchestra was reflected in the audience, and everybody loved it. The second piece, the Haydn Trumpet Concerto, was also terrific, featuring soloist Håken Hardenberger.
The third piece, H.K. Gruber's Busking for trumpet, accordion, banjo, and orchestra, was.......interesting. (There is a reason it has it's own paragraph.) My first thought when listening to the beginning of the piece was "Okay, this is weird but I'm sure it'll become more listenable." Unfortunately for me (and most of the audience, I'm sure), this was not the case. The piece seemed to get stranger as it went on, and it didn't sound like it was going anywhere. I'm sure that after playing it, the orchestra was growing to appreciate it (especially since the composer was listening in the audience), but for the audience, it was not quite as...normal...
However, the fourth and final piece, Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, more than made up for the confusing sorcery that was the Busking. It was not exactly like the Vienna Philharmonic played it, but obviously that was expected. Philharmonic-y or not, it was terrific, and the concert ended on a good note.